News State ACT News Australian War Memorial opens doors to rarely seen items
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Australian War Memorial opens doors to rarely seen items

A Bushmaster protective mobility vehicle damaged during conflict in Afghanistan. Photo: ABC
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Hundreds of speciality military items rarely seen by the public have gone on display at the Australian War Memorial (AWM) in Canberra.

The annual Big Things in Store event has been running for nearly a decade at the memorial’s conservation and restoration facility.

The head of military heraldry and technology at the AWM, Nick Fletcher, said it was an opportunity to meet the public’s natural curiosity.

“I think it’s really good to let the people of Canberra, and those who want to come and visit as well, see some of the items that are in store, possibly long term, that they don’t otherwise get a chance to see,” he said.

A chinook accessible to the public during the Australian War Memorial's Big Things in Store event.
A chinook accessible to the public during the event. Photo: ABC

Mr Fletcher said there were around 700,000 objects in the collection but only about 20,000 objects on display at the memorial itself.

“There’s a very large proportion of everything we own that is not on display at any one time,” he said.

The AWM’s back catalogue contains objects that spanned Australia’s military history from World War I, right through to present conflict in the Middle East.

Mr Fletcher said visitors through the big doors were from all walks of life.

“We’ve had a couple of veterans who’ve come particularly to see an item that they had some involvement with,” he said.

“But then there are a great many kids who are just fascinated by things they’ve not seen before.”

A DC3 plane on display during the Australian War Memorial's Big Things in Store event.
A DC3 plane on display during the Australian War Memorial’s Big Things in Store event. Photo: ABC

-ABC

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