The Australian War Memorial has opened new Second World War galleries, featuring new exhibits and important relics. Lauren Cameron reports

If you’ve exhausted all avenues in Canberra – that is, you’ve bought some quality fireworks, you’ve explored Questacon and you’ve hand-made your own coin at the Royal Australian Mint – hold up, because Canberra has something new to offer visitors.

The Australian War Memorial is now displaying a whole new collection of never-before-seen objects, as well as remodeled items, recovered from the World War Two era.

This exhibition reveals more of the home-front experience of Australians during the war, including a beautifully restored civilian Studebaker sedan with its producer gas unit (the alternative fuel of the WWII fuel shortage) and an Anderson shelter, which was designed to protect families in their backyards.

Director Steve Gower says, “The revitalised galleries are going to improve our visitors’ experiences. It was also important to draw more attention to the experiences of families in Australia during the war, which the new items on display enable us to do.”

New items being exhibited include a rare Australian armoured vehicle, the Dingo scout car; a captured German Flak 38 anti-aircraft gun still in its original desert camouflage; and a unique Chevrolet lorry and Breda anti-aircraft gun combination used by Australians during the siege of Tobruk. Items from the Kokoda operation are also on display.

Details //
Second World War Galleries
Where //
Australian War Memorial, Treloar Crescent, Campbell ACT
When //
From September 6, 2010
Contact //
(02) 6243 4211; www.awm.gov.au