History. A new travelling exhibition telling the story of Australia’s naval involvement in the Second World War is now in Stanley – the first town outside Hobart to feature the display.
Titled ‘The Turning Tide: Australia’s War at Sea in 1942’, the Maritime Museum of Tasmania display was a success with 4500 people viewing the exhibition over the course of a year.
The display comprises 13 banners – six of which are now housed at the Stanley Visitors Centre before the rest of the story is told at the Stanley Discovery Museum.
President Marion Berry said the local museum jumped at the opportunity to loan the banners until the end of February, with hopes to extend this.
She said ties to the southern museum and other maritime heritage organisations started more than a decade ago. A networking group has since formed, called MHOOT, to see the museums sharing in displays and collaborating regularly.
Following the success of the Hobart exhibition, the display boards were converted so they would be available to MHOOT members as a free travelling exhibition.
The first of the five banners include: They’re Coming South; America to the Rescue; The Tsunami is Halted; The Push Back Starts; and In Peril on the Sea.
At the museum, visitors may view: Lest We Forget; War Comes to Tasmania; Until We Meet Again; Shipbuilding for War; Hydro, Zinc, Gunsights; and Beginning of the End.
This snippet sets the scene: ‘In 1942, Australia was faced with rapid Japanese expansion across south-east Asia and the south-west Pacific. But within a few months, the tide had turned after the Battle of the Coral Sea and other key naval and land engagements. The war also impacted here in Tasmania, from defence against sea and air attack, to local ship building and other industries supporting the war effort.’
Stanley Visitors Centre is open weekdays from 9.30am to 5pm. Stanley Discovery Museum is open 11am to 3pm daily, admission is $3 for adults.