A one-of-a-kind manuscript by Sir Alexander "Alick" Downer from his time in a World War II prison camp is the latest addition to the collection of the Australian War Memorial.
From 1942 to 1945, before becoming a minister in the Menzies government and high commissioner to the UK, Sir Alexander was incarcerated in Changi prison camp where he wrote Government in Two Worlds: An Introductory Survey of the Governments of Britain and Australia.
Sir Alexander's son, High Commissioner to the UK and former Howard government foreign minister Alexander Downer, expressed his happiness about the acquisition via video from London.
"I'm delighted the Australian War Memorial has acquired this manuscript of my father's thoughts during his time in the Changi prisoner of war camp, this was a hugely transformative experience for my father," Mr Downer said.
"Although for the rest of his life he didn't talk about it very much, it gave him a different perspective on humanity for a man who came from such establishment and privileged background."
The Australian War Memorial didn't disclose the cost of the manuscript but a spokeswoman said the Downer family played an important part in the acquisition.
Mr Downer's daughter Georgina Downer was pleased to be at the war memorial for the unveiling.
"It means so much to us that this manuscript created by my grandfather is now available to the general public to read and understand the nature of the discussions that the POWs were having in Changi," she said.
"The intellectual effort that has gone into this is extraordinary, it just goes to show that they didn't sit around idly but they were very focused on their future freedom."
The head of the Australian War Memorial's research centre Robyn van Dyk said the manuscript provided an important window to the past for modern Australians.
"This is unique, there's nothing like it and it's an important one because it tells us about what people were learning and listening to at Changi," she said.
Prisoners were allowed to write and give lectures in Changi but it was still an incredibly difficult experience, said Ms van Dyk.
"Changi was certainly no hotel, it was a very harsh environment," she said.
Australian War Memorial director Brendan Nelson said Sir Alexander's manuscript was a significant addition to the memorial's archive.
"It is an extremely important insight not only into the thinking of one of the great Australians of the 20th century … but it also gives us quite an insight into the thinking, behaviour and attitudes amongst those 15,000 Australians who went into Changi prison in the Second World War," he said.
The manuscript could also provide some pertinent observations on modern politics, Mr Nelson said.
"I think for our contemporary political class in particular it's good to reflect on some of the things he wrote and delivered to his fellow Australian prisoners at Changi," he said.
"For example: 'another serious fault common to political parties in all countries is the dangerous tendency of party considerations becoming paramount'."
You can see the whole manuscript on the memorial's website.