The Assembly Hall

Located opposite the entry Vestibule on the eastern side of the Memorial, the Assembly Hall was originally a large open space used as a place where returned servicemen and servicewomen could gather socially, as well as for meetings and forums held by the building’s various occupants. The original plans for the room proposed a raised dais on the southern end, with a protruding stage and steps, but this was never built.

The design of the Assembly Hall is more ornate than the general office spaces. The Art Deco detailing extends to the fittings and fixtures in the room. Building details, such as the marble door architraves, the large cornices, the coffered ceiling and the star-shaped lights, match those in the Vestibule. The Hall is now used as a temporary exhibition space.

 

 

On this day

On this day
16 February

1942— BANKA ISLAND MASSACRE. Following the sinking of the SS Vyner Brook, many of the survivors, including 22 Australian nurses, reached the shore of Banka Island. Realising that their position was desperate, an officer from the ship set out with most of the women and children to surrender the group to the Japanese. The officer returned with 20 Japanese soldiers who ordered all the men capable of walking to move to hidden part of the beach and killed them. They then returned to the beach and ordered the 22 nurses and 1 British civilian woman to walk into the water. They were machine-gunned in the back. All the immobile survivors were then killed. Sister Vivian Bullwinkle pretended to be dead and was the only survivor