Albany (WA) was the gathering point for the first two convoys carrying the Australian Imperial Force and New Zealand Expeditionary Force, before they departed for the war. These troops were later to be known as the Anzacs.
The National Anzac Centre is Australia’s foremost museum dedicated solely to honouring the Anzacs of the First World War. Set within Albany Heritage Park, Western Australia, the Centre offers visitors a deeply personal connection with the Anzac story revealed through interactive multimedia displays, unique artefacts, rare images and film, and audio commentary.
The National Anzac Centre was opened by the Prime Ministers of Australia and New Zealand and the Premier of Western Australia on 1 November 2014: the centenary of the first convoy’s departure for war.
Within the Centre, the key phases and events of the First World War are told through the stories of the Anzacs themselves. Through its unique content developed by the Western Australian Museum with assistance from the Australian War Memorial, the Centre allows visitors to assume the identity of Anzac-related characters, and follow their personal experience of the Great War: from recruitment, through training and embarkation, ship-board life on the convoys, and on to the conflicts at Gallipoli, in the Middle East and on the Western Front, and post-war, for those who returned.
As the stories draw to a close, the names of the more than 41,000 servicemen and women who left Albany in the first and second convoys are displayed: scrolling beneath a Pool of Reflections. The experience concludes with the discovery of each Anzac character’s fate and a Tribute Wall where visitors may document their own feelings and messages to the Anzacs. These appear within the National Anzac Centre, and are then shared with the world via the internet.