Deakin helps to deliver high-tech Warrnambool War Memorial

Media release
03 December 2018

Deakin staff and students have helped to deliver a new, digitally-focused memorial commemorating the wartime contributions of more than 8000 men and women from the Warrnambool district.

The Warrnambool War Memorial is set to be unveiled this Tuesday 4 December, in a ceremony with the Royal Australian Navy's Senior Naval Officer Victoria Commodore Greg Yorke CSC RANR, featuring a flyover of Australian WWII-era aircraft.

The community project was delivered in cooperation with Deakin University and the local Returned and Services League (RSL), as well as Warrnambool City Council and Moyne Shire Council.

Deakin invested more than $190,000 to provide an interactive touchscreen, digitised service records and video projections for the project. It was supported by the research of Deakin student intern Tina Horsfall, who earlier this year was awarded the John Laffin Prize from the Families and Friends of the First Australian Imperial Force for her work studying returned WWI soldiers.

Deakin Warrnambool Campus Director Alistair McCosh said the memorial project had strengthened ties between the University and the Warrnambool community.

"The Deakin team has built a great relationship with the war memorial project team, and we're hoping our digital expertise will enable the Warrnambool War Memorial to have that digital 'wow' factor," Mr McCosh said.

"Showcases of the digital elements of the memorial have so far been met with excitement and have certainly exceeded the expectations of the RSL and Council members, and we can't wait to share the final results with the local community."

Mr McCosh said carefully researched service records of Warrnambool and Moyne service personnel will be featured through the memorial's interactive touchscreen application, providing visitors with access to rich information about veterans and the conflicts in which they served.

"The Warrnambool RSL and a team of researchers have curated a wide range of photographs and film footage for visitors to interact with," he said.

"This will provide a great educational resource, particularly for the students who are expected to be among the many visitors to the memorial."

Project Coordinator and RSL committee member Duncan Stalker OAM thanked Deakin and the significant number of donors for their support.

"For the Warrnambool and Moyne communities, the new memorial is expected to become a major tourist attraction and educational resource due to its one-of-a-kind architectural design, the dusk film show and the interactive elements," Mr Stalker said.

"Most importantly, the memorial will serve as a special place of remembrance and reflection, where we can commemorate those from the Warrnambool community who served Australia in defence of our freedom."

Warrnambool City Council supported the project with planning and permits, landscaping, financial management and assistance with graphic design and printing. Moyne Shire Council also contributed $20,000 to the project.

Warrnambool Mayor Tony Herbert said the memorial was a wonderful tribute to the local people who served in Australia's defence forces.

"The way in which the memorial honours and remembers our service personnel is extremely innovative," Cr Herbert said.

"This is a memorial for the 21st century – interactive, accessible and it helps us feel better connected to those who answered a call to serve our nation.

"Congratulations to all those involved with the project, in particular the RSL committee, Deakin University and the skilled tradespeople and technicians who have made the memorial a reality."

What: Warrnambool War Memorial official unveiling ceremony.
When: 1.30pm Tuesday 4 December 2018.
Where: Artillery Cres, near cnr of Merri St and Liebig St, adjacent Warrnambool RSL, Warrnambool, VIC.

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