Memorial boxes

Memorial BoxThe Australian War Memorial in Canberra has kindly made four memorial boxes available to Social Education teachers via SEV. The boxes include information booklets and artefacts that students can handle. The Teachers' Notes in the boxes help teachers adapt the material to help students of all ages gain a better understanding of war and its impact on Australian society.

The Boxes can be borrowed for a 16-day period from SEV for a small handling and administrative fee which is further subsidised for SEV members.

SEV will no longer be distributing Memorial Boxes in 2020.

The Boxes

Please note that the nature of some of the boxes has changed from previous years. Box inventories can be downloaded in PDF format, so teachers can check the list of items within each box in advance to assess its suitability. Box inventories have been updated for 2019.

Box 1: Australia in the First World War

This box tells of the experience of Australians at war on Gallipoli, in the Middle East, and on the Western Front. It looks at the plight of soldiers, including those who were injured, captured or died.

Various home-front issues, such as the conscription debate and the repatriation of soldiers, are discussed. The box explores, through case studies and copies of correspondence, the sense of longing and loss experienced both by those who went away and by their loved ones who waited at home.


Box 2: Vietnam: the Australian experience

Australian servicemen and women in Vietnam were part of a multi-national Allied Force. However, the perspective that many young Australians have of this war is garnered from American film and television. This box aims to present schools with the Australian experience of the conflict – who went, why, what they did, how they persevered and the response at home.

(please note: Box 2 is in the process of being revised and will not be available in Terms 3&4 this year)


Box 3: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Wartime Service

Unravel the unique wartime experiences of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, and their significant contribution to Australia’s defence.


Box 4: Australia in the Second World War

Objects and stories from land, sea, and air, exploring a selection of the almost one million Australian men and women who served during this time of upheaval.


Booking Boxes

Bookings are made for set periods of 2 1/2 weeks. Please note that due to logistical issues, SEV now requires that boxes be returned by the Thursday of the final week, not the Friday as in previous years. There is maximum booking of two boxes per school (or other organisation) per year.

Contact the SEV office on 0490 475 335 for bookings. Bookings will only be taken by phone. We will respond to any phone messages about Memorial Boxes at our earliest convenience, but the booking must be completed over the phone in person.

Please note: Boxes are sent out from SEV by courier on a Tuesday, with aim of them reaching the school (or other organisation) by Wednesday. SEV has limited control over the actual delivery date, and for regional or remote locations the actual delivery date may be as late as Friday. SEV is no longer able to offer borrowers the option of collecting the Boxes themselves; due to operational constraints, they must be couriered out.

Booking periods for the rest of 2019

All bookings already made for 2019 will be processed. SEV will not be taking any additional bookings for the remainder of 2019.

In 2020, schools are advised to contact the Australian War Memorial for bookings - see the website at this link.


In 2019 the charges are $40 for non-members, $30 for members. The charge for borrowing boxes has fallen due to the smaller size of the Boxes, and subsidies from the Australian War Memorial. A fine may be charged for Boxes that are returned significantly late.

It is important to note that the charges are for SEV getting the Box out to the borrower. It is up to the borrower to organise and pay for the return of the Box. Due to their size, the Boxes cannot be sent through the mail, they must be couriered.

Links to other organisations

The Australian War Memorial has additional digital resources available via its Memorial Box webpage.