Wednesday 20 February 2008 by Bob Crawshaw. 22 comments

On 27 February 2008, the Australian War Memorial’s new Conflicts 1945 to today galleries will open to the public. The galleries combine cutting-edge technology with large iconic objects to tell the stories of Australia’s involvement in conflicts over the past six decades.

As well as Australia’s involvement in peacekeeping operations since 1945, the new galleries cover conflicts in Korea, Malaya, Borneo, Vietnam, and, more recently, in Iraq and Afghanistan.

There are over 30 new audiovisual displays, including Iroquois helicopter sound and light shows, and a re-enactment film of the Battle of Long Tan. Visitors can walk on board the bridge of a warship, the HMAS Brisbane, and see the most recent of the Memorial's dioramas, the Battle of Kapyong.

The slide show below gives you an idea of what you will see if you visit the new Conflicts 1945 to today galleries.


Anthony van Buuren

I watched with interest the slide show of the gallery. Does look very interesting, with some great photo's / props. I think a trip to Canberra to take a look is now in order.

Alan Price

The display is not to be missed. I was fortunate enough to see the display before the official opening. The "Helicopter Assault" and the Long Tan display will send shivers up the spine of all and brings to life some of the experiences of the Vietnam war. Do not miss it. The display eptitomises the Australian warrior and reflects the realities of warfare.

Kenneth. R. Taylor

HI, The new section looks realy great. I will be planing a trip across to the W.M. shortly and hope to be spending quite a bit of time there, about 3 days all going well.

Joseph M. Poggi

I am the Past National President of the 3rd Infanty Division Assoc.who served proudly with one of the greatest fighters in the world "Australians," during the Korean War.I am also a good friend of your President Vic Dey, AKWV. Australia has been America's close and very good friend for many of the wars we fought in, God Bless all of you, we could not have done it without you. Congratulations on the opening of your new galleries in the War Museum in Canbera. Joe Poggi

Stephen Bickell

My late father served six years in WW2 with the 6th aust division,and he took me on my first trip to the war memorial many years ago.I am sure he would be very impressed with these new displays,as he was with the displays on his conflict.

kim Sigg

I have forwarded this on to my grandaughter, her grandad Ronald F Sigg BEM served in Vietnam with AATTV and also 7RAR[2 tours] I hope one day she can take me up to Canberra to see this new gallery


i am personally enlisting in the army soon and me and a good friend who is also went down to the AWM from sydney, especially to come see the 45- current, and to our dissapointment it was shut. from what we did see it looked great but it was all roped off. the rest of the exibits are great, and i hope to eventually bring a good friends dad who served in veitnam 4 times to see this new exibit.

Mike Mitchell

MISSION: At 0500 hours on 08-03-08 - drive CRV from HQ (home) to AWM. On arrival at 1000 hours - camouflage car in parking space. Enter AWM - liaise with AWM operative - an elderly gentleman with moustache at entrance. Operative will ask if you would like a tour of the establishment. Answer in the affirmative - your code word will be - "bloodoath". You will be shown around a spectacular array of old and NEW exhibitions - which will be physically impressive - emotionally stimulating and knowledge expanding in every detail. After 4-5 hours of gruelling Guide "Interrogation" - I.E. - asking as many questions as possible - escape via the front door - drive home safely - fall asleep satisfied that the assignment was accomplished to the best of everyone's ability. To our guide - thank you for a wonderful day - and to the Curators - your new exhibits are fantastic. Mike Mitchell

Ian Noormets

I visited the new display with my Son-in-law who was a Watch Officer on the HOBART, I was fortunate to go on Hobart and watch him operate as well as his shipmate I was so impressed with them all. He is a modest man and was overwhelmed with memories when he went on the bridge. My son spent time in IRAQ so we also look that that display with interest. I was in Vietnam with 161 Reece FLT and enjoyed the display as well. Had a slight disappoint when looking at the models of the aircraft that the twin boom Cessna flown by American pilot who flew Top Cover for Australian Army Aviator's who flew at tree top height looking for enemy was miissing. Speaking from personal experience they saved our Bacon ! However, I am sure the display will improve even better as time go by. My wife of 40 years could not get over the experience she was exposed to by the display. DO I NEED TO SAY WELL DONE I think everyone know it is. Kind regards Ian Noormets

Brodie Spiteri

In Melbourne our school visted the Australian War Memorial. Most of our class said it was the highlight of our trip! Thanks for a teriffic time! Cheers Brodie Spiteri

lyn tuite

I visit the display in April. They done a great job. I am very proud be an Australian.

Bernie McGurgan

Do you have a separate section on AATTV (The Team-First In & Last Out)) which was involved on active service from 1962-72 in South Vietnam, the longest period of continuous active service of any Australian Military Unit (ten years, four months and eighteen days)? During this time period some 992 all ranks of the ARA, from all Corps, served with this unique and special Unit which for its efforts is the most highly decorated unit in the annals of the Australian Military Forces! The Team also included some 10 KIWIS (NZ Personnel from the RNZIR) on its posted strength during 1970-72!

Dianne Manning

Visited new galleries on the weekend...can someone tell me why Sgt W F Hacking isn't listed as the first Australian killed in South Vietnam? He was a member of AATTV...

Ben Doyle-Cox

Great display , well put together and long overdue, should be more focus on Current/recent events The SAS LRPV is great but its a shame its covered in cheap chinese surplus instead of real gear. although Platypus Group donated loads it has yet to see the light of day.

Dale Brookes

I just watched the slide show and enjoyed a sneek peek at the exhibits. I do visit the War Memorial many times a year and see something more incredible with each visit. Well done to all involved. i hope next visit will be for the "animals at war" exhibit which looks very interesting and enlightning as we all love our pet and animals.

doc judd

Visited when last in Canberra,visited the AWM,most impressive

Ron McIntosh

Doing time in Vietnam, the two photographs with the rain falling with two of our heros put tears in my eyes and I filled up with emotions. Yes I was there somewhere and I would like to thank you for your efforts in creating the gallery and reminding me of all that happened over there. A great job, Well Done.


This place has certainly improved since i went there


hi, I am currently in year 12 and for my major design project I am thinking of doing exhibition design, what do you think are the essential features of am war exhibit

Jon Diamond

Visited for the 2nd time. It always amuses me why fix what wasn't broken in the first place. Now it looks very sterile no longer personal as before. Items donated years ago still haven't seen light of day. AATTV First in last out, that the case here.?????? SGT Hacking should be displayed . First Vietnam Casualty WHY NOT ????????


i went there on a school trip on friday and it was AMAZING, it was so interesting and i chose it for my gallery to do my assignment on. i absolutely loved the light show with the helicopter noises and the fans, it made it seem real!!!!! I am getting my family to drive down there so we can see it again and i will spend more than a day there, there is just sooooo much to see!!!!


From the use of all the pictures, displays, personal stories and symbols, you get to see a glimps of what it was really like during the war. It turns what you hear into reality. You get to see the real deal and it helps you realize what they went through. To see pictures of the soldiers in action and the fear on their faces makes you commemorate them as you have a greater understanding of what they felt like, it makes you want to commemorate their lives lost as you feel even more sorry for them and their families. During class you hear what happened and how it started, but to see so many images, real stories with letters and uniforms, the war becomes more than just a thing that happened in the past, it becomes a story. It helps you understand that the people that participated in the war were normal people with a life and a story to tell, and they were the ones that had to face the terror of the war and it make you quite sad to see it in front of you. To see all the clips of the soldiers in actions brings the war even more into reality because you have proof that it happened and you can see it, rather than just hear and learn about it. To see the soldiers like normal people and seeing them through the normal duties of everyday life (not necessarily fighting) makes them closer to us as it makes us feel sad to see them going through normal life and seeing them making a good time out of the war experience- You feel happy to see them not suffering. To have the personal stories of soldiers that died makes you want to commemorate the lives lost as you see a real example of a normal person that had a normal life like you, but had it ended at such a young age, just to think about what they would have been like or what they missed in their life makes everything so much sadder. When you read the letter to the families and the mothers, you can read the fear they felt, it makes you mournful to read them saying goodbye because it might have been the last time they every talked (wrote) to their families. There were even more depressing cases where they didn’t get to say good bye to their families and you think to yourself how much you love your family and what pain you would feel never being able to see them again, or what they feel and would go through having you die. There a story of a soldier who went to war while his wife was pregnant, and he couldn’t get home for the birth of the baby. He died in action a few days after the baby was born and never even got to hold the baby, and also the baby never got to see his father. If you put yourselves in their shoes even for a minute you can just imagine what they were going through and it makes you appreciate the life you have much greater, you begin to appreciate everything around you and the fact that you are there alive while all these other poor people died for your safety.