The Spirit of Anzac Centenary Experience is a travelling exhibition which tells the story of Australia’s involvement in the First World War and the ensuing Century of Service of Australia’s armed forces.
The Experience covers an area the size of three basketball courts and includes more than 200 artefacts normally housed at the Australian War Memorial – from poignant and personal diaries to large objects such as artillery, battlefield representations, and even a tank.
There are photographs, videos and interactive experiences designed to give visitors a greater understanding of Australia’s involvement in the First World War. Australians who have served their country in other wars and on vital peacekeeping operations are also recognised in the Spirit of Anzac Centenary Experience.
The Experience is the flagship community event of the Anzac Centenary national programme and from September 2015 until April 2017, it will visit 23 towns and cities across the country. The Experience begins in Albury-Wodonga and will conclude in Sydney.
Transporting and setting up the exhibition in each venue is a significant operation. 10 B-double semi-trailers will carry the exhibition from place to place and dozens of volunteers will be at each site to support the touring crew. Coates Hire will be supplying some of the temporary infrastructure requirements to help support and power up the event as it tours around the country.
Michael Byrne, Coates Hire CEO, says the company is privileged to be part of an experience that showcases our history and provides communities the chance to connect with the stories of the Anzacs who served our country 100 years ago.
“Coates Hire has a strong connection with the Anzacs, their story and the history of our nation’s involvement in the First World War,” says Michael.
“We are heavily involved in communities around Australia and believe this commemoration of the Anzac Centenary, alongside the education of our nation’s involvement in the First World War, is important to reflect on and recognise. It allows communities to share their stories and engage with a significant component of our nation’s past.”
The interactive exhibit aims to give Australians the opportunity to honour the service and sacrifice of all the sailors, soldiers, airmen and nurses who served. Former deputy prime minister and Vietnam veteran, Tim Fischer, is Envoy for the Experience, which is presented by the Australian Government, the Australian War Memorial and the Department of Defence, and proudly supported by the Commonwealth Bank and Telstra.
The scale and complexity of the Spirit of Anzac Centenary Experience is not without challenges. Coates Hire is donating approximately $200,000 worth of equipment and services, including portables, materials handling, scaffolding, power distribution and lighting, general tools and equipment and traffic management products.
“[The] Spirit of Anzac Centenary Experience will be one of the largest touring exhibitions Australia has seen,” says Michael.
“The scale, logistics and planning involved in the set-up will be challenging. Ensuring total fleet requirements are met at each site will see Coates Hire manage fleet deployment challenges alongside the challenges of changes in location, weather and project requirements as the event moves from location to location.”
“We will be working closely with the Spirit of Anzac Centenary Experience project team to ensure infrastructure requirements are planned, efficient and ensure optimum safety for event attendees. Communication will be the biggest factor in this project. Delivering the project requirements is the easiest part – maintaining communication between all stakeholders is the key.”
Michael says he hopes many Australians visit the Spirit of Anzac Centenary Experience, whether in Ballarat, Adelaide, Mackay, Port Augusta, Kalgoorlie or the eighteen other locations around Australia.
“I hope the general public will take away a better understanding of our history and the part it has played in how we live today as a community,” says Michael.
“Coates Hire is involved to help all of us gain a better understanding of our past.”