War museums and memorials to visit
Australian veterans of conflicts and peacekeeping missions are commemorated in many ways. One way we can remember them and reflect on their service and sacrifice is to visit museums and memorials that can help us to interpret their experiences.
Visit a site or interact online
Museums play a vital role in educating the public by:
- collecting, preserving and researching culturally and historically important artefacts
- presenting objects and information from their collections to the public for education
We are grateful for the work of official war correspondent and historian, Charles Bean, and many others during World War I for the preservation of Australian military history from that time onwards.
Many museums and memorials now offer an online presence so more people can interact and reflect on the experience of Australians during conflicts, wars and peacekeeping operations.
National memorials in Canberra
The Australian War Memorial and Anzac Parade are at the centre of the nation's commemoration of men and woman who served in wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations. These inspiring national landmarks encourage public and personal reflection on the Australian experience of war.
Australian War Memorial
The Australian War Memorial is the national memorial to members of our armed forces. Dedicated in 1941, it has:
- a commemorative area
- Roll of Honour
- Hall of Memory, with the Tomb of the Unknown Australian soldier
- Hall of Valour
- a military history museum, with its First World War and Korean War dioramas
- an extensive archive, with a research centre and reading room
Its mission is to help all Australians to remember, interpret and understand the Australian experience of war and its enduring impact on Australian society.
Anzac Parade memorials
This broad ceremonial avenue was named in honour of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. It opened in 1965 to mark the 50th anniversary of the landing at Anzac Cove.
On each side of Anzac Parade are memorials to commemorate specific military campaigns or services:
- Australian Hellenic Memorial
- Australian Army National Memorial
- Australian National Korean War Memorial
- Australian Vietnam Forces National Memorial
- Desert Mounted Corps Memorial
- Boer War Memorial
- New Zealand Memorial
- Australian Peacekeeping Memorial
- Rats of Tobruk Memorial
- Royal Australian Air Force Memorial
- Australian Service Nurses National Memorial
- Royal Australian Navy Memorial
- Kemal Ataturk Memorial
State and territory memorials
Each Australian state and territory has a principal memorial that serves as a permanent shrine and focal point for the major commemorative ceremonies in that capital city.
Regional memorials in Australia
Memorials are at the heart of community commemorations for our service men and women. On Anzac Day and Remembrance Day, people gather around their local memorials. They recognise and remember those who left their community to serve in defence of freedom.
These memorials are often established and managed by people in the community, through RSLs and other community groups, with help from local government.
Find a local site to visit:
National Anzac Centre, Western Australia
The National Anzac Centre in Albany tells the stories of our first Anzacs. The museum first opened in 2004. It's operated by the City of Albany.
Visitors can look across King George Sound. This bay was a departure point for the first convoy of Australian and New Zealand troops in World War I.
National Vietnam Vets Museum, Victoria
The National Vietnam Vets Museum was opened as an independent museum in 1996. It commemorates the wartime experience of our Vietnam War veterans. The museum was established by Vietnam veterans, their family members and other volunteers. It's operated with a large workforce of volunteers.
Australian War Memorial, London
The AWM London commemorates the service men and women who served in World War I and World War II. It lists all the names of the towns in which they were born. On top of 23,844 town names you can see the names of 47 of the battles in which they served.
You can either:
- search the memorial online to find the name of your town
- visit the memorial on Hyde Park Corner in London
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II dedicated the memorial on 11 November 2003. The Prime Minister of Australia, the Hon John Howard MP, and the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, the Rt Hon Tony Blair MP, attended the ceremony.
CWGC Experience, France
A unique visitor attraction that highlights the remarkable work of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. The CWGC Experience will give you an intimate look behind the scenes, at the teams who still work painstakingly to care for the fallen.
From the story of how the dead are still recovered and reburied today, to the skilled artisan craftsman at work maintaining the world's most impressive and recognisable monuments and memorials. A trip to the battlefields of the Western Front is not complete without a visit to the CWGC Experience.
Hellfire Pass Memorial Museum, Thailand
The Thai-Burma Railway was completed in 1943 by Australians and others who became prisoners of the Japanese during World War II. Construction of the 420km railway began in October 1942, through harsh jungles and mountains. The Japanese built the railway to maintain their armies in Burma.
The Hellfire Pass Memorial Museum remembers the service and sacrifice of the those who died from disease, starvation and ill-treatment. Over 2800 Australians died while working on the railway, as well as 12,500 Allied prisoners and 75,000 Asian labourers.
Sir John Monash Centre, France
Sir John Monash Centre (SJMC) tells the story of over 295,000 Australians who served on the Western Front from 1916 to 1918, including 46,000 who died there.
The Australian Government Department of Veterans' Affairs built the centre in the heart of the Somme region, near Amiens in France. Opened on 25 April 2018, the museum is on the grounds of the Australian National Memorial at Villers-Bretonneux.
You can visit the SJMC to hear Australia's story of the Western Front and learn about society, military affairs and international politics during the war period. Online resources and centre-based activities support the stories of Australia's service men and women.
The SJMC and the nearby memorial show the strong and everlasting bond forged between the peoples of Australia and France more than 100 years ago.
Find an overseas site to visit: