Personal Anzac stories, experiences and memories of the First World War will join the state’s most significant war relic when the Queensland Museum’s new Anzac Legacy Gallery opened today.
Arts Minister Leeanne Enoch welcomed back Mephisto, the only remaining German A7V tank in the world, as the centrepiece of the new Anzac Legacy Gallery.
“This gallery is a permanent space to commemorate an important part of Queensland’s history,” Minister Enoch said.
“The iconic tank Mephisto is known to generations of Queenslanders after it was brought back by Australian troops as a war trophy in 1919.
“Anzac Legacy Gallery is a reflective learning space, rich in Queensland stories, spanning high profile events along with others that are little known.
“It’s humbling to hear of the stories that take you beyond the front line and demonstrate how war affected all Queenslanders, from those at home, the aftermath of the war and also the often untold stories of the important contribution of Aboriginal Peoples and Torres Strait Islanders during the First World War.”
Minister Enoch said the Anzac Legacy Gallery was Queensland Museum’s second permanent new space to open in 2018, and followed the success of Sparklab Sciencentre which opened in September.
“Both these spaces, developed with funding from the Queensland Government, demonstrate our commitment to the Queensland Museum and its visitors, to commemorate our past and to put Queensland at the forefront in looking towards the future,” she said.
“Queensland Museum Network attracted 2.43 million visitors in 2017-18, with 2.13 million visitors to its site at the Cultural Centre showing that Queenslanders are responding with passion to Queensland Museum exhibitions and programming.”
Queensland Museum Acting CEO Dr Jim Thompson said the Anzac Legacy Gallery featured two central themes of ‘Queensland at War’ and ‘Queensland Remembers’.
“Combining historical artefacts with cutting-edge multimedia interactives, the Gallery celebrates Queenslanders who contributed to the First World War, on the battlefield and on the home front, and links their stories with Queensland today, from contemporary service stories to innovations in science and technology,” Dr Thompson said.
Other key objects showcased in the gallery include a reproduction of an iconic Queensland-designed Janet Walker mourning suit from the period, the holy vestments worn by the founder of Anzac Day, Canon David John Garland, and the Victoria Cross awarded to war hero Paddy Bugden.
The Queensland Government has contributed $8.4 million towards the development of the gallery project as part of the 2014 – 2018 Anzac Centenary, commemorating 100 years since the First World War.