Anzac War Memorial Sydney

Topic: The past in the present
Learning Activity
Schools & Teachers
Stage 1
History: Years 1 & 2
Students explore, recognise and appreciate the history of their local area by examining remains of the past and considering why they should be preserved.

Key inquiry question #1

What aspects of the past can you see today? What do they tell us?

Key inquiry question #2

What remains of the past are important to the local community? Why?

Learning Intention

We are learning to:

  • understand why the ANZAC Memorial is an important historical site

Success criteria

What I'm looking for:

  • I can give reasons why the ANZAC Memorial is an important place

Student Activities

Who are these men?

Students use images of the ANZAC Memorial in Hyde Park Sydney as primary sources in a historical inquiry.

Number of set tasks:

NSW Syllabus for the Australian Curriculum History K - 10

A student:

  • HT1-2 identifies and describes significant people, events, places and sites in the local community over time


Comprehension: chronology, terms and concepts

  • distinguish between the past, present and future (ACHHS032, ACHHS048)

Use of sources

  • explore and use a range of sources about the past (ACHHS034, ACHHS050)


  • pose questions about the past using sources provided (ACHHS033, ACHHS049)

Explanation and communication

  • use a range of communication forms (oral, graphic, written, role play) and digital technologies (ACHHS038, ACHHS054)
  • Significance: importance of an event, development or individual/group
  • Empathetic understanding: developing an understanding of another’s views, life and decisions made

Learning across the curriculum

  • Critical and creative thinking

The importance today of an historical site of cultural or spiritual significance; for example, a community building, a landmark, a war memorial (ACHHK045)


  • identify an historical site or sites in the local community. Discuss their significance, why these sites have survived and the importance of preserving them

Activity Notes for Teachers

Who are these men? What are they doing

Ask students to:

  • look carefully at the images of the sculptures and reliefs on ANZAC War Memorial.
  • identify what the men are doing.
  • support their conclusions with evidence from the images, e.g. wearing helmets, holding guns, wearing soldier’s uniform, assisting wounded.
  • use the form to write words or draw pictures that identify the men as soldiers fighting a war and support their conclusions with evidence from the images.

Image Description
Image 1 - Anzac Memorial, Hyde Park. Mourning servicemen laying a wreath.
Image 2 - Anzac Memorial, Hyde Park. One of two 10 metre long bronze reliefs showing the equipment, activities and servicemen of the various armed forces in World War I
Image 3 - Sculpture detail showing ANZAC 'digger' in uniform

What is this building? Why is it important?

Ask students to: 

  • make the connection between the sculptures they have analysed in images 1, 2 and 3 and Dellit's painting of the ANZAC War Memorial in task 2.
  • deduce what the building in task 2 (the ANZAC War Memorial) is used for.
  • provide evidence from the images to support their answers.
  • explain why the ANZAC War Memorial is an important/significant historic site.
  • make a value judgement: express their opinion about whether or noth thebuilding should be preserved for future denerations.
  • support their opinion with logical reasoning, e.g. '...because it will remind people about the war'.

Background notes for teachers

After World War I in 1929 a competition was held to design a war memorial for Hyde Park, Sydney. The winning entry was by Charles Bruce Dellit (1900-1942) who designed a monument with many symbolic statues and sculptures, both inside and outside the building. Its function was to be a centre of remembrance for those Australians killed in war, and it remains one of the most significant buildings in Sydney today.

Additional Resources

Recommended reading

Alfred's War by Rachel Bin Salleh, illustrated by Samantha Fry

 Alfred's War by Rachel Bin Salleh, illustrated by Samantha Fry

(Available as an ebook with a State Library card)

Memorial	by Gary Crew, illustrated by Shaun Tan

 Memorial by Gary Crew, illustrated by Shaun Tan

Lest We Forget by Kerry Brown

 Lest We Forget by Kerry Brown

My Grandad marches on ANZAC Day by Catriona Hoy and Benjamin Johnson

 My Grandad marches on ANZAC Day by Catriona Hoy and Benjamin Johnson