The Australian War Memorial has unveiled a new memorial dedicated to, and created by, military working dogs and their handlers.
CAPTION: Australian Army Sergeant Stuart Conlin with Trip, RAAF Leading Aircraftman Gregory Chance with Veda, New Zealand Army Lance Corporal Maylin Broderick with Flicka, RAAF Leading Aircraftman Bradley Evans with Ollie and Australian Army Sapper Luke Saxton with Mate, at the new Military Working Dogs Memorial in Canberra. Photo by Leading Seaman Kylie Jagiello.
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Military working dogs have served alongside Australia’s defence forces since the First World War, and continue to play a vital role in domestic and international operations today.
The new memorial titled ‘Circling into Sleep’ unveiled yesterday in the Memorial’s Sculpture Garden, honours generations of dogs who have served, given their unconditional loyalty and, in many cases, their lives, to a common cause.
The ashes of Aussie, Military Working Dog 426, were interred within the memorial on 4 December 2019.
As a military working dog, Aussie served in Australian domestic and international operations including the Solomon Islands in 2004 and four deployments to Afghanistan with the Explosive Detection Dog Team.
Described as a tireless worker, Aussie began to slow down after retirement and died in 2017, aged 16.
Circling into Sleep was created by artist Steven Holland, with help from an explosives detection dog called Billie and her handler.
Billie was trained to walk in a tight circle on a bed of soft clay to create the paw-print track that spirals into the memorial, representing the steps of a dog as it circles into sleep.
CONTACT’s favourite MWD, Sprocket, on the job in TK, Afghanistan.