News & current projects

News

Temporary Exhibition at the Franco-Australian Museum, Villers-Bretonneux, France

From 17 November 2014, the Franco-Australian Museum will close for major renovations before reopening in April 2016, as part of the Australian Remembrance Trail along the Western Front. During the closure a temporary exhibition will be established in the Victoria Hall of the Victoria School at Villers-Bretonneux. This exhibition will open to the public from 5 January 2015.

The Franco-Australian Museum symbolises the close bond forged between Australia and the town of Villers-Bretonneux during the Battle of Villers-Bretonneux on 24-25 April 1918, and the rebuilding of the Victoria School through donations raised by Victorian schoolchildren after the war.

The Australian Government is contributing approximately $2.1 million to the expansion and modernisation of the Museum’s exhibition space to continue this legacy.

Visitors to Villers-Bretonneux can also see the Australian National Memorial, inscribed with the names of over 10,700 missing Australian soldiers, and the Adelaide Cemetery, from where an unknown Australian soldier was exhumed for reinterment in the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra.

Visit the Franco-Australian Museum and the Australians on the Western Front 1914-1918 websites for more information on visiting Villers-Bretonneux.

Interior of the museum with wooden beams and multiple displays

Completed Works at the Australian National Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux, France

The Australian Government recently completed major works at the Australian National Memorial at Villers-Bretonneux, France, significantly improving accessibility and safety for visitors.  The first stage saw the realignment of the road D23 which passes in front of the site funded equally by the Australian Government and French authorities.  Much needed car and coach parking and a new landscaped area separating the road from the cemetery and Memorial site was completed ahead of Anzac Day 2014. The total Australian contribution to these works is $2.67 million. 

In 2014, the Australian Government-led Anzac Day dawn service at the Memorial site was attended by over 4,500 visitors. To learn more about the Australian Remembrance Trail along the Western Front, including the Australian National Memorial at Villers-Bretonneux, visit the Australians on the Western Front website.

 

Car park

 

 

Grassy fields

 Road leading to the memorial  Entrance road lined with trees

Anzac Day 2015, Sandakan Memorial Park, Sabah, Malaysia

An official Anzac Day Dawn Service will be held at the Sandakan Memorial Park on Saturday, 25 April 2015, commencing at 5.30 am. The Sandakan Memorial Park is located on the site of the Second World War Sandakan Prisoner of War Camp.

The official Anzac Day Dawn Service in Sandakan is conducted by the Australian Government on behalf of the Australian High Commission Kuala Lumpur and is made possible with the assistance of the local communities of Sandakan.

The commemorative service is open to the public.

The details for the official service
Event: 2015 Anzac Day Dawn Service
Date: Saturday, 25 April 2015
Time: 4.20 am: Site opens
5.10 am: Latest public are asked to be seated by
5.30 am: Dawn Service commences
7.00 am: Gunfire Breakfast

Venue:

 Sandakan Memorial Park, Sabah, Malaysia

Two soldiers saluting

Going to Malaysia for Anzac Day 2015?

Registration for the 2015 Sandakan Anzac Day Dawn Service is now available. Please complete the registration form and submit to Miss Jenna Lobb via email: Jenna.Lobb@dva.gov.au or by phone on (02) 6289 6009.

Private wreath laying

For those who wish to lay a private wreath or floral tribute at the Anzac Day Dawn Service, there will be an opportunity to do so towards the end of the service. If you intend laying a private floral tribute, please complete the private wreath laying registration form and submit this to Miss Jenna Lobb via email: Jenna.Lobb@dva.gov.au  or by phone on (02) 6289 6009.

Important: There is no capacity to receive deliveries of wreaths or floral tributes at the Sandakan Memorial Park. Please ensure that if you intend to lay a wreath in a private capacity you organise your floral tribute in advance and bring it with you to the Dawn Service.

Anzac Day 2015, Hellfire Pass, Kanchanaburi, Thailand

The Australian Embassy, Bangkok will host the official Anzac Day Dawn Service on Saturday, 25 April 2015, on the grounds of the Hellfire Pass Memorial Museum, approximately 3 hours drive North West of Bangkok in Kanchanaburi Province, Thailand.

The commemorative service is open to the public.

The details for the official service
Event: 2015 Anzac Day Dawn Service
Date: Saturday, 25 April 2015
Time: 5.30 am: Dawn Service commences
7.00 am: Gunfire Breakfast
 Venue: Hellfire Pass, Kanchanaburi, Thailand

Wreath laying ceremony

For further information regarding Anzac Day 2015 at Hellfire Pass and other Commemorative Services in Thailand, please visit the Australian Embassy Bangkok website.

Anzac Day Services in Papua New Guinea, 2015

Port Moresby (Bomana) War Cemetery

DVA assists the Port Moresby RSL sub branch and the Australian High Commission in the official Anzac Day Dawn Service on Saturday, 25 April 2015, at Port Moresby (Bomana) War Cemetery.

The commemorative service is open to the public.

The details for the official service
Event: Anzac Day Dawn Service
Date: Saturday, 25 April 2015
Time: 4:30 am: Dawn Service commences
7:30 am: Gunfire Breakfast
Venue:  Port Moresby (Bomana) War Cemetery, Papua New Guinea.

image of the Bomana War Cemetery with graves laid in front of a large cross statue and a large circular structure

Isurava Memorial, Papua New Guinea

DVA, in conjunction with the Australian High Commission, Port Moresby, conducts the official Anzac Day Dawn Service on Saturday, 25 April 2015, at Isurava Memorial.

The details for the official service
Event: Anzac Day Dawn Service
Date: Saturday, 25 April 2015
Time: 5:30 am: Dawn Service commences
Venue:  Isurava Memorial, Papua New Guinea

Isurava Memorial with two flagpoles in front of four black stone pillars

Opening of the Battle of Fromelles Museum, Fromelles, France, 18 July 2014

The new Battle of Fromelles Museum, located adjacent to the Fromelles (Pheasant Wood) Military Cemetery, was officially opened on 18 July 2014. To assist visitors to understand Australia’s role and the great sacrifice of Allied soldiers during the Battle of Fromelles, the Australian Government has contributed over $1 million to the construction of a new home for the museum, which was formerly housed in the Fromelles town hall. French partners have contributed over €1.8 million to this project.

The museum will take visitors on a journey from ‘shadow to light’, exploring the disaster of the Battle of Fromelles and the recovery, nearly one hundred years later, of the remains of 250 soldiers who died at Fromelles in July 1916. The museum houses a vast array of artefacts, including uniforms and weapons as well as visual projections and recreations of German and Allied trenches incorporating materials recovered from the original battlefield.

image of Fromelles

Updates to the Australian Remembrance Trail in France, May 2014

Progress continues on the Australian Remembrance Trail along the Western Front at several sites in France.  At Villers-Bretonneux, site of the Australian National Memorial and of an official Australian Government-led Anzac Day service in France, the realignment of road D23 was completed in November 2013 and has been followed by major works to upgrade access, parking and landscaping at the site.

At Pozières new interpretive facilities at the 1st Australian Division Memorial were opened on 26 April 2014.  In May 2014, the Australian Corps Memorial at Le Hamel will close until November 2014 for important remediation work to be conducted.  At Fromelles on 18 July 2014 the Battle of Fromelles Museum will be officially opened.  Further information on other activities relating to the development of the Australian Remembrance Trail can be found at the Australian Remembrance Trail along the Western Front page of the Department of Veterans’ Affairs website.

image of the Australian Corps Memorial at Le Hamel

Updates to the Australian Remembrance Trail along the Western Front, January 2014

Progress has been made on the Australian Remembrance Trail. The most recent addition to the Trail is the opening of the Plugstreet 14-18 Experience on 9 November 2013, depicting the experience of soldiers and civilians in the Ploegsteert area during the First World War.  At the Australian National Memorial at Villers-Bretonneux, work to realign the roadway at front of site has been completed in November 2013 with work to redevelop visitor parking and landscaping to follow.  In Zonnebeke, Belgium a new Australian display at the Memorial Museum Passchendaele 1917 was opened in July 2013.  2012 saw the refurbishment of the In Flanders Fields Museum at Ieper (Ypres), Belgium.  Further information on other activities relating to the development of the Australian Remembrance Trail can be found at the Australian Remembrance Trail along the Western Front page of the Department of Veterans’ Affairs website.

Men and women walking down a red carpet path, towards a building with a glass shaped pyramid roof.

Plugstreet 14-18 Experience Interpretive Centre 

Current projects

Australian Projects

In any year, the Office of Australian War Graves (OAWG) may undertake a range of projects, from refurbishing and upgrading existing graves, memorials and cemetery features, to developing new official national memorials at overseas sites significant to Australia's military history.

OAWG continually assesses cemeteries and Gardens of Remembrance to ensure that the standards achieved in the better known Commonwealth War Graves Commission war cemeteries in France and Belgium are reflected in the work undertaken by OAWG in Australia and PNG.

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