War Memorial in Canberra

Australian War Memorial

Explore the Australian War Memorial's exhibits on national military history, attend the emotive Last Post Ceremony, and reflect in the Commemorative Area.

The Australian War Memorial in Canberra serves as a national remembrance of the service and sacrifice of Australian servicemen and women. It combines a shrine, a world-class museum, and an extensive archive. The Memorial's exhibitions and galleries recount the conflicts in which Australia has participated, from the colonial period to the present day, while the Commemorative Area, including the Hall of Memory with the Tomb of the Unknown Australian Soldier, offers a poignant space for reflection and respect. Visitors can also explore the expansive Sculpture Garden and attend the daily Last Post Ceremony, an enduring tradition.

Commemorative Area and the Hall of Memory

At the heart of the Australian War Memorial lies the Commemorative Area. This solemn space invites visitors to contemplate the sacrifices made by Australian servicemen and women. Central to this area is the Hall of Memory, which houses the Tomb of the Unknown Australian Soldier. The surrounding walls list the names on the Roll of Honour. Lined with poppies left by visitors, these bronze panels pay tribute to over 102,000 individuals who have lost their lives. Nearby, the serene Pool of Reflection provides a space for quiet thought and introspection.

Exhibits on Australia's Conflicts

The Museum’s impressive exhibitions offer a comprehensive view of Australia's military history. From the colonial conflicts to recent operations in the Middle East, each exhibit provides insight into the experiences of Australian forces. Interactive displays, personal stories, and authentic memorabilia immerse visitors in the narrative of each conflict, highlighting the nation's role on a global stage. The ANZAC Hall, with its large-scale presentations and relics such as aircraft and military hardware, is a standout feature that should not be missed.

Research Center and Educational Programs

For those interested in delving deeper, the Memorial's Research Center provides access to military documents, photographs, and personal records. Researchers and family historians are welcome to use the facilities to uncover personal connections and learn more about Australia's military engagements. Additionally, educational programs are regularly conducted, offering students and visitors an opportunity to understand the broader implications of war and the specific roles played by Australians.

Daily Last Post Ceremony

Every evening, the Memorial hosts the Last Post Ceremony. This poignant event features the story of one individual on the Roll of Honour, followed by the playing of the Last Post. This ceremony is symbolic of the tradition of remembrance and is a must-attend for any visitor to get a sense of the ongoing respect for those who have served.

Special Exhibitions and Galleries

The Australian War Memorial also presents various special exhibitions that change throughout the year. These temporary displays can offer insights into specific aspects of military history or focus on certain events, individuals, or themes relevant to Australia's war experience. They complement the permanent galleries and ensure there is always something new for repeat visitors to discover.

Anzac Day Ceremonies

Anzac Day, observed on April 25th each year, is commemorated with special ceremonies at the War Memorial. This national day of remembrance honors Australians who served and died in all wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping operations. The Memorial hosts a dawn service, national ceremony, and veteran's march which are attended by thousands, making it a significant event in the Australian calendar.

Visitor Facilities

The Memorial ensures a comfortable visit for all with its range of visitor facilities. Wheelchair access is available throughout, along with hearing loops and other amenities to assist those with disabilities. For families with young children, there are baby changing rooms and areas for rest. The onsite café provides refreshments, while the gift shop offers souvenirs and educational materials for visitors to take home some memory of their visit.

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