Search using this query type:

Search only these record types:

Advanced Search (Items only)

Browse Exhibits (26 total)

The Peacemaker


The Peacemaker was a pacifist newspaper that provided an alternative voice betweeen 1939 and 1971, during World War II, the Vietnam War and the years between these conflicts. It supported conscientious objectors to military service and to conscription in both war and peacetime.

Judge Christopher Weeramantry: His Influence and Legacy

Christopher Weeramantry was a Sri Lankan lawyer who served as a judge on the International Court of Justice (ICJ) from 1991-2000. When the ICJ considered the legality of nuclear weapons, he issued a dissenting opinion that use of nuclear weapons under any circumstances would be illegal. In the event the ICJ declined to rule out nuclear weapons under all circumstance but did insist that “there exists an obligation to pursue in good faith…negotiations leading to the nuclear disarmament”. Judge Weeramantry was a distinguished academic as a professor of law at Monash University, and wrote a series of authoritative books on international law, human rights, and environmental law.

Weeramantry was a gentle man, possessing extraordinary vision and a towering intellect. He had a capacity to extend the boundaries of international law, and motivate lawyers and educators around the world to accept changes in legal practice.  His unwavering commitment to persuading the people of the Western world to recognize the oneness of humanity earned him many awards and honours. He was made an Honorary Member of the Order of Australia in 2003, awarded the UNESCO Peace Prize in 2006 and the Sri Lankabhimanya, the highest National Honour of Sri Lanka in 2007. He died in Melbourne in 2017 at the age of 90.

Australian Conscientious Non-compliers during the Vietnam War

During the Vietnam War Years from 1965 to 1972 there were eligible young men for military call-up whose conscientious beliefs did not permit them to comply with the 1964 National Service Act (NSA) for military conscription. This gallery is devoted to a better understanding of these conscientious non-compliers or draft resisters. Specifically, it identifies some of them and presents the reasons for their non-compliance.

The Australian Peace Movement 1914-18

We ought to begin this text with seven snapshots illustrating peace activism by individuals and groups during the first Word War; secondly, we will offer an overview of the organisations involved in the 1914-18 period; thirdly, we will comment on the outstanding success: the defeat of the conscription referenda; and finally, this exhibition will conclude with a note on the relevance of all this for our peace work today.

Deadly Legacies: Gallipoli, WWI and the Continuing Belief in Military Security

In 2015, Australia commemorated the 100 year anniversary of the Gallipoli campaign, an ill-conceived and tragic episode of the First World War, a war which itself should never have happened and which could have been avoided through persistent diplomacy and a sane approach to resolving the differences between the European powers of the time. As a development that was to send frightening consequences rippling all the way down history to the current day, WWI stands – in our point of view- as a prime example of the folly of warfare and its implications for the way we live our lives today.

Project Albany and The Centenary of the Great War

Project Albany was funded by the Anzac Centenary Board to digitise the repatriation records of the First World War. The project revealed the stories of soldiers returning from war and their families, many of which did not fit the over-arching narrative of Anzac. This exhibition deals with the sanitisation of war, and how the availability of archives and their findings are high politicised as well as exploring some of the stories to come out of the digitisation project.

Australia at Federation in 1901

1915 is often identified as the year when the ‘birth of Australia as a nation’ happened, the birth of the nation through death, blood and sacrifice. We need to consider that the nation wasn’t, in fact, born in 1915 through blood, guts and sacrifice. It was actually formed in 1901 by Federation and this exhibition, will allow us to develop these idea.

Jim Cairns


James Ford (Jim) Cairns was the chief exponent of the case against Australia’s intervention in the Vietnam War and the human face of the protest movement that mobilised in the second half of the 1960s to oppose that involvement.

Doris Blackburn


Doris Blackburn was a life-long worker for peace and social justice from 1915.  She was the second woman elected to the House of Representatives, was part of the Sisterhood for International Peace (known as the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom from 1919), through the International Peace Campaign of the 1930s, was actively opposed to weapons testing in the Woomera Rocket Range in the 1940s and participated in campaigns against atomic testing in the 1950s and 1960s.

Australian Conscientious Objectors to War

#2 A Certificate of Reistration.jpg

There have always been persons whose conscientious beliefs did not permit them to participate in war. The gallery is devoted to a better understanding of conscientious objectors in Australia. Specifically to identify them and describe their personal experience in applying for registration as a conscientious objector under the National Service Act.