Photos of the exhibition launch
Beth McGeachy-Blay and her events team made sure that the launch of our exhibition on 6 December 2007 was over the top. She is shown above (third from the right) with members of her team and the two camel mascots she managed to "borrow" from the Australian Army's 26 Transport Squadron in Puckapunyal, with their handlers Privates Arron Daniel (far left) and Michael Francis (far right).
The normal space for the launch needed to be temporarily augmented and the launch team came up with a decorated tent concept that went down really well with both guests and the media. They went all out in creating an appropriate atmosphere for this exhibition.
The exhibition was officially launched by Dr Richard Chauvel (grandson of Sir Harry Chauvel). Dr Chauvel is seen (left above) with our new Chairman General Peter Cosgrove AC MC (Retd.), and Assistant Director Helen Withnell. In the centre Richard is shown again with his wife Janet and on the right are two more guests from the Chauvel family, Susanne and her son Richard Chauvel-Carlsson. Susanne is the daughter of Charles Chauvel, Sir Harry's nephew, who directed the film Forty Thousand Horsemen.
There were a number of notable guests at the opening including Jeremy Wilson, the authorised biographer of T.E. Lawrence (left above). His travel to Australia, with his wife Nicole, was generously funded by the British High Commission in Canberra and that sponsorship was arranged by the High Commission's Media & Public Affairs Manager, Clive Hunton, who is seen in the rear of the central photo above. On the right we see Dr Norma Aubertin-Potter with a new friend. Dr Potter is the Librarian in Charge of the Codrington Library at All Souls College, Oxford. All Souls lent us much of their Lawrence collection for the exhibition.
Many guests at the launch took the chance to have a good look through the exhibition. Shown above (left to right) are: "Damascus corner"; a Turkish regimental standard captured in Damascus; and Lawrence manuscripts from The National Archives (UK) and items from the All Souls collection.
This final group includes (left to right above): our Director Steve Gower AO, speaking at the opening; recently retired Assistant Director Mark Dawes (with Private Michael Francis and a camel); our assistant exhibition project manager Bianca Guthrie with her husband Jake, viewing a Hejaz regular uniform on loan from the Imperial War Museum; and the exhibition's film and photography curator, Ian Affleck (who has also recently retired).
That's all for now.