Explosive Detection Dog & Handlers (Elevation of the Senses) Print Page Print this page


Photographs supplied by Ian Bevege

The sculpture Elevation of the Senses commemorates the service and sacrifice of the Explosive Detection Dogs lost in service in the various conflicts in which Australia has been involved from the Vietnam War to the conflict in Afghanistan. 

The sculpture highlights the role of and unique bond between Explosive Detection Dogs and their handlers. Engraved on the side are the names of the Australian explosive detection dogs who have been killed in operations:  Razz, Merlin, Andy, Nova and Lucky.  

Also engraved is Herbie and his handler, Sapper Darren Smith.  They died together on operations in Oruzgan province, Afghanistan in June 2010.



Address:Fairbairn & Limestone Avenues, Next to Poppy`s Cafe, Australian War Memorial, Campbell, 2612
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -35.280996
Long: 149.149827
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
View Google Map


Monument Type:Sculpture
Monument Theme:Conflict
Monument Designer:Ewen Coates


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Thursday 8th October, 2015
Front Inscription

Working dogs were first used by the Royal Australian Engineers (RAE) in 1918.  These were British dogs working as messengers in the trenches of France for Australian sappers.  In 1944 the 1st Australian Dog Platoon, RAE, began to use search dogs.  The Army dogs` human comrades are known as Military Working Dog Handlers.

In modern conflicts, Explosive Detection Dogs (EDDs) and their handlers have provided critical support to the Australian Defence Force and civilian government agencies.  The dogs help their handlers find improvised explosive devices, ammunition, and weapons.  To be trained for this role, dogs have to demonstrate a keen instrinct to hunt, play, and retrieve.

Strong bonds develop between the EED handlers and their dogs.  These brave and loyal dogs save lives.  A number have been killed while on active service in Afghanistan.  Their names are inscribed on the adjacent sculpture, Elevation of the Senses, which also commemorates handler Sapper Darren Smith, killed in Afghanistan with his beloved dog Herbie.

The EDD Ode

My eyes are your eyes to watch and protect yours.
My ears are your ears to detect evil minds in the dark.
My nose is your nose to scent the danger of your domain.
And so you may live, my life is also your life.


Back Inscription

Ewen Coates

Elevation of the senses (2015)


Acquired under commission thorugh the vision and generosity of Doug and Monique Thompson... "for the love of them all"


This sculpture commemorates the vital role and contribution of Explosive Detection Dogs and their handlers in war.  The tunnel through the base of the sculpture alludes to the rigorous training undertaken by the dogs, while the rocky outcrops atop the columns represent the foreign landscapes to which the dogs and their handlers are deployed.

The elevation of the dog on the central column, where it crouches eye-to-eye with its handler, highlights the deep bonds that are forged between the two, as well as the mutual dependence on which their work is based.

Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
Proudly sponsored by UBC Web Design