The war on our doorstep
Australians in New Guinea 1943-45 11 November 2014 - 8 August 2016

Australian success in Papua between July 1942 and January 1943 checked the Japanese southward advance but the victories at Kokoda, Milne Bay and the Beachheads did not remove the Japanese presence in the Mandated Territory of New Guinea to Papua’s north. From early 1943, Australian troops embarked upon a series of campaigns in the Mandate–at Wau (29 January – 6 February 1943), Salamaua–Lae (April–September 1943), Finisterre Range (September 1943 – April 1944) and Huon Peninsula (September 1943 – March 1944) which eradicated the enemy threat from mainland New Guinea once and for all. These campaigns, the subject of this exhibition, were the largest series of interconnected operations ever undertaken by the Australian military and proved every bit as gruelling and hard fought as the earlier, more celebrated campaigns in Papua. The latter New Guinea campaigns saw Australia’s troops hone the skills and demonstrate the prowess which, by war’s end, had made them the world’s finest jungle fighters.

This temporary exhibition is located in the the Galleries of Remembrance, a $45 million Victorian Government redevelopment that utilises 1,600 square metres of undercroft space that exists beneath the Shrine of Remembrance. Over 800 objects are included in permanent and temporary exhibition spaces which illustrate the experiences of Australians at war and in peacekeeping operations, from Pre-Federation to the present day, with a particular focus on individual and unit stories of Victorian service and sacrifice.

Last admission to the Galleries of Remembrance is 4.30pm.

Free Admission 
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