Welcome to the Sir John Monash Centre! Your visit to the Centre is fast approaching so in order to make it a smooth and enjoyable experience for you we have put together a School Information Pack. This pack offers some general hints and tips to assist you with your time at the Sir John Monash Centre, helpful information prior to your visit, a procedural document for the day, your itinerary and contact information should you have any further queries in regard to your visit to the Sir John Monash Centre.
Important Tips Before Your Visit
- It is recommended for all groups to arrive 45 minutes prior to their booking time to be on-boarded to their device and experience the Villers-Bretennoux Military Cemetery and the Australian National Memorial.
- All visitors are required to bring their own device and headphones to the Centre. Using the SJMC App, your device will act as a virtual tour guide throughout the visit. A limited number of loan devices are available, however access to these devices cannot be guaranteed.
- School groups will be limited to 35 students at a time.
- The Sir John Monash Centre requires school groups to have a teacher to student ratio of 1:20 at all times. Centre staff will be on hand during your visit, however their role is to provide support to all visitors and will not be available as a dedicated tour guide.
- To avoid bottlenecks occurring in the gallery, students will enter the gallery in groups of 20 or less with their accompanying teacher
- There is confronting imagery displayed in many areas within the centre. The immersive gallery is also accompanied by strobe lighting and loud noises. The content displayed aims to meet the Australian Classification category of PG (Parental Guidance), however, it is recommended younger students be accompanied by a supervisor.
Sample Itinerary for a 12:00pm booking at the Centre
(45 mins prior to booking time)
|Arrive at carpark and enter the Orientation Pavilion|
|11:20am||Using the SJMC app as a guide, walk through Villers Bretonneux Military Cemetery and the Australian National Memorial|
|12:00pm (Booking Time)||Enter the Sir John Monash Centre (located down the ramps into the main foyer) and enter the Multi-Purpose Room (opposite the Café) for Induction Video viewing|
|12:10pm||Induction video completed |
Group 1 begins interpretative gallery
Group 2 begins hands-on activity
|12:25pm||Group 1 continues through interactive gallery |
Group 2 begins interpretive gallery
|1:10pm||Group 1 completes interactive gallery experience and begins |
hands-on activity or has a short break
Group 2 continues through interactive gallery
|1:25pm||Group 1 completes hands-on activity or break |
Group 2 completes interactive gallery
School group moves back to carpark to be collected by bus
Procedural Document for Schools
Overview to the Sir John Monash Centre visit
- Arrive at the Orientation Pavilion 45 minutes prior to your booking time.
- Orientation Pavilion will allow students to be on-boarded to their device (5 minutes).
- Use the SJMC app to guide you through the Villers-Bretonneux Military Cemetery and the Australian National Memorial (40 minutes).
- Walk down the entry ramps and enter the Sir John Monash Centre Foyer (at time of booking).
- Enter the Multi-Purpose room (opposite the café) for the Group to watch the induction video (10minutes).
- Students to be divided into two groups of a maximum of 20 students (if necessary).
- Group 1 enters the gallery.
- Group 2 participates in Hands-on History Trolley in the Multi-Purpose Room (approximately 15 minutes).
- Group 2 enters the gallery
- Group 1 completes gallery (60 minutes) and:
- Begins Hands-on History Trolley OR
- Has an opportunity to purchase food from the café and have a small break before departing from the centre.
- Group 2 completes gallery.
- Both group reconvene at a pre-arranged area to exit the centre.
Arrival at Sir John Monash Centre
Cars and buses are required to park in the general carpark located near the Orientation building.
School bags are not permitted in the Centre and should be left in your vehicle.
School groups are advised to arrive at the Orientation Pavilion, located adjacent to the general carpark, 45 minutes prior to their booking time. This will allow the group plenty of time to be on‑boarded with their device to experience a guided visit through the Villers-Bretonneux Military Cemetery and the Australian National Memorial before entering the Sir John Monash Centre.
For the optimal experience, all visitors to the Centre should bring their own handheld smartphone and earbuds or headphones. The Centre has a limited number of devices available for loan, however access to these devices cannot be guaranteed.
Getting ready electronically will take approximately five minutes. Students who haven’t already done so will need to download the SJMC App to their own device using the free Wi-Fi available at the Centre. The SJMC App will act as a ‘virtual tour guide’ for the Villers-Bretonneux Military Cemetery, the Australian National Memorial and the Sir John Monash Centre.
Villers-Bretonneux Military Cemetery and the Australian National Memorial
Villers-Bretonneux Military Cemetery and the Australian National Memorial are guided experiences prior to entering the Sir John Monash Centre. These experiences are not included in your booking time and should be completed before your allocated time of entry at the Sir John Monash Centre.
Once students are connected to the App they will begin their virtual tour starting at the Villers‑Bretonneux Military Cemetery. Students will hear stories about the soldiers buried in the cemetery and commemorated on the Australian National Memorial wall.
Sir John Monash Centre
The Sir John Monash Centre is situated past the Villers-Bretonneux Military Cemetery and behind the Australian National Memorial – please see a layout of the map below for more details.
Groups enter the foyer of the Sir John Monash Centre via the side entry ramps where they will be directed to the Multi-Purpose Room to view a five minute video.
Teachers will divide students into groups of 20 or less. Please note it is important to adhere to the teacher/student ratio of 1:20 at all times.
One group will enter the interactive gallery with their accompanying teacher while the next group remains in the Multi-Purpose Room and participate in a hands-on history activity. Due to the flow of visitors through the interactive gallery it is important for the next group of students to enter the gallery 15 minutes after the first group has entered.
Please be aware there is confronting imagery displayed in many areas within the centre. The immersive gallery is also accompanied by strobe lighting and loud noises. The content displayed aims to meet the Australian Classification category of PG (Parental Guidance), however, it is recommended younger students be accompanied by a supervisor.
Exiting Sir John Monash Centre
We suggest school groups pre-arrange a meeting point for the end of their visit. Your group will then exit the Centre via the rear staircase, where the group can turn back towards the carpark (walking along the mown paths past the interpretive circles) where your bus will be parked.
Pre-Visit Activities for Students
To ensure school groups have the most valuable experience at the Sir John Monash Centre, students and teachers may want to complete a number of activities prior to their visit. These activities can be found on the Sir John Monash Centre website under the ‘Education’ tab in the left hand menu. The main activities are the Education Quiz and the Sir John Monash topic in the booklet developed by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, Australians on the Western Front.
The Education Quiz provides 20 questions, ranging from multiple-choice questions to short responses. The purpose of the quiz is to offer a background to Australia, the First World War and Australia’s involvement in the First World War. The quiz is available online in PDF format which can be printed at home. Quiz answers are also available online in PDF format for teachers.
Sir John Monash Booklet Topic
The Department of Veterans’ Affairs developed a comprehensive educational resource, Australians on the Western Front, which details the contribution Australian soldiers made to the First World War. Within this resource there is a topic dedicated to Sir John Monash which outlines his contribution to the Western Front. All 13 chapters follow a similar structure with a 1-2 page background on the topic of focus, accompanied by several activities for students in Years 4-12. ‘Topic 13 Sir John Monash’ explores his early life, including family and education, his military career, and his successful battles particularly the Battle of Hamel, in which Monash secured his reputation as a skilful and tactful commander. We encourage school groups to access this online resource if they wish to deepen their understanding of Monash and Australia’s involvement on the Western Front prior to visiting the Centre.
There is a 5 minute Induction Video available through the Education tab on the Sir John Monash Centre website. The video complements all educational activities available online and we recommend all school groups view this clip prior to their visit. This is also an opportunity for students to familiarise themselves with the Centre and understand the expected behaviours during their visit.