December at the Shrine

A year in reflection

A message from CEO, Dean Lee

As the year draws to a close it is humbling to reflect on the enormous commitment demonstrated by Victorians to honouring service and sacrifice, past and present.

The Remembrance Day service this year attracted 10,000 people, a record for the modern era. Most pleasing is that this show of support for commemoration is not isolated. An estimated 1.2 million people visited and engaged in commemoration with us over the course of the year demonstrating the depth of community respect for those who have served and played such a pivotal role in shaping the freedoms we all enjoy today.

At the end of this well-supported Centenary of Anzac period, and in the context of the historic centenary of Armistice, it is also heartening to observe such strong community support for current-day service. The Shrine is proud to support public understanding of issues surround recent service as part of its programming, most notably via a series of exhibitions, programs and podcasts. By being engaged we show our respect for those who have given so much so that we all may live in relative peace and safety.

Over the summer period I encourage you stay connected to your Shrine. The recently installed Flowers of war sculptural wreath is a poignant reminder of the many ways people reflect and remember. The work of art will also provide the focus for a school holiday program in late January, giving it appeal for the whole family.

At this time of the year, as our thoughts turn to peace, family and friends I thank you again for your support and wish you a safe and happy holiday season.

Dean M Lee
Chief Executive Officer


All are welcome to attend the following commemorative services.


Armed Merchant Cruisers & Landing Ship Infantry Association 

Saturday 8 December, 11am
Wreath Laying in the Sanctuary

The Association represents the veterans, descendants and serving members of HMA Ships Westralia, Kanimbla, Manoora and Assault. An annual service is held on the Saturday prior to 15 December, which marks the first major landing operation by an Australian Landing Ship Infantry (HMAS Westralia) during the Second World War in 1943.

Full list of Services

American Ex-Servicemen’s Association

Saturday 8 December, midday
Wreath Laying in the Sanctuary

On 7 December 1941, Japan entered the Second World War by attacking the allied forces in the Pacific, of which the most infamous and deadly being a powerful air strike on Pearl Harbour, Hawaii. Their aim was to destroy the USA’s Pacific Fleet and thus their ability to influence the War in the Pacific region.

Full list of Services

Shrine Monthly Memorial Service

Thursday 13 December, 11.30am
Wreath Laying in the Sanctuary

This month we commemorate the following period:
December 1915 – Evacuation from Gallipoli.
In October 1915 the British Government began to consider the need for evacuation. Anzac Cove and Suvla Bay were finally relinquished on 19 December, with Cape Helles following suit on 9 January 1916. The subsequent evacuations of these positions were a planning triumph.

Full list of Services

Friends of Gallipoli

Thursday 20 December, midday
Wreath Laying in the Sanctuary

This service is being held to commemorate the beginning of peace at Gallipoli when the guns fell silent at the ANZAC sector in the early hours of the 20th of December, 1915.

Full list of Services

Stay Connected

The Summer/Autumn What’s On program will be released in January. Here are ways to stay connected over the holidays.

Shrine Kids

Free family activity
Available daily

Unlock the Shrine’s secrets this summer. Borrowing a Shrine Kids kit bag from the Visitor Centre desk is all you need to discover a world of story-telling that honours service and sacrifice across Australia’s military history. Armed with a collectible activity card, magnifying glass, kaleidoscope and other handy explorer tools, your visit to the Shrine is whatever you make it, and one that the whole family can enjoy. Suitable for families with young children.

More information

Holiday Program 

Monday 14—Friday 18 January
Monday 21—Friday 25 February

Let’s explore the gardens and courtyards together. Learn about the various plants and flowers in the gardens and consider the different ways they have been used as symbols of remembrance. Throughout the First World War and in the years since, brooches, medals, pins and badges have been worn to remember loved ones. In the hands-on session following the tour, you will be able to make a floral symbol or brooch. Suitable for primary school-aged children.

Book now

Remembrance Magazine

Armistice edition

This latest edition features Revelry and relief by Dr Bart Ziino, which describes the utter jubilation on the home front that brought whole cities to a standstill as news of the Armistice of the First World War spread. Flowers of war by Toby Miller offers insight into the creation of the centenary wreath that features in our latest exhibition of the same name.

Download a copy

Shrine Podcast

Take some time out for yourself across summer to put your feet up and enjoy one of the many Shrine podcasts. A selection of fascinating programs from the past year recount final battles of the First World War (Australians and Villers-Bretonneux, The Last Fifty Miles and Seizing Damascus, 1918), Australia’s reaction to the signing of the Armistice (Armistice in Australia, 1918). Further stories of courage in the face of adversity speak to the triumph of the human spirit (Courage in the Skies and From Rwanda to Afghanistan) and a more contemporary insight into Australia’s military history is also offered (Recent Conflicts gallery launch).

Listen now


Entry to exhibitions is by donation. All proceeds support our education programs.

Flowers of war

Until October 2019
East Gallery

The appearance of cornflowers and poppies on battlefields at the end of the First World War symbolised for many the fragility of life and the hope of rebirth. This large sculptural steel wreath draws on stories of the First World War from local community archives and museums and considers the many ways people reflect upon the past.

More information   


Limited time only
Hall of Columns

Contemporary drawings of Craig Barrett are showcased in an exhibition inspired by the works of Siegfried Sassoon and Wilfred Owen; British soldier/poets renowned for their evocative and insightful war poetry reflecting their experiences on the Western Front during the First World War. Everyman makes a poignant return in the centenary of the Armistice period.

More information

Schools Poster Competition 2018

Until 31 January 2019
Visitor Centre

Admire the works of art by budding young artists of tomorrow—finalists of the 2018 Remembrance Day Poster Competition for primary school aged children. The finalists were selected from an impressive field of entries, awarded for their strong interpretation of the theme Helping and Healing.

More information


Until 4 August 2019
South Gallery

Many Australian service men and women gave aid to the resistance, other Australians owed their freedom and their lives to it. Uncover the stories of those who through accident or design found themselves battling the enemy using unconventional means.

More information

From the Shop

We ship worldwide. All proceeds support our education programs.

Armistice Centenary Bear


A limited edition item—only 10,000 released—to mark the centenary of the end of The Great War. The Armistice Centenary Bear represents all diggers who served and is an adorable keepsake that can be passed onto future generations.

Visit the Shop

Children’s Books

From $10.99

A selection of carefully curated books to suit young primary and middle school readers makes for a gentle introduction to the impact of war, and the themes of peace, remembrance and commemoration. Beautifully illustrated works sensitively bring stories to life and ensure that remembrance endures for the next generation.

Visit the Shop

Shrine Tour Gift Vouchers

From $64.00

Give the gift of experience this holiday season bundled with an evocative tour of the Shrine.

Tour and a Tiffin includes gourmet treats which can be enjoyed at the renowned Jardin Tan restaurant, or picnic style within the beautiful Royal Botanic Gardens.
Precinct Pass includes a Garden Explorer ride in the Royal Botanic Gardens and Devonshire tea at The Terrace Cafe.

Visit the Shop


Certificate of Service

Available on-site only

When you visit the Roll of Honour interactive in the Galleries, lay a poppy in tribute beside the name of a loved one and have a special Certificate of Service printed to honour and preserve their memory. Certificates honouring those who served in the Second World War, Korean War and the Vietnam War are available for collection from the Shop in the Visitor Centre at the end of your visit.

More information 





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Posted by Brian Hartigan

Managing Editor Contact Publishing Pty Ltd PO Box 3091 Minnamurra NSW 2533 AUSTRALIA

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