The Sir John Monash Centre has opened to the public and the feedback from visitors is overwhelmingly positive.
In the first month, the Centre received thousands of visitors, many from Australia, and also from throughout Europe.
Visitors described their experience as ‘incredible’, ‘beautiful’, ‘emotional’, ‘warm and welcoming’.
They especially appreciated the audio and visual material that made the Centre exceptionally ‘modern and moving’.
If you’re planning a visit to the Sir John Monash Centre, there are a few steps you can take to get the most out of the experience.
These are outlined in detail on our Plan Your Visit page but here’s a quick guide.
BYOD – Bring Your Own Device
The Sir John Monash Centre is not a traditional, object based museum, but an interpretive centre that aims to recreate the experiences of ordinary Australians who served on the Western Front.
Central to the experience is the dedicated app. which offers a number of stories depending on the visitor’s location within the Centre and the surrounding grounds.
With this in mind, visitors need to:
- Download the SJMC app. either before leaving home or upon arrival in the Centre carpark, using the free WiFi onsite. Your experience begins at the entry to the Villers-Bretonneux Cemetery where you hear short stories about some of those buried in the cemetery. You will then continue up to the Australian National Memorial where the app can help to locate names inscribed on the wall of those who served and are listed as missing. From here you move behind the Memorial and descend into the Sir John Monash Centre.
- It might sound simple but in order to access the iTunes Store or the Google Play Store you’ll need to know your password. If you don’t have one of these, you will need to set up an Apple ID or open a Google Play account.
- Some personal devices (mobile phones or tablets) are not compatible with the SJMC app. The app is designed to work with Apple and Android technology, the most widely used platforms. If you have a different operating system, you can organise a loan device at the Centre. Accessing a loan device is free, however, if you do not have your own earphones or headphones you will need to purchase them from the Centre. Earphones are available for €3 and headphones for €25. There is a limited number of loan devices, so it’s best not to rely on this option if you can avoid it. A form of photo identification is also required.
- Headphones or earphones are necessary to listen to the Centre audio – you cannot use the speaker function on your device. By using headphones/earphones you can personalise your experience by choosing stories that most interest you in your preferred language (English, French or German). The headphones/earphones which are available for sale at the Centre are not suitable for iPhone 7 and later models which don’t have a headphone/earphone jack. If you have an iPhone 7 or later model please remember to bring your own headphones/earphones or bring along a jack adaptor which will enable you to connect with the traditional pin type headphones/earphones.
- Personal devices should be fully charged. There are charging stations in the foyer and at the Centre café. Those in the foyer can be accessed with the help of a Visitor Services Officer, while the ones in the café are self-serve.
- For visitors with accessibility requirements transcripts are also available via the app.
If you have a query when you’re at the Centre, please let one of our staff know. If you’d like to share your feedback, you’re welcome to visit our Facebook page or email [email protected]