Supported by the Veterans Branch, Victorian Government, and administered by Museums Australia (Victoria), the Veterans Heritage Project brings ex-service organisations together with museum professionals in order to help protect, preserve, and increase access to Victoria’s war heritage.
The organisations selected to participate are responsible for diverse collections of military memorabilia that reflect Victoria’s involvement in war and conflict throughout the 20th century. War heritage is, however, not confined to monuments and objects. The stories and knowledge of their members – our veterans – also form a precious link to our past. The Veterans Heritage Project aims to safeguard and recognise these important parts of our history, both tangible and intangible.
In 2016, nine ex-service organisations began training in museological best practice, spanning collection management, exhibitions and the recording of oral histories from within the service community. With a strong focus on digital preservation, the groups were trained to catalogue and publish their collections online using Victorian Collections –a central portal to our state’s cultural heritage.
These efforts to preserve Victoria’s wartime heritage coincide with the centenary of the First World War (1914 – 1918). In commemoration, this website looks back on over one hundred years of service by Victorians and provides an avenue for remembrance beyond the centenary years. Here you will find 100 of the many thousands of items catalogued and made digitally available to the public during the project. These objects and stories represent hundreds of hours of behind the scenes work by their dedicated custodians.
The objects and stories on this website also feature in five exhibitions developed by organisations participating in the Veterans Heritage Project across Victoria. Please note that opening hours and access to these displays may vary.
Dandenong / cranbourne rsl sub-branch
THROUGH OUR EYES:
THREE LOCAL STORIES OF SERVICE
Through the personal effects of three local residents – PTE Andrew Bishop, Airman Stuart Simpson and PTE William J. Curtis – this exhibition offers a glimpse into the wartime experience.
RINGWOOD RSL SUB-BRANCH
THE KOREAN WAR: 1950 - 1953
This exhibition focuses on the history of global engagement on the Korean Peninsula between 1950 and 1953, showcasing a gruelling conflict that witnessed devastation by air, land and sea.
LARA RSL SUB-BRANCH
THE MACS OF LARA DISTRICT
Stories of love and sorrow are told through the wartime experiences of four local residents and their families. The objects on display speak to the inexplicable contradictions of war, revealing its futile brutality and enduring humanity.
WANGARATTA RSL SUB-BRANCH
STAYING THE COURSE: 100 YEARS
This exhibition celebrates 100 years of Wangaratta RSL Sub-branch through showcasing objects relating to the foundation of the club, community connections and engagement, and future plans.
A LEGACY OF SERVICE
The impact of WWI on families throughout Australia gave rise to the creation of Melbourne Legacy in 1923. This exhibition focuses on the organisation’s foundation and mission, history of service, and plans leading into the future.