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The Sir John Monash Centre - A new interpretation centre

Opened in April 2018, the Sir John Monash Centre tells the story of Australia's experience of the Western Front and Belgium during the First World War.


Cox Architecture
Six thousand Australians made their way to the Australian National Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux, for ANZAC Day 2015 in remembrance of the 295,000 Australians who served on the Western Front during the First World War. This date marks an important time for Australian remembrance and commemoration of all Australians who served, fought and died during the Great War and various other conflicts and peace keeping missions. In the Somme we particulary remember those who fought upon our soil and liberated the town of Villers-Bretonneux in 1918, effectively stopping the Germans in their advance towards Amiens and its major communication lines.

To encourage younger generations to remember this important chapter of history, the first stone of the Sir John Monash Australian Interpretation Centre was laid on 18 January 2016 in the presence of Jean-Marc Todeschini, Veterans Affairs Minister, and his Australian counterpart, Stuart Robert.

The centre has been designed by the Cox Architecture firm, based in Sydney. It measures 1000 square metres and, partially buried, has a grassed ‘foreign field’ as its roof. The centre is named after General Sir John Monash, the famous commander of the Australian Corps, who led operations in the Somme in 1918 and triumphed with his tactical innovation.

Modern Technologies to Explain the Past

Inside the centre, visitors are invited to follow an inspiring, emotional and educational journey. Leading edge technology and multimedia , supported by objects of significance to Australians, provide information about the history of Australia, the reasons why the country became involved in the First World War and the battles fought. One of the highlights is provided through photographs and films, with new technologies presenting an innovative and significant view of the past.

A Legacy for Future Generations

The aim of the Sir John Monash Centre is to transmit a lasting international legacy to the generations to come - both from Australia and Europe. This episode, one of the first Australian roles on an international scale, influenced the course of history and deserves to be better understood. The Australian Government is financing the project and has  invested 56 million Euros into this important site, which will be included in the Australian Remembrance Trail. It opened on the 25 April 2018, the 100th anniversary of the battle for Villers-Bretonneux.
Sir John Monash Centre
Route de Villers-Bretonneux
80800 Fouilloy
Tél. 03 60 62 01 40

Please visit the Sir John Monash Centre website for more information


Click here for information about the franco-australian museum of Villers-Bretonneux.

Latest news

The Sir John Monash Centre - A new interpretation centre
From Thursday 8 to Sunday 11 November 2018, everyone was invited to visit one of the 318 military cemeteries of the Somme and to put a flower on a soldier’s grave or a war memorial.
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On Monday 25th April 2016, the 101st anniversary of ANZAC Day was commemorated at the Australian National Memorial at Villers-Bretonneux. Take a look at  some of the photos of this very moving event.

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