Put your hands on history with these engaging learning resources for any age. Memorial Boxes are filled with real and replica uniforms, equipment, artefacts, and more. They are supported by a range of case studies and activities which are available online.
Memorial Boxes can be used to invigorate classroom lessons, inspire historical investigation, and add meaning to commemorative activities. They can also be adapted for use as a therapeutic tool in an aged-care facility or as an interactive display in a community museum.
There are four different Memorial Boxes available, corresponding to different conflicts or aspects of wartime experience.
Go back 100 years to a defining moment in our nation's history, and put yourself in the shoes of those who were there.
Unravel the unique wartime experiences of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, and their significant contribution to Australia’s defence.
Journey through more than 70 years of the Australian Defence Force’s contributions to peace and security across the globe.
Objects and stories from land, sea, and air, exploring a selection of the almost one million Australian men and women who served during this time of upheaval.
Borrowing a Box
Memorial Boxes are available across Australia, and can be borrowed from our agents in various states and territories. For details on booking a Memorial Box, find your nearest agent and get in touch.
Memorial Boxes are free to use. There may be a fee to cover postage/courier; check with your nearest agent for details.
Links to the Australian Curriculum
The Memorial Box program has been designed to align with the “history” and “civics and citizenship” learning areas of the Australian Curriculum.
Be sure to read the Memorial Box risk assessment before borrowing or using a box
How to use this resource
Before you start
- Read over the Memorial Box risk assessment.
- Check the contents of the box against the enclosed inventory (and again after use). Report any damaged or missing items to your state agent.
- Wear the enclosed gloves when handling the objects and wash the gloves before the box is returned.
This short video demonstrates how Memorial staff might interpret some of the objects with young learners.
To get the most out of this box, object backgrounders, stories, images, and more are available on the web. Start exploring using the links below.
- Supporting resources are provided to help you get the most out of this box. They are based around the stories of real Australian servicemen and servicewomen. Each story contains suggested questions or activities for research and discussion, and provides some context for the physical objects you will find inside your Memorial Box.
- Discuss the objects with your class and ask questions about their size, colour, weight, or materials.
- Does it look old or new, and how can you tell?
- Consider its possible use, who might have used it, and what it might have meant to them.
- Would its value have changed over time? Is it a primary or secondary source?
- Create a list of questions you might have about the objects. How can you find out the answers?
- Use the objects to create your own display, with these past exhibitions as inspiration.
- Find out more about the Australians who have served during times of war using these publications, and put together an imaginative response based on their experiences.
- Use the resource A very special day to find out why the Memorial collects things, and start your own collection to commemorate your family, class, or school.
- Create a timeline identifying major events in Australia’s military history. Consider where in that history the objects in the box fit, and how these might have changed over time.
- Plan a ceremony using the guidelines found in Their spirit, our history or watch the Memorial’s Last Post Ceremony.
- Invite veterans to speak to your class about their experiences, or listen to some stories online.
- Search the Memorial’s collection and explore more photographs, works of art, and objects related to the Second World War.