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The Sir John Monash Centre - A new interpretation centre for 2018

Opening in April 2018, the Sir John Monash Centre will tell 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 will measure 1000 square metres and, partially buried, will have 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 will be invited to follow an inspiring, emotional and educational journey. Leading edge technology and multimedia , supported by objects of significance to Australians, will 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 will be 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 is due to open on the 25 April 2018, the 100th anniversary of the battle for Villers-Bretonneux.

Please visit the Australia's Department for Veterans' Affairs website for more information and updates on progress


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The Sir John Monash Centre - A new interpretation centre for 2018

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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The New Thiepval Museum themed on the battles of the Somme and the Missing was opened on 2nd June 2016 by the French Minister of State for Veterans and Remembrance and the President of the Somme Departmental Council. 

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