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 Post subject: Australian War Memorial Exhibitions
PostPosted: Thu Jan 01, 2015 2:41 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2007 5:52 pm
Posts: 511
Location: ACT
Served in: RNSWR
The Australian War Memorial’s remodelled First World War Galleries are now open.

The objects displayed, audio-visual interaction for the visitor and the information and historical perspectives presented constitute a masterpiece. If you have any interest whatsoever in where the ADF and the nation come from, and can find two hours of your life to spend in Canberra this centenary Anzac year, the AWM First World War Galleries will repay you a thousand-fold.

Australia’s story in the The Great War is set out chronologically. The lead up is covered, with a great panoramic photo of the brand new Australian Fleet entering Sydney Harbour in 1913, as are the early actions in the Pacific and Indian Oceans. Next is the Gallipoli campaign. Then the displays split into two physically parallel paths, the Western Front and the Middle East. You can follow each path on its own or move back and forth between them. The paths merge again to cover the end of the war, actions in 1919 (diggers fighting in North Russia (two VCs) and Kurdistan (!!)) and its domestic aftermath. This includes a series of photos showing the progress of a digger who had 25 (yes 25) maxillo-facial operations to reconstruct his face. The lump-in-the-throat moment is the last photo - standing in the back yard 40 years later holding hands with his wife.

The exhibits cover not just operations but also support services, nurses, Australian PWs, out-of-the-line activities and the home front, in particular the bitterly divisive conscription referenda of 1916 and 1917.

Each individually displayed item contributes to building the story. Some are remarkable by themselves, e.g. Pte Albert Corey’s gallantry decorations - Military Medal and Three Bars. Others, e.g. tobacco tins, are a gateway to the every day lives of the men and women who served.

As throughout the AWM, the work of the official war artists helps visitors into the “feel” of experiences so removed from us in time, physicality and mind-set.

The gallery lighting is much more effective than previously. The famous dioramas have been repaired and refurbished. Touch screens replace printed captions for the displays so you can read as much or as little as you want about any particular display case. Just touch the photo of the object that interests you and up comes the info. The touch screens have allowed the AWM to include many more stories of individual soldiers, sailors, nurses and families back home. The screens also have language buttons for the two most common overseas visitor groups - practise your Hindi and Mandarin.

The best touch screen is a large multi-panel of Gallipoli which uses actual aerial reconnaissance photos taken at the time allied with current GIS software. You to rotate the view of the peninsula as well as adjusting the height of the view, as you call up info on various aspects of the campaign.

I strongly recommend this exhibition to everyone.

As a footnote, the AWM Shop also has a new improved layout. Have your ADF id, because that’s a 10% discount.

Small Print: Readers are warned that there is a Light Horseman and Waler at the start of the gallery. There is also a printed caption with the words “dash and glamour” on it. If you-know-who ever sees these items, expect incoherent orgasmic burbling for weeks, maybe months, afterwards on this very forum. That’s in addition to his normal incoherent burbling [:D .

 Post subject: Re: Australian War Memorial Exhibitions
PostPosted: Thu Jan 01, 2015 9:29 pm 

Joined: Thu Jun 18, 2009 4:49 pm
Posts: 5236
Location: Back in Bris-vegas, lost in the bright lights of the big smoke.
Served in: Former ARES Infantry & Dashing Lighthorseman.
I see what you did there *flicks plumes*
I'll be crying myself to sleep in the corner - that, or having a bat :finga:

I haven't been through in a couple of years, can't wait to see what they've done.

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