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Bookings for Sir John Monash Centre now open
With its opening on Anzac Day
only a few months away, visitors
can now make a booking at www.
sjmc.gov.au to be among the first
to experience the Sir John Monash
Centre at the Australian National
Memorial near Villers-Bretonneux
Set to become the central hub
of the Australian Remembrance
Trail along the Western Front, the
state-of-the-art centre will estab-
lish a lasting international legacy
of Australia’s Anzac Centenary
It joins six other interpretive cen-
tres along the Western Front and
provides a uniquely Australian per-
spective of the Great War.
The emotional experience begins
from the moment visitors arrive at
the site, locating them within the
original geometry envisaged by
architect Edward Lutyens when he
planned the Australian National
The Centre, designed by Cox
Architecture, consists of a series of
galleries that emphasise high-tech
multimedia, as well as traditional
The galleries have been designed
to engage both Australian and
international audiences in the expe-
riences of Australians on the First
World War battlefields of the West-
ern Front, told in their own voices
through letters, diaries, life-sized
images, soundscapes, video footage,
animation, maps and music.
At the Centre’s heart, a 360-degree
theatre will immerse visitors in the
battles of Villers-Bretonneux and
Le Hamel as recalled by Australian
A free app, that will be available
for download to visitors’ smart-
phones in early 2018, will act as a
‘virtual tour guide’ throughout
the Centre and across the Villers-
Bretonneux Military Cemetery and
the Australian National Memo-
rial, using free wifi which has been
installed across the site.
Entry to the Centre is free and
school groups are welcome. Book-
ings are essential for larger groups
and strongly recommended for
individuals and smaller parties, par-
ticularly during holiday periods and
around commemorative events.
With up to 8,000 people expected to
attend the 2018 Anzac Day commem-
orative service in France, demand for
visits during that period will be high.
To support increased access
over this commemorative
period, the Centre will be open
to the public in the week pre-
ceding Anzac Day. However, it
will not be open to the public
on 24 April, when the official
opening is taking place. The
Centre will permanently open
at 12pm on Anzac Day.
Minister for Veterans’ Affairs
Dan Tehan has encouraged Aus-
tralians travelling to Europe to
include a visit to the Centre in
‘Despite Gallipoli’s special place
in our memory, Australia’s great-
est achievements and greatest
losses in the First World War were
on the Western Front between
1916 and 1918,’ Mr Tehan said.
‘The Sir John Monash Centre
tells the story of the more than
295,000 Australians who served
here and the more than 46,000
who never returned home.’
Practical information such as
opening hours, how to get to the
centre, and what to expect from
your visit is available on the cen-
DVA grants process
goes digital in 2018
From early 2018, administration of most DVA grants
will be undertaken online via the Australian Govern-
ment’s Community Grants Hub website at www.
The government is streamlining grant adminis-
tration across agencies, standardising how grants
are designed, established and managed. As a result,
DVA grant applicants will experience a simple, effi-
cient and intuitive online process to apply for and
manage their grants, with the ability to monitor the
progress of applications from start to finish.
Applications for selected grants will open progres-
sively from February 2018. These include: the Veteran
and Community Grants; Saluting Their Service Com-
munity Commemorative Grants; Saluting Their Service
Major Commemorative Grants; Building Excellence
in Support and Training Grants; and Grants in Aid.
The Supporting Younger Veterans Grants will
open on the Hub in July 2018.
It is important to note that the Hub will be respon-
sible for the administration of grants only. DVA still
owns the policy relating to our grant programs and
the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs will still approve
successful DVA grants.
DVA will continue to operate as a standalone
department. Moving grants administration to the
Hub will reduce duplication of effort and resources
across government so agencies can focus on their
DVA staff with grants expertise will be part of the
Hub team, which will ensure that the veteran and
defence community will continue to receive the
same high level of customer service.
For more information on the Community Grants
Hub and timings for DVA grant application open-
ings, visit www.communitygrants.gov.au. You can
also subscribe for updates about when DVA grant
applications are opening and to find out more about
grants available through other Australian Govern-
If you need support in using or submitting your
grant application on the Hub, please call 1800 020
283 or TTY 1800 555 677.
Transferrable Defence skills key
to post-transition career success
Advocate for veterans’ employment Phillip Thompson was named 2018 Young Queenslander of the Year.
The 2018 Young Queenslander of the
Year, Phillip Thompson, wants the
nation’s employers to know that
veterans have proven loyalty and
commitment, a high moral code,
a strong work ethic and a desire to
secure meaningful employment.
As a veteran himself, Mr Thomp-
son, 29, is passionate about this
‘It doesn’t matter what you’ve
done in Defence, our skills are
transferrable to any organisation,’
the young advocate for veterans’
employment, health and wellbeing
‘It’s about having an ability to
learn quickly under pressure and it’s
about having high standards.’
Mr Thompson, who now serves
on national and government boards
on mental health, self-harm and
suicide, enlisted in the Army at 17.
He was deployed to East Timor and
to Afghanistan, and it was while he
was on a patrol there in 2009 that he
was wounded when an improvised
explosive device detonated close by.
The incident left him with medi-
cal conditions that have changed
his life dramatically but have
inspired his work as an advocate for
Mr Thompson’s employer, Debra
Burden from Selectability, a com-
munity organisation that provides
mental health services in Towns-
ville, says his Defence experience
makes him a big asset to the team.
‘Phillip looks at challenges with a
different view, can identify risks and
opportunities and find better solu-
tions,’ she says.
‘He is calm under pressure and is will-
ing to take on any task.’
Mrs Burden believes ex-Australian
Defence Force (ADF) members have an
ingrained sense of respect, discipline
and teamwork, and she will be look-
ing to hire more veterans because ‘they
operate on the basis that implementing
strategy is everything’.
Selectability is one of a number of
high-profile Australian businesses
working to position themselves as an
employer of choice for those who have
built a career in the ADF.
Now these businesses are being
recognised through the Prime Minis-
ter’s Veterans’ Employment Awards,
established to showcase some of the
innovative ways businesses are attract-
ing, recruiting and retaining staff who
have previously served.
The awards recognise and celebrate
Australian businesses that support and
employ veterans and ADF spouses, as
well as veterans who are making a sig-
nificant contribution to their workplace.
Nominations for the 2018 awards close
on 22 December, with the winners to be
announced in March 2018.
The awards are part of the Prime
Minister’s Veterans’ Employment Pro-
gram, which was launched last year to
help recognise the extensive talents of
our veterans and to encourage the pri-
vate sector to take advantage of that
Around 5,200 highly trained men and
women leave the ADF and transition
into civilian life each year.
To learn more about the Awards, see
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