Gallery Development

Our Memorial is the centre of national commemoration for Australia’s involvement in conflict, telling the stories of Australia’s servicemen and servicewomen and their experiences in war and, more recently, peacekeeping, and humanitarian and disaster relief operations. However, the stories of the 100,000 Australian veterans who have served over the past three decades remain mostly untold.

By transforming our galleries and renewing our exhibition spaces, we will provide more exhibition space, to more effectively acknowledge contemporary Australian service, while preserving the national significance of the Memorial and enhancing the experience of visitors.

There will be quiet spaces in the galleries, allowing veterans and their families a place away from crowds for respite and reflection. Our most iconic displays such as the Memorial’s Gallipoli landing boat, the Lancaster bomber “G for George”, the HMAS Brisbane bridge, and the “Huey” helicopter, will return, ensuring that our history continues to be understood by all generations of Australians, and that our Memorial continues to be a place to honour, to learn and to heal.

Share your story

The Australian War Memorial is embarking on a development project to transform our galleries and renew our exhibition spaces. We will be sharing the stories of a new generation of Australian men and women who have served our nation in recent conflicts, and on peacekeeping and humanitarian operations.

Our curators are available to hear your story. Get in touch at gallerydevelopment@awm.gov.au

Donating items to the Memorial

The Memorial needs your help to develop our collections relating to recent conflicts, peacekeeping and humanitarian operations.

We collect a wide range of significant material, such as uniforms, personal equipment, photographs, video footage, artworks, letters and diaries.

Of particular interest for our collection are:

  • items linked to a significant action or event
  • images and video taken on operations
  • items associated with women’s service.

To offer material for donation, get in touch with us at www.awm.gov.au/donations.

Our curators will then assess the material for inclusion in the National Collection.

Public consultation

All Australians are encouraged to participate and contribute to our gallery and exhibition development.  We are engaging in various community-led advisory and focus groups, as well as offering public feedback opportunities through an online national survey and several national online forums.

Please subscribe to our e-newsletter Our Next Chapter for regular project updates and information about how to participate in public consultation opportunities.

Members of the public are also encouraged to share ideas and feedback at any time by emailing gallerydevelopment@awm.gov.au.

Focus Groups

Four focus groups are currently planned, with meetings taking place early in 2021. The aim of these focus groups is to encourage participants, through detailed discussion, to explore specific topics that come to light through the National Survey. This will help the Memorial to better understand public beliefs and attitudes concerning exhibition content, as well as visitor preferences when visiting the onsite galleries.

Membership in focus groups will be selected by a third party research agency, which will run these sessions on behalf of the Memorial.

Advisory Groups

Our Gallery Development team is also undertaking targeted community engagement with a variety of individuals and groups to seek specific input into the gallery content development process. They will meet with our team and give advice for gallery content over the life of the project. 

The following groups have been established with well-respected members of each community. 

These Advisory groups include:

  1. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Group - national Indigenous representation will provide cultural advice and guidance for the future development of the Memorial.
  2. Youth Advisory Group – Prominent young Australians from diverse backgrounds and with proven community connections will provide advice and feedback on proposed gallery content to ensure future sustainability and relevance of the Memorial for future generations.
  3. Universal Access and Inclusion Peer Review - a group that is inclusive and representative of people with diverse needs.
  4. Veterans’ welfare group –representatives from various ex-service organisations, associations and individuals.

The Memorial is committed to working collaboratively with these groups.

Continual engagement throughout the Project will build our knowledge base and help connect the Memorial to the wider community to achieve outcomes that are representative, relevant, authentic and engaging.

National Online Forums

35 national online forums will be hosted by the Memorial in 2021, providing the public with an opportunity to get involved and collaborate with us in developing and delivering our proposed new gallery spaces. 

These forums will allow individuals, community members and other interested parties to contribute to proposed gallery content, as well as providing feedback and ideas for creating a meaningful Memorial. If you would like to participate in our national online forums, please email gallerydevelopment@awm.gov.au , with your name, email address and preferred state or territory for involvement.

Outcomes

Our consultation approaches will help us:

  • Gauge visitor interest in topics, themes, specific stories and/or collection items;
  • Understand public expectations related to current and future exhibition interpretation in the context of war history;
  • Understand public sentiment about the interpretation and presentation of difficult topics and stories;
  • Gauge reactions to proposed exhibition design concepts.
  • Test responses to a variety of subjects, including challenging or difficult content.

As we learn more and gather feedback through engagement activities, we will share findings as they become available via our website.

Share your story or donate items

If you have a story to share or items from your experiences in recent conflicts, peacekeeping or humanitarian operations, our curators would like to hear from you. Get in touch at gallerydevelopment@awm.gov.au.

We collect a wide range of significant material, such as uniforms, personal equipment, photographs, video footage, artworks, letters and diaries.

Of particular interest for our collection are:

  • items linked to a significant action or event
  • images and video taken on operations
  • items associated with women’s service.

To donate material items, please get in touch with us at www.awm.gov.au/donations.
Our curators will then assess the material for inclusion into the National Collection.

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