BHP Billiton Sustainable Communities has generously donated $1 million to the Australian War Memorial towards the new First World War galleries.
The redeveloped First World War galleries at the Australian War Memorial
Since the opening of the Memorial in 1941, the First World War galleries have undergone several major alterations and many small iterative changes. Originally comprising the entirety of exhibition space in the Memorial building, they now occupy the prominent west wing of the Memorial’s ground level galleries.
Despite changes down through the years, the galleries include some of the oldest and relatively unchanged parts of the Memorial building. Significant heritage value can be found in the form of the architectural spaces; the fabric, fixtures and fittings; and the function and character of the galleries. A major redevelopment of the galleries presents a significant challenge in retaining and restoring these values while simultaneously acknowledging the changed concept of commemoration and presenting the story of the First World War with veracity, depth and relevance to Australians today.
The official opening of the redeveloped First World War galleries will take place on 22 February 2015.