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Queensland’s role in WWI brought to life

1st October 2018

One hundred years on from the end of World War 1, an interactive, digital exhibition at QUT’s The Cube is set to bring the past to the present, in the lead up to this year’s Remembrance Day.

The Invincible Spirit of Queenslanders – Portrayed through their built environment exhibition will honour the Queenslanders who served, and their families, by uniting their personal stories with the history of key local landmarks.

Dr Miljenka Perovic, who curated the images with colleague Dr Vaughan Coffey, said the team wanted to acknowledge the sacrifices made by members of the Australian Imperial Force, as they journeyed to the front line, and back home.

“This exhibition will allow visitors to step into the shoes of those men and women, if only for a short time, to understand their experiences, from recruitment to repatriation,” Dr Perovic said.

“Their stories, including the conditions under which they trained and fought, will be told using images from the Australian War Memorial, with some of these animated using the latest technology.

“This will be a unique emotional experience for all who see it, both young and old,” she said.

Dr Vaughan Coffey said visitors would also learn about the WWI built environment, both in Australia and overseas.

“This includes the environment that our engineers built on the battlefields, buildings that were adapted for new purposes, such as hospitals, and infrastructure that helped Australians to recover after the war ended,” Dr Coffey said.

“In Brisbane, there is awareness of sites such as Anzac Square and the Gallipoli Barracks at Enoggera, but, through this exhibition, we believe there is an opportunity to learn even more about our history, including the fundraising campaign that was undertaken to build a series of Anzac Cottages; Shafston House, which was used as a hostel and hospital when the war ended; and the suburb of Chermside, which was home to a major army camp,” he said.

Queensland’s stories have been brought to life with the assistance of civil engineer and military historian, Rolfe Hartley, while the sound and animated visual content for the exhibition has been created and directed by Georgie Pinn. Assistance has also been provided by QUT PhD student Khedher Almathami.

The Invincible Spirit of Queenslanders – Portrayed through their built environment will be on display at The Cube – one of the world's largest digital interactive learning and display spaces – from 2 to 11 November 2018 from 10am to 4pm.

A curated display by Dr Katie McConnel will also be exhibited from 11 October 2018 to 11 January 2019 at Old Government House, to commemorate the young Queenslanders who lived and studied in the building during the war.

The Invincible Spirit of Queenslanders project has been supported by the Queensland Government’s Anzac Centenary Lasting Legacies grants program, the Australian War Memorial, the National Trust of Australia Queensland, and Australia ICOMOS.

Media contact: 
Rebecca Nardi, QUT Media, 3138 9449 or
After hours, Rose Trapnell, QUT Media team leader, 0407 585 901,