The interpretive centre is named after General Sir John Monash, the commander who led the Australian Corps with outstanding success on the Western Front in 1918. It was his meticulous planning and command in both offensive and defensive battles that saw Monash knighted in the field in 1918.
The Centre is not a museum in the traditional sense but a multimedia interpretive hub. Its interpretive design focuses on extensive immersive and emotive elements while also using carefully selected materials and significant objects to deliver a compelling visitor experience. The design of the Centre itself showcases Australian materials, craftmanship, culture and technology through detailed finishes and timberwork, unique architectural design and high-quality interactive and multimedia interpretive displays.
Using state-of-the-art technology, stories are available on each visitor’s mobile device via the free SJMC App. The app is a virtual tour guide allowing visitors to experience the site at their own pace in English, French and German. It provides a seamless and deeply personal experience for visitors as they journey through the Villers-Bretonneux Military Cemetery, the Australian National Memorial and into the Sir John Monash Centre itself.
The Centre tells the stories of those who served on the Western Front in ways that engage and inform today’s visitors, interweaving the words, archive footage and images of Australian service personnel with historically accurate recreations.
In 2021, the SJMC will launch a new App, “Digger Quest”, dedicated to children from 6 to 11 years old, also engaging the younger visitor. The App will lead children on a quest through the Centre providing them with a full SJMC experience.