The federal government has welcomed a "more substantial reflection" of the Frontier Wars at the Australian War Memorial.
"That is important to make sure that we do provide proper context," Veterans Affairs Ministers Matt Keogh told ACM, publisher of this masthead.
He was speaking of the conflicts between British colonial forces and Indigenous people as he toured the building site, which much of the War Memorial still is. The $550 million revamp is not due to be finished for five years.
As construction of the new, bigger galleries proceeds, there has been great debate over what place the Frontier Wars should have in the expansion. Should they be tucked away with other 19th century conflicts in which Australia was minimally involved, or should there be much more space, perhaps in a separate gallery?
Despite quite a lot of apparent support for a much more prominent portrayal of the Frontier Wars, it is not clear any actual commitment to do so has been made.
Both the new chairman of the AWM council, Kim Beazley, and his predecessor, Brendan Nelson, said the recognition of the conflicts would be "revised".
"We do have to have a proper recognition of the frontier conflict," Mr Beazley said.
"All the additions to the memorial which are huge will be completed by 2028, and that's when we'll see the revised display related to the Frontier Wars."
But last year, the AWM's council decided there would not be a separate gallery for the Frontier Wars. They would "continue to be presented in the new Pre-1914 galleries", minutes from its August 19 meeting show.
But there would be a "broader and deeper depiction and presentation of the violence perpetrated against Indigenous Australians".
It is not clear what "broader and deeper" means. Mr Keogh takes it to mean an "expansion" of the memorial's coverage of the clashes between colonisers and Indigenous Australian peoples.
"The War Memorial council's taken a decision to expand that Frontier Conflict representation and it's great to see that. It's part of recognising Australian colonial involvement in conflicts prior to federation," he said.
"It's going to be a more substantial reflection than we've had historically. That is important to make sure that we do provide proper context," he added, but it was for the AWM council to decide how that should be done.
Mr Keogh was at the memorial to recognise and award it for employing military veterans on-site. It's been given a gold award "for generating broader benefits for the Australian economy" under a scheme run by the Department of Finance.
Construction project director Wayne Hitches said: "We've supported the employment of more than 50 veterans, delivering approximately 10,000 work hours or more than five per cent of all works undertaken on the Development Project."
AWM director Matt Anderson said: "The approximately 6500 Australian Defence Force personnel who transition into civilian life each year constitute a vast pool of highly skilled and experienced workers and leaders, each instilled with a disciplined, values-based and adaptable approach to work."