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Online exhibition showcases NSW’s participation in WWII

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In line with decisions made by the National Cabinet, the Art Gallery of New South Wales has been closed to the public until further notice to help protect the health of all visitors and staff and minimise the spread of COVID-19 in the state.

As with many such institutions across the world– museums, galleries, exhibitions –  the Art Gallery has moved online in an effort to allow people to continue to enjoy the art. Moreover, people from across the globe can now have access to these displays.

The exhibition entitled 1945: From Hot War to Cold War will fascinate and educate everyone, opined Acting Minister for Veterans Geoff Lee.

While people look forward to being able to visit the exhibition in person, current restrictions on public gatherings remain. In lieu, therefore, it is a fantastic privilege to have the exhibition online.

He felt that the display gave the current generation an opportunity to reflect on the significance of the Second World War and remember the sacrifices made in all aspects of life.

“This exhibition does an incredible job of taking us back in time and helping us understand what the Second World War meant for Australians at war, on the front line and back at home.”
Geoff Lee, Acting Minister for Veterans

The Anzac Memorial holds a historical collection of 6,000 objects that tell the personal stories of servicemen, women and their families.

Among the many images and artefacts on display is a photo of NSW Governor, Margaret Beazley’s mother Lorna, celebrating the announcement of Japan’s surrender in August 1945.

The picture was taken in a group by Gordon Short, the official war photographer for the Department of Information.

Also on display is a cricket bat used in one of the “Victory Tests”. The bat was donated to the Anzac Memorial by the Air Force Association.

There were five unofficial test matches played in 1945 in England, between a British national team and an Australian team of veterans.

The 1945: From Hot War to Cold War exhibition will be on display in the Assembly Hall of the Anzac Memorial and online for a year.

‘1945: From Hot War to Cold War’ remembers the last year of the Second World War, 75 years on. Using the three principal victory celebrations VE Day, VP Day and VJ Day we examine the experience of Australians in the final phases of the war in Europe, in the campaigns in New Guinea and Borneo, Australia’s role in post-war Asia and the recovery and return to civilian life of Australian service personnel and the domestic wartime economy.
Brad Manera, Senior Curator and Historian, Anzac Memorial

Other countries have also launched some such initiatives.

At the beginning of the year, the heritage of Canterbury was captured in a new digital repository in New Zealand. It contains rare images and previously unpublished community and personal records that are now publicly accessible.

The Smart Government Innovation Lab in Hong Kong has come through with a new solution, developed by one of its incubated tech firms.

Most recently OpenGov reported about the National Library Board of Singapore expanding its digital offering during its circuit breaker period.


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