The Victorian Government is helping stage a series of virtual exhibitions, augmented reality experiences and a special online ceremony so that Victorians can mark the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II from home.
On 15 August, it will be 75 years since Japan surrendered and brought about the end of WWII for Australians – marking what’s now known as Victory in the Pacific Day (VP Day).
Victorians – including those living in areas subject to Stage 3 restrictions – are encouraged to commemorate the day and pay tribute to the service of WWII veterans at home and abroad, from the comfort of their own homes.
An online ceremony will be hosted by RSL Victoria and the Shrine of Remembrance on their Facebook pages from 11.20am on VP Day, while that weekend, Victorians can also take part in an interactive digital exhibition WWII at Home: Response, Reflection & Rejuvenation.
Curated by the National Trust of Australia in conjunction with Open House Melbourne and the Centre for Architecture Victoria, the exhibition will profile 18 of Victoria’s most significant WWII sites, highlight veterans’ stories and the impact of the war on the home front.
Some of Melbourne’s iconic buildings and institutions, as well as local and regional community organisations and museums, will also take part in the anniversary by holding online exhibitions, such as:
- The Shrine of Remembrance’s Imagining Centaur: 31 July 2020 – April 2022
- The Old Treasury Building’s Women Working for Victory: 12 August – 27 June 2021
- Museums Victoria’s RAAF in the Royal Exhibition Building: 15 August – 30 December 2020
Among the many local and regional projects across the state are Through Childhood Eyes, which will tell forgotten stories of young people during the war and an interview series with veterans now living in Torquay.
To mark the day, Victorians are encouraged to write a letter to a veteran, share their message for veterans on social media using #victoriaremembers or #VPDay75, or download bunting to place in their window, fence or door.
For bunting, tips and information on exhibitions, visit: vic.gov.au/world-war-2-7th-anniversary.
As noted by Minister for Veterans Shaun Leane
“Seventy-five years ago on this day, there was dancing in the streets and mass celebrations in Melbourne to mark the end of WWII. Sadly, the 75th anniversary will look very different.”
“While we’re honouring this moment differently to how we’d planned, there are still many ways we can connect with and thank our veterans while staying at home, ensuring we slow the spread of coronavirus and keep each other safe.”