To preserve and promote South Australia's military heritage by recognising and valuing contributions of Australian Defence Force members in both war and peace.
Our aim is to be the premier military Museum in South Australia and in order to do this we will:
- Provide members of the armed services and the public with an informative, historically correct and entertaining presentation of Australia's and, in particular, South Australia's military history.
- Establish and provide a comprehensive regional research and resource centre containing materials with an emphasis on Australian and South Australian military history.
- Receive and maintain military artefacts.
- Train volunteers in conservation, restoration, preservation and display techniques to enhance the Museum’s collection.
- Educate the public by fostering an awareness and understanding of the Army's heritage and traditions.
- Work in conjunction with other related Collections/Museums.
The Museum owes its existence to the drive and commitment of the inaugural committee members who were passionate about the retention, renovation and exhibition of SA’s military artefacts. After two years of meetings and planning conferences, the inaugural meeting of the Army Museum of South Australia’s Committee was held on 21 September 1992, at the Naval, Military and Air Force Club.
When the Museum first opened its doors to the public, it was housed in Building 136, now the Research and Education Section. Storage and workshop areas moved into Buildings 8 and 9, previously the armoury and POL store.
The Museum was officially opened by Dr Erica Roberts, Army Historian on 30 September 1992, after which the inaugural General Meeting for members was held.
The first AGM of AMOSA Inc was held on 11 April 1994, and in 1995 the Museum participated in the ‘Australia Remembers’ celebrations with its first major external display at Torrens Training Depot. The display was well received by the public which led to a further display in the Defence Services Museum on Kintore Avenue (SA Museum annexe). These displays helped to raise the public persona of the fledgling Museum.
By 1997 the collection had outgrown its original housing, and by chance, the old stables (Building 76) became available. Volunteers renovated the building and moved displays into their new home in time for the official opening on 27 April, 1997 by the then Minister for Defence, the South Australian, Mr Ian McLachlan, MHR. The exhibits settled happily into their new housing and the Museum was opened to the public on Sunday afternoons between the hours of 12noon and 4.00pm. No admission fees applied.
From conception until 1998 all work at the Museum had been carried out by a group of dedicated volunteers under the direction of the Foundation Management Committee. 1998, though, also saw the creation of The Australian Army History Unit which has become the umbrella Headquarters for the entire Army Museum Network. Military staff are now deployed and posted to all Army Museums around the nation and provide the controlling and coordinating instructions to ensure the Museums act in accordance with the Army’s wishes and standards of accountability, noting that most Army Museums are located on Commonwealth property. The first workshop for volunteers to map out future directions for the Museum resulted in the display from the Defence Services Museum being relocated back to Keswick Barracks.
In 2003 the Army History Unit decided to disband the existing volunteer structure, the AMOSA Foundation, and register it as a company limited. The implementation of this new structure was agreed to during a Special General Meeting held on 17 March, 2003, however the Operating Agreement was not ratified by the Board of Directors until 2 June 2003. The inaugural AGM of the new Foundation was held on 24 November, 2003. During 2007 the Museum administration was able to move into Building 203, previously occupied by 9 Brigade. At the end of 2022 this Museum’s Headquarters again moved, this time to Building 112, towards the south-eastern corner of Keswick Barracks.