A mobile phone showing a booking confirmation rests on a map of the Villers-Bretonneux region.


Posted on November 1 2017

Bookings are now open for the Sir John Monash Centre which is due to open at the Australian National Memorial, near Villers-Bretonneux in France, in April 2018.

The Centre is a state-of-the-art facility designed to give visitors an understanding of Australia’s involvement on the Western Front battlefields during the First World War.

It joins six other interpretive centres along the Western Front and tells the uniquely Australian perspective of the Great War.

The emotional experience begins from the moment visitors arrive at the site, locating them within the original geometry envisaged by architect Edward Lutyens when he planned the Australian National Memorial in 1938.

The Centre, designed by Cox Architecture, engages visitors through a series of galleries that emphasise high-tech multimedia, as well as traditional objects.

Project director Ian Fletcher said the Centre would share the experiences of more than 295,000 Australians who served on the Western Front and the 46,000 who never returned home.

“It is important that we tell this story. Our country’s greatest achievements and losses in the First World War were on the Western Front from 1916 to 1918,” Mr Fletcher said.

“As such, the Australian Government is delivering a centre that will resonate with Australians and communicate with a broader, global audience.

“It will be a very moving experience, respecting the solemn and reflective tone of the monument, while deepening the interpretive experience.”

Entry to the Sir John Monash Centre is free and bookings can be made via the Centre’s website.

Bookings are encouraged for peak periods around Anzac Day, the Centenary of the Battle of Le Hamel, and Remembrance Day.

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