Gibson Group brings soldiers to life in new Australian Anzac Centre


Wellington multi-disciplinary media design company, Gibson Group, is using cutting edge audio-visual technology to bring Anzac stories to life at the new National Anzac Centre in Albany, Western Australia.


Photo courtesy of the National Anzac Centre


The New Zealand Prime Minister, John Key, will be in Albany to officially open the Centre tomorrow (November 1), along with the Prime Minister of Australia, Tony Abbott. The first two convoys of Anzac troops left from King George Sound near Albany on 1 November 1914 to join the First World War.


The National Anzac Centre commemorates their departure and shares their stories in a permanent exhibition located within the Princess Royal Fortress Military Museum Precinct. The Centre is a showpiece for Australia’s Anzac Centenary commemorations.


Gibson Group is the only New Zealand company involved in Australian project and won the tender to build two major multi-media elements against strong Australia competition. “We are very proud to represent New Zealand's creativity and innovation on such a prestigious commemorative project,” said Gibson Group Chief Executive Victoria Spackman. 


“The Centre tells the stories of the men and women who went to war and fought in the battles of Gallipoli, Palestine and the Western front. It also remembers the survivors who returned home and details the beginnings of the Anzac Day tradition. These are incredibly important stories to share and we have loved being a critical part in bringing those stories to life.”


Gibson Group’s part has been to create two major interactive multi-media elements, called the Character Posts and the Tribute Wall. 


“These allow visitors to explore the personal stories of 30 Anzacs – six of whom are New Zealanders – who travelled on the first convoys, as well as two enemy combatants; one each from Turkey and Germany,” said Brett Tompkins, Gibson Group’s Exhibitions Producer, who is in Albany for the opening.


“When visitors arrive they are given an ‘identity card’ belonging to one of the 32. This has a computer-readable (fiducial) icon on it, which they put against Character Posts around the exhibition. Information about that particular individual’s story is then displayed on an interactive touchscreen.”


The Character Posts use reader technology Gibson Group specifically designed and built for the exhibition. Information to create the stories was sourced from National Archives Australia, Archives New Zealand and the Australian War Museum, and is contained in a backend CMS that lets curators update and add content.


Photo courtesy of the National Anzac Centre


The digital Tribute Wall is a 4.8m x 2.7m backlit graphic panel wall including three 65" portrait-mounted touchscreens and six 32" slave screens. “At the Tribute Wall, each visitor can interact and discover the full story of all 32 soldiers in the exhibition. They can also leave a personal tribute using an on-screen keyboard designed as an early 1900s typewriter,” said Mr Tompkins.  


“When a personal tribute is submitted it appears on the multi-screen array above the Tribute Wall for other visitors to read. The message also syncs to the associated website. People can also leave tributes on that website, which is then displayed on the Centre’s Tribute Wall. The great thing about that is that New Zealanders can write their own tributes even if they don’t visit the Centre.”


During his visit to the National Anzac Centre, Prime Minister John Key will have the opportunity to interact with these two experiences.


For more information, contact:

Victoria Spackman, CEO

021 966 033 /


Brett Tompkins, Exhibitions Producer (in Albany for the installation)

022 425 6789 /