Ghosts of Word War 1
This award winning poignant exhibition paid tribute for the first time to 101 local heroes from Yamba and surrounding districts when they fought as part of a huge Allied Force on the battlefields of WWI. Although many more than the 101 heroes mentioned in this exhibition may have served, including Indigenous people from this area, but records or personal accounts were not available.
However the exhibition documented the heroism of some of the men and women who volunteered for service in the war that was suppose to end all wars. It changed how the world perceived Australia and it also irrevocably changed the local community.
Volunteers from the lower Clarence Valley were among the 164,030 who enlisted from NSW and sadly too many of them were amongst the 61,522 Australians who were killed or the 155,000 who were wounded.
Initially eager for excitement and adventure our 101 heroes went off to war leaving their families behind to cope as best they could. The patriotic fervour in the local community was soon tempered with the realisation that many sons, brothers, husbands and fathers would not be returning. Those who did were physically and mentally scarred but the community welcomed them back enthusiastically and built cenotaphs or other memorials to acknowledge those who served in this tragic war.
It is impossible to see an exhibition like this and not be moved when you come face to face with innocence lost, the appalling conditions they suffered and the ultimate price they paid.
The exhibition ran from 31 March to 13 May, 2012 and included a public program of events that was very well received. The demonstrated success of this exhibition, earned the Museum an IMAGinE Award for audience engagement from Museums and Galleries NSW in 2012.