The boss of the Australian War Memorial has defended accepting money from a controversial Chinese-Australian billionaire.
Memorial director Brendan Nelson has provided Veterans' Affairs Minister Darren Chester with a detailed briefing on the support provided by Chau Chak Wing.
Liberal MP Andrew Hastie last week used parliamentary privilege to allege Dr Chau funded the bribery of a senior United Nations official.
Dr Chau has denied the allegations and has a defamation case against a media outlet.
Dr Nelson said in 2013 he wrote to a number of wealthy individuals seeking financial support and Dr Chau had written back.
"He came to the war memorial with his family and I took them on a tour," Dr Nelson told a Senate estimates hearing on Wednesday, adding he had pointed out the Chinese Australians who were on the honour roll.
Dr Nelson later wrote to him with a proposal seeking $60,000 to produce an Anzac diversity education project, which would explain the story of migrants and indigenous people who had served Australia's defence force overseas.
Dr Chau later agreed to fund a $500,000 education and music centre.
Dr Nelson also defended the memorial's acceptance of corporate donations from arms manufacturers.
He argued defence companies had a responsibility to support the memorial and dismissed suggestions from Greens senator Lee Rhiannon they had a vested interest in ensuring there was further warfare.
"I challenging anyone to come to the Australian War Memorial and then leave thinking they can't wait for another war," Dr Nelson said.
He said the whole place was a "monument to peace".
Dr Nelson suggested if there was a ban on defence contractors from supporting the memorial then the logical extension was to stop accepting government money as well.
He confirmed the memorial was seeking about $500 million over seven years to upgrade the centre because it's running out of space.
The memorial is working on a business case.
He said both sides of politics had been fairly positive about the idea.
Australian Associated Press