The Spirit of Anzac Centenary Experience is a free exhibition opening in Sydney on Easter Saturday – ten days prior to Anzac Day – at the International Convention Centre Sydney from 15 – 27 April 2017. Special programs will include a daily Last Post Ceremony, a two-day War Collectables event, children’s activities, and a series of talks.
After two years in the making and almost two years on the road, visiting 23 locations and being seen by more than 300,000 people across Australia, the flagship community event of the Anzac Centenary will culminate in Sydney. Designed to commemorate Australia’s story through the First World War, the Spirit of Anzac Centenary Experience follows our soldiers, sailors, airmen and nurses through the campaign and home again, featuring artefacts from the War Memorial, and award winning technology and design that pay tribute to this incredible story.Major General (retired) Brian Dawson from the Australian War Memorial announced the visit, “This is a
Major General (retired) Brian Dawson from the Australian War Memorial announced the visit, “This is a free exhibition to mark the Anzac Centenary, 1914 to 1918, and Sydney is the final location of the national tour. It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the people of the Greater Sydney region to learn the stories of, and sacrifice by, our service men and women and how that has shaped, and continues to shape, Australia as a nation.”
This year marks the centenary of what was the most tragic period of the Australian experience of war with great battles and losses. In addition to creatively displaying priceless and historic artefacts such as the Last Shell fired on Gallipoli, The Spirit of Anzac Centenary Experience will feature a series of special events.
The Last Post Ceremony
At the end of each day, visitors will be given the chance to experience a Last Post Ceremony – a special and moving event that commemorates the Australians on the Roll of Honour and usually takes place exclusively at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra. At each daily ceremony, a current serving member of the Australian Defence Force will present the story of a local Sydney soldier who fought and died in 1917 on the Western Front.
The ceremony will begin each day at 4.55pm with the Australian National Anthem, followed by the poignant strains of a lament during the wreath laying, and will conclude with reciting of The Ode and sounding of the Last Post.
One of the most popular programs by the Australian War Memorial is their War Collectables event. Offered for the first time in Sydney, free military memorabilia appraisals by Australian War Memorial curators will be available at atwo day War Collectables event on Wednesday, 19 and Thursday, 20 April, between11am and4pm. Visitors to the experience may bring military medals, badges, photos, letters or other personal wartime treasures to the Spirit of Anzac Centenary Experience for advice on the significance of the item, and tips on care and preservation from experienced Australian War Memorial curators and conservators. No valuations provided. Please note for safety reasons no firearms, weaponry or hazardous material are to be brought to the session. Bookings for these will be available online.
For the first time, the Australian War Memorial is bringing its popular school holiday programs to families in Sydney from the 17 – 21 April, during the Easter break. For pre-schoolers, the Australian War Memorial’s educators will have the children engaging in special activities and a ‘Story Time’ while learning about animals in war and the soldiers and nurses. School age children and their families will enjoy ‘Hands on History,’ an interactive learning experience while they participate in handling real objects from the First World War and dress-up in uniforms worn by nurses and soldiers. Bookings will be available online.
On April 21 visitors will be able to hear from key Ambassadors of the Spirit of Anzac Centenary Experience in a series of half hour talks throughout the afternoon. The Talks will provide personal insights and stories associated with the First World War to the public. Speakers will include the Hon. Tim Fischer AC, Dr Brendan Nelson AO, and Major General (Retd) Brian Dawson AM CSC.