The Australian War Memorial is pleased to be the recipient of TripAdvisor’s Travellers’ Choice Award for the number one landmark in both Australia and the South Pacific for 2016.
The accolade comes as the Memorial prepares to mark significant anniversaries for the Western Front and Vietnam.
“I’m immensely proud of the staff and volunteers here at the Australian War Memorial,” Memorial Director Dr Brendan Nelson said. “It’s their dedication, care, and hard work that helps us remember, interpret, and share the stories of those who have lost their lives in service of this country.
“When people visit the Australian War Memorial they come expecting the story of Australians at war. What they often leave with, however, is a deeper understanding of Australia as a nation.
“The Australian War Memorial is a paradox. There is much, much more here than war; it’s a place of love and friendship. Love of family and of country, honouring those who devoted their lives not to themselves but to us, and their last moments to one another.
“From the more than 102,000 Australians named on the Roll of Honour to all the men and women who have worn the uniform of the Royal Australian Navy, Australian Army, or Royal Australian Air Force, each had only one life, and one chance to serve others and our nation.
“We honour their sacrifice and the work done by those in Australia and across the world to safeguard our way of life. They give us hope and the belief in a better future, a better world.
“This hope was sustained most by men and women who reached out in support of one another – mates who “went over together” – and though gripped with fear, did not let each other down.
“Their spirit lives here, at the Australian War Memorial.”
Ten things you didn’t know about the Australian War Memorial
The Australian War Memorial combines a shrine, a world-class museum, and an extensive archive. The Memorial’s purpose is to commemorate the sacrifice of those Australians who have died in war. Its mission is to assist Australians to remember, interpret, and understand the Australian experience of war and its enduring impact on Australian society.
- The Australian War Memorial opened on Remembrance Day, 11 November 1941, 75 years ago.
- The Memorial’s first Anzac Day in 1942 included neither a veterans’ march nor a commemorative service. Since this was during the Second World War, people were discouraged from congregating in large numbers.
- Between just two and four per cent of the Australian War Memorial’s National Collection is on display at any one time.
- The Hall of Valour, housing the Memorial’s collection of Australian Victoria Cross medals, lies directly beneath the Hall of Memory and the Tomb of the Unknown Australian Soldier.
- The Memorial has the largest single display of Australian Victoria Cross medals in the country.
- The Unknown Australian Soldier is entombed in the Hall of Memory with a slouch hat, sprig of wattle, and a handful of dirt from the Western Front.
- More than six million mosaic tiles cover the walls and roof of the Hall of Memory.
- As of 2016 the Memorial’s official war art scheme has been in effect for 100 years, and is Australia’s longest-running commissioning scheme.
- The Memorial has 132 volunteer guides conducting tours and helping visitors experience the galleries throughout the year.
- More than 140,000 students from Australia and abroad visit the Memorial every year.
For information about visiting the Australian War Memorial, go to: www.awm.gov.au/visit