The Military Vehicle Preservation Society of South Australia Inc. (MVPSSA) is a group of enthusiasts dedicated to the preservation of historic military vehicles and equipment. The MVCSSA was formed in 1976 with approximately 15 members and has since grown considerably in its membership. A large workload a number of Society Members bear, on a voluntary roster, is the operation of the National Military Vehicle Museum (NMVM) in Edinburgh Pk, South Australia.
The basic aim of the Society is the restoration, preservation and presentation of all types of military vehicles and ancillary equipment with an emphasis on Australian and South Australian manufactured and/or utilised vehicles Although these are predominantly from the WW2 era, the collection is being continually updated to later theatres of war. In addition information is collected and researched to supplement the vehicles and equipment.
It should be emphasised that the Society is not a para-military organisation and in no way supports the concept of war nor is it a four wheel drive club, even though many vehicles have that capacity which is put to use on some club outings.
Society activities are a balance of vehicle use, restoration and presentation of vehicles with family participation encouraged. These activities include day trips, barbecues and camping trips of varying duration, as well as public outings such as displays, promotions and community service involvement including the yearly Anzac Day Parade. One of the Society’s largest activities is the display of military vehicles to the public at its National Military Vehicle Museum (NMVM), which also provides members with undercover storage and workshop facilities for their vehicles.
The Society is an affiliated member of the Military Vehicle Preservation Association (MVPA) the largest international organisation supporting the preservation of historic military vehicles and based in the United States of America. Through this and other forums Society members share their restoration expertise and historic knowledge with like minded individuals.
Achievements to date:
- The collecting, restoration, preservation and displaying of numerous Australian historic military vehicles including a number of very rare and unique Australian designed and built armoured cars.
- The utilisation of the Work for the Dole (WfD) program for nearly five years including winning, in June 2002, a national (WfD) award in the category “Caring for Our Heritage”. Work for the Dole has been a significant aspect for the Society that has led to the accelerated restoration of vehicles and plant, enhancing the visiting public’s Museum experience in general through display upgrades and maintaining the opening of the Museum seven days a week.
- Sponsoring a separate WfD program that created a CD about the Museum.
- Assisting two South Australian RSL Clubs with the restoration of their respective 25pdr artillery pieces and coordinating the restoration of a WW1 artillery piece for a third RSL Club.
- One of the Society members being the principal restorer, with other member’s assistance, of the Leyland Badger truck used by the legendary Tom Kruse, The Mailman of the Birdsville Track. This truck is now on permanent display in the National Motor Museum at Birdwood in South Australia with Tom Kruse still being a member of the Society.
- World-wide exposure of the collection through the Museum website. Both the website and the Museum’s Visitors Books demonstrate the high level of local, interstate and international interest in the Museum collection and Society activities.
- Participation in numerous fetes and parades throughout the years, including being the largest carrier of veterans and personnel in the annual Anzac Day Parades.
- Forming a partnership with Museums Australia.
- Being an accredited tourist destination through the National Tourism Accreditation Program.
- Changing the registered business name of the Museum from the South Australian Military Vehicle Museum to the National Military Vehicle Museum to give the collection national prominence.
- Creating a new membership category entitled Friends of the Museum that will encourage non-military vehicle owning persons and pensioners to join the Society at a reduced rate. This initiative has been adopted after research showing that this initiative has been successfully utilised by other museums.
Current and Future Goals:
MAJOR GOAL – To find a permanent home to house the ever expanding collection. WE NEED HELP HERE – PLEASE READ National Military Vehicle Museum (NMVM)
- To become a major tourism and educational asset for South Australia that would be recognised nationally and internationally.
- To become accredited by the History Trust of South Australia.
- To complete the building of a specialised museum collections database.
- To gain Education Department recognition and assist school students and higher academics with this aspect of Australian cultural heritage.
- To continue with the WfD Program.
- To formulate a Historic Military Vehicle Grading System based on vehicle provenance and significance.
- To continue to collect and preserve historic military vehicles and become one of the most significant military vehicle collections in Australia.
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