On 1 November 1914, the first convoy of Australian and New Zealand troops departed for the First World War from King George Sound, Albany. For many, Albany was their last sight of Australian soil. Today Albany is known as the birthplace of the Anzac story and the home of the National Anzac Centre.
In late 1914 over 41,000 Australians and New Zealanders left Albany, bound for the Great War. This is their story.
These simple yet evocative words inform the content of the National Anzac Centre, a state-of-the-art interpretive museum overlooking King George Sound. Walk with the ANZACs and experience the Great War through their personal stories. Follow them from Albany in 1914, to the Middle East, to Gallipoli and across the Western Front, and, for too few, home to Australia and New Zealand. The National Anzac Centre uses multimedia and interactive technology to create a deeply personal connection with the past, as well as pay tribute to those who served.
Set within Albany Heritage Park, the National Anzac Centre offers visitors a deeply personal connection with the Anzac experience. Within the National Anzac Centre, the key phases and events of the First World War are told through the stories of the ANZACs themselves. With unique content developed by the Western Australian Museum and Australian War pass
Memorial, visitors assume the identity of one of 32 characters, and follow their personal experience of the Great War: from recruitment, through training and embarkation, ship-board life on the convoys, on to the conflicts at Gallipoli, the Middle East and the Western Front, and post-war… for those who returned. These personal stories unfold through interactive, multimedia displays, poignant artefacts, rare images and film, and audio commentary.
As the story of conflicts within the National Anzac Centre draws to a close, the names of the 41,265 service men and women who left Albany in the first and second convoys are revealed: scrolling beneath a Pool of Reflections. The experience concludes with the discovery of each 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.
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 Australian and New Zealand convoy’s departure to war from Albany’s King George Sound.