This exhibition tells the story of how Australia became a nation capable of defending itself independently, and of the people behind that story.
We learn about the scientists and the workers, including many women, who established a thriving, innovative and independent manufacturing industry capable of supplying the products required to sustain defence, and to deter major military disputes.
This story is important because, although the many battles of both world wars have been described often and vividly, there appears to be no description of the story of what happened behind the scenes. How were the manufacturing systems and processes developed to supply and enable these campaigns?
The two world wars required an incremental, rapid growth in the size and quality of Australia’s munitions industry, including the development of systems capable of producing ‘ordnance’ — the large shells, tanks, armoured cars, railway lines, aircraft parts, submarines and big guns. How were they made and by whom? Who invented the mechanics of the productive machinery and the processes that enabled this rapid and efficient industrial expansion?
The tools of industry are rarely, if ever, considered in the stories and records of war but the ability to produce them, source the requisite materials, research the forging metallurgy, and provide the capacity for meeting the demand are fundamental to defending a country.
This exhibition tells the story of how this was achieved through the intervention and influence of individuals; through the vision, determination and skill of the people who planned the processes and designed the products.
This exhibition was researched, written, designed and produced by Peter Haffenden, Andrew Calvert and Jennifer Kelynack, with assistance from staff and volunteers at Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West Inc.
The ‘Logic of Logistics’ was supported by the
Victorian Government and the Victorian Veterans Council.