A fitting close for exhibition

This article has photo gallery Published on Department of Defence (author), ABIS Chantell Brown (photographer)

Location(s): Sydney

Topic(s): Centenary of Anzac, Anzac Day, Events

L-R: Prime Minister of Australia, The Hon. Malcolm Turnbull MP, Vice Chief of the Australian Defence Force, VADM Ray Griggs, AO, CSC, RAN, and Director of the Australian War Memorial, The Hon. Dr Brendan Nelson, AO, stand during the Australian National Anthem. (photo: ABIS Chantell Brown)
L-R: Prime Minister of Australia, The Hon. Malcolm Turnbull MP, Vice Chief of the Australian Defence Force, VADM Ray Griggs, AO, CSC, RAN, and Director of the Australian War Memorial, The Hon. Dr Brendan Nelson, AO, stand during the Australian National Anthem.

After travelling more than 200,000 kilometres during its 20-month tenure, the Spirit of Anzac Centenary Experience closed in Sydney on 27 April. 

The interactive exhibition brought the story of Australia’s involvement in the First World War to more than 350,000 visitors in 23 cities and regional centres across the country, using a mix of visual effects, artefacts, audio and film. 

To mark the final leg of the tour, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull hosted dignitaries, volunteers and sponsors to celebrate the Exhibition’s success.
 
“The Spirit of Anzac Centenary Experience is the flagship of our centenary commemorations of the Great War,” Mr Turnbull said.
 
“You’ve brought our most treasured stories out of the museums, out of the history books. You’ve given them life, and you’ve brought them into lives of Australians today, a century on. 

“You’ve honoured the sacrifice of those Anzacs and you’ve honoured the values for which they fought,” he said.
 
Vice Chief of the Defence Force Vice Admiral Ray Griggs attended the reception with other senior Australian Defence Force personnel, including the Chief of Staff Fleet Command Commodore Luke Charles-Jones and Commander Fleet Air Arm Commodore Chris Smallhorn. 

Vice Admiral Griggs referred to the logistical support Defence provided in order to transport and store artefacts, and recognised the 1,157 ADF members who guided visitors through the exhibition.
 
“It has been a remarkable feat and one that Defence has supported right from the very start,” Vice Admiral Griggs said.
 
“The Australian Defence Force members involved didn’t just help convey the Anzac history to visitors, they served as living examples of those values, behaviours and traditions of the original Anzacs, and how they continue to be embodied in the contemporary Australian Defence Force.”
 
In a first for the Exhibition, visitors to the Sydney exhibition had the opportunity to attend a special Last Post Ceremony each day.
 
The ceremonies replicated the format of the Last Post Ceremony held at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, which pays tribute to one Australian named on the Roll of Honour each day.
 
At each ceremony, an Australian Defence Force member told the story of a serviceman from Sydney who fought and died on the Western Front in 1917.
 
Vice Admiral Griggs said Defence was proud to support the Exhibition as part of the Centenary of Anzac commemorations.
 
“The Spirit of Anzac Centenary Experience has brought the stories of our original Anzacs to the Australian towns where they lived and worked, where they signed up to serve, and where they said their goodbyes to family and friends,” he said.
 
“Today, the spirit of Anzac is exemplified in the outstanding efforts of our people on operations, at home, and when they support important community activities such as this Exhibition.”