Our Volunteers

Volunteers are the mainstay of the Museum. They willingly give their time, their skills and their loyalty to restore artefacts, build displays and conduct tours to bring the Museum to life. They support the Mission Statement and Objectives of the Museum which is to maintain our Military heritage, restore or rebuild aging Military vehicles and artefacts, display our extensive Medal Collection and  preserve and pass on our Military heritage to upcoming generations.

There are numerous ways in which volunteers can support the Museum, use their current skills and obtain extra expertise:
• Cataloguing, collection identification i.e. medal collection, uniforms
• Conserving, restoring and preserving historical artefacts
• Preparing and maintaining displays
• Preparation of educational materials for school childrens’ visits
• Photography
• Marketing and promoting the Museum
• Research of historical artefacts and service records
• Restoration, repair and maintenance of vehicles and weapons
• Tour Guides
• Training and development

Not all of our volunteers are ex-Defence members, however we heartily welcome all new volunteers and the extra skills they bring.

Volunteers attend the Museum on Mondays and Wednesdays to tackle the above chores, however, if you’re more interested in conducting tours and meeting the visitors, volunteers are rostered on Sundays when the Museum is open from 12.00-4.00pm.

The following section areas are operated by volunteers:

  • Catering
  • Conservation and Restoration
  • Curatorial & General Duties
  • Edged Weapons
  • Marketing & Promotion
  • Medals and Heraldry
  • Research and Education
  • Small Arms
  • Sunday Guides
  • Uniforms & Textiles

If volunteering at the Museum sounds like you, please contact The Museum Curator, Wayne Birch, to make an appointment.

 

Catering

The Catering Section provides culinary delights for events held by the Museum and tour groups.  Tour groups usually require morning tea or lunch.  Museum events could require anything from finger food for a book launch, a three-course meal for the annual History Week lunch or a thank you barbecue for volunteers. 

Catering Section volunteers are Defence Force trained and rise to a challenge.

 If your tour group would like to book a morning tea or lunch after your Museum Tour, please contact Nick Meredith on 0438 875 900 or email amosafunctions@gmail.com.

Chef Trudy supervises History Week lunch

Sous Chef Dave preparing for volunteers barbecue

Conservation & Restoration

Conservation and Restoration Section conserve, restore and preserve large and small artefacts. Not only do these volunteers restore weapons, metal objects and vehicles on display, they also construct the Museum displays.

A project they will be undertaking soon is restoring this WWI 18 pounder gun. It was also used in action during WWII when Artillery gunners replaced the original wooden wheels with pneumatic tyres. C & R Section will restore the gun to its original design when the wooden wheels are restored to it, under the watchful eye of the Section’s Wheelwright.

Metal tyre is cut and welded to retighten the spoke to its original tension.

This gun was used in both World Wars

Curatorial

The Foundation Curator is responsible for the management and welfare of the Foundation’s volunteers.  Curatorial main objectives are to plan, research, manage and co-ordinate the Museum’s displays, education programs, merchandising and marketing activities.

Subject experts from each of the Museum’s sections regularly attend Curatorial Committee meetings, which are co-chaired by the Curator, to discuss new displays or upgrading or renovating current displays.

The Foundation Curator is responsible to the Foundation Board and carries out the broad strategic policy directed by them.

The Foundation Curator also receives, assesses and makes decisions on artefacts received from members of the public, organisations, governments and the military as to whether they are significant to add to the Museum's Collection.

Volunteers prepare a section of the Museum for a new display

Edged Weapons

You may think Edged Weapons is a strange name for a section however, these highly skilled tradesmen carefully and lovingly restore swords, sabres, daggers, bayonets, dirks and even Samurai swords back to pristine condition.  The results of their restorations are proudly displayed within the Museum in Special Exhibits Gallery.

Restoring old sword for display in Museum

General Duties

These particular volunteers are the mainstay of the Museum as they regularly conduct ground maintenance on the exterior of the Museum. They also clean, paint and maintain all of the Museum's exterior displays of vehicles, artillery and Bridging Systems.

Even tanks need a dusting now and then

Medals and Heraldry

The volunteers in this section collect, collate, maintain and catalogue the Museum's extensive collection of medals, badges and heraldry. They also provide advice to the public and researchers on the provenance and value of medals, badges and heraldry.

Kevin inspects a display

Volunteers conduct stock take

Marketing & PR

The aim of the Marketing Section is to promote and publicise the Museum with a view to enlightening the general public about South Australia's proud military history.

The Marketing section also produces pamphlets and information sheets depicting Museum displays and artefacts; administers the Museum website and Facebook page; organises and maintains merchandise for sale in Museum Shop. 

Research and Education

The Research and Education section receive Army service records, Army training booklets, historical documents and photographs relating to the South Australian military. They undertake research into military history for individuals, researchers, service organisations and educational institutions.

They also maintain an extensive military library and are undertaking a project to scan all of the collections photographs and documents.

To assist your own research, our document, How and where to research a person's individual Military Service Record, can be accessed under Useful Downloads. The document details information on locating an individual Military Service Record, Unit histories, various campaigns and other military history records within Australia and the United Kingdom.

Visitors can attend the Museum’s Research Centre to access assistance when researching a family member or additional information about military research. To make an appointment for research assistance, please phone (08) 8305 6705.

This section also manages the Museum's Schools Education Program.

The Research and Education Section is located in the building adjacent to the Museum.

Volunteers work hard to keep records up to date

Small Arms and Ammunition

These expert volunteers collect, collate, maintain and catalogue the Museum's extensive collection of small arms, small arms ammunition, explosive ordnance and trench art.

They also provide a small arms, ammunition and explosive resource capability to authors, educators and researchers.

Small arms display in museum

Sunday Guides

Volunteers attending the Museum on Sunday provide advice to visitors in relation to the exhibits and displays.  They also conduct guided tours of the Museum and the Keswick Barracks Heritage Precinct, collect admission fees and manage the Museum shop.

Uniforms & Textiles

Uniform Section undertakes storage, conservation and preservation of all textiles, banners, flags, insignia badges and buttons and clothing items. They also assist in display projects.

When items are accepted into the collection the uniforms are vacuumed and checked for vermin infestation, then sealed in plastic bags and placed in a freezer for a week.

Uniform volunteers regularly check the Museum displays for damage, infestation or fading. Any uniforms which aren’t 100% are changed.

However, there are times when the male volunteers need extra help such as when a nurses’ uniform was put on the mannequin backwards! 

All hands on deck to dress Clarrie in his correct uniform

Volunteers go to any lengths to ensure authenticity

Even to tying their shoelaces