Original Design and Function


The Anzac Memorial was designed to be a place of silent contemplation. The Memorial's architect Bruce Dellit chose to design the building in the modern and popular art deco style. He intended the building to function as a sculptural monument.

The building’s design combines the strong aesthetic qualities of a monument with the more utilitarian requirements to house veterans organisations and their auxiliaries. Among those organisations that were based at the Anzac Memorial were The Returned Sailors and Soldiers’ Imperial League of Australia (NSW Branch), The Limbless Soldiers’ Association of NSW and The TB Sailors and Soldiers’ Association of Australia (NSW). These particular veterans groups provided the Trustees of the Anzac Memorial.

Eventually spaces in the Memorial would be  used for other purposes  from the establishment of a veterans building society, doctors consulting rooms, a Returned and Services League NSW tribunal and a hall in which to hold dances and other social events for disabled veterans. It was a place where veterans could come to get support and reminisce together.

The economic impact of the great depression adversely influenced the completion of the Memorial. Some elements of the original design were not completed due to their cost. 

After the completion of the central building, unemployment relief funds released to the City of Sydney allowed the Pool of Reflection to be built. 




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