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Army March 15, 2012
Cpl Nick Wiseman
THE $10 million Defence of Darwin
Experience was opened on February
18 to coincide with the 70th anniver-
sary of the bombing of Darwin.
Located at East Point directly in front
of the old Military Museum, it offers
the public an insight into the attacks on
Darwin in 1942 as well as covering the
period from 1932-1945.
Museum director Dr Tom Lewis said
the museum wasn't just about February
"During that time period there were
64 air raids across the NT, Queensland
and WA," Dr Lewis said.
"The museum is about the defence of
northern Australia with a special empha-
sis on that one day in Darwin."
Featuring many static and interac-
tive features, the museum is modern in
design with many touch and sensor-acti-
One interesting feature is the char-
acter cards visitors pick up when first
entering the museum.
Throughout the museum, visitors can
identify their characters on the interac-
tive displays and find out where they
were during the attacks.
At the end of the tour visitors can
find out what happened to their charac-
ters after the war. Some of the characters
are still alive and attended the opening
of the museum.
Another innovative interactive fea-
ture of the museum is the story share,
which allows people to sit down and
record their own stories to share with the
Dr Lewis said the feature was already
a hit with five veterans who visited
together keen to share their experiences.
"We found with the five veterans one
booth just wasn't enough -- we may need
to look into getting more," Dr Lewis
"After recording their stories, if the
museum finds they add value to the col-
lection, contributors could return later to
find themselves in a display."
A highlight of the tour is a short film
featuring original photos taken during
the bombing, which have been animated
to illustrate the attacks on Darwin and
the reactions of the local community.
The modern cinematic viewing room
in the museum uses lights, surround
sound and several animated displays to
help viewers feel like they are witness-
ing the attacks.
Dr Lewis said there was much to
learn and many untold aspects of the
"One particular story was the attack
by four Japanese submarines a month
before the bombings," Dr Lewis said.
"They took on Australian and US
warships, with one submarine being
sunk along with the crew, the other three
fled and then the next month the air car-
riers arrived to try again."
To find out more about the Defence of Darwin
Experience, go to
Darwin's dogged defence
New museum gives insight into World War II bombings on Australian soil
Interactive history: The Defence of Darwin Experience includes a range of displays and information
screens. Inset, character cards allow visitors to follow an individual of the period through their actions in
different times and places.
Photos provided by the Defence of Darwin Experience
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