This exhibition records the history of the military and defence industries in Melbournes Western Suburbs.
**If you click on this image you will open a small interactive that looks at one of the display cases in the exhibition. This interactive was made by Joseph Patrolla a year 10 student at Copperfield College. Joseph was on work experience placement at the Living Museum in September 2004 when he made this interactive.**
It is the story of scientific invention, warfare, human interest, work environments and the plethora of information about the Ordnance Factories, the Ammunition Factories, the Explosive Factory. The ammo works.
The exhibition shows the role of the region in the building of the Australian Nation, and the significant reminders of the sacrifices made by ordinary people to the defence of Australia. The exhibition has involved local people in all stages.
It tells the story of Australias Arsenal, in equipping the Australian Defence Forces, and its colonial history. The role of those who worked in the background, supplying the arms, equipment and horses. Oral history interviews of past workers and veterans from all aspects of the war effort, including memories of the remount depot, making cordite at the Explosives Factory, filling the bullets at the ammo factory, weaving the uniform cloth at the Port Phillip Mills and machining the tank parts at the war time factory annexes.
The project will have enduring value in demonstrating the significant heritage of Australias defence industries and identifying regional heritage.
The Living Museum and others are currently working to establish a permanent exhibition about the munitions industry in the Maribyrnong region, ideally on one of the former munitions sites.
Australia's Arsenal was commended 'Best Exhibition/Display' at the Victorian Community History Awards 2002.