The Australian War Memorial has launched a new online exhibition, 3D Treasures, featuring three-dimensional digital scans of 25 objects from the National Collection.
The first of its kind for the Memorial, 3D Treasures is an interactive online gallery. Each three-dimensional image is complemented by curated information that presents the history and the story of each object.
Memorial Director Matt Anderson said 3D technology provides an opportunity for audiences to view these rare treasures from every angle, at a level of detail that is almost impossible to achieve in a traditional museum setting.
“It has never been more important for the Memorial to find innovative ways to engage new audiences online. The use of 3D technology gives people the chance to explore objects they normally don’t see in great detail, and understand the stories behind them.
“One of the more remarkable stories in 3D Treasures is the dress of Sister Vivian Bullwinkle, a nurse in the Second World War, who incredibly survived after she was shot during the Banka Island massacre.
“Online visitors can see the detail of the fabric in Vivian Bullwinkle’s dress and the bullet holes from where she was shot. It is a poignant reminder of the horrors of war and the sacrifices so many have given in service to Australia.
“This online exhibition ensures that no matter where you are in Australia, or the world, you have access to the Memorial and its collection,” Mr Anderson said.
Financial support for the online exhibition was provided to the Memorial by its corporate partner Boeing Australia. Dr Brendan Nelson, President of Boeing Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific, said the company is proud to support the exhibition which includes objects with which he has a personal connection.
“For sixteen years, Boeing has been committed to helping the Australian War Memorial explore new ways to tell the many compelling stories of Australia’s wartime experiences,” he said.
“One of the heart-rending objects in this online exhibition is the cowling from the Black Hawk helicopter that crashed in Afghanistan on 21 June 2010. It was used as a makeshift stretcher to carry the bodies of three dead Australian commandos from the wreckage. To be able to examine this object in three-dimensional detail means that their story continues to be told; I know how much this means to the families of Private Benjamin Chuck, Private Timothy Aplin and Private Scott Palmer.”
3D Treasures features collection items dating from the Boer war to contemporary conflicts. Some items, such as the Bullwinkle dress and the Black Hawk cowling, are also on display at the Memorial.
Other items, such as a camera from the First World War, an artificial leg from Changi and a PASGT Helmet worn by Corporal Aaron Ruteledge in East Timor, will be the viewed by the public for the first time.
Another 25 objects will be added to the online exhibition over the coming year. 3D Treasures is online now and can be viewed at www.awm.gov.au/3DTreasures.