The Australian War Memorial will give a greater focus to the civilian experience of war. It's talking to refugees from conflicts to ensure a perspective beyond that of the military and its weaponry.
"To tell the Australian story, we need more diverse voices in the gallery," curator Kerry Neale said.
In the past, the AWM has been accused of "glorifying" war. Critics say it gives too much prominence to weaponry.
But in the galleries now being revamped as construction of the $550 million expansion occurs, there will be a very different tone.
There will be trigger warnings so people can avoid traumatic exhibits. Those who do choose to view them will have quiet spaces for contemplation. Post-traumatic stress will feature - along with what curators call "growth from PTSD".
"If we don't go to these dark parts, we are only presenting part of the story," Bliss Jensen, the AWM's Director of Gallery Development, told The Canberra Times.
The new tone comes after a change at the top, with former Labor defence minister Kim Beazley now chairing the AWM's council in succession to former Liberal defence minister Brendan Nelson's chairmanship.
The change may come more, though, from the changing nature of war.
The old, pre-expansion AWM was dominated by the first and second world wars where the fighting was much more concentrated, often on battlefields. There were frontlines; uniformed soldiers fought uniformed soldiers.
But recent conflicts involving Australia - like those in Iraq and Afghanistan - have enveloped whole populations. The distinction between civilians and combatants has been less clear.
"In these galleries, I'm very interested in hearing from diverse voices reacting to war and expressing a desire for peace," Dr Neale said.
As a sign of the new focus, the memorial is unveiling a series of exhibits to mark the 20th anniversary of the second Iraq War. It will include an aircraft used by Australian forces (the hardware with which the AWM is often associated) but also items from the huge pre-war protest in Sydney.
The war and the anti-war protest will be juxtaposed.
Fourteen F/A-18 Hornets took part in the war which started exactly 20 years ago with what was was called a "shock and awe" bombing campaign. "One of these F/A-18 Hornet aircraft will be a centerpiece of the new Iraq War gallery," Dr Neale said.
But so will protest.
At least 200,000 people marched in Sydney two decades ago as the drum beats of war grew louder. The paint-stained trainers of one of the protesters who climbed to the top of the Sydney Opera House and daubed "No War" on one of the building's iconic sails will also be there as well as a tin of the blood-red paint used in the protest and an opera house snow-globe with the "No War" slogan.
"We've learnt a lot from audience research," Bliss Jensen, the director of gallery development, said. "We've learnt that there's not just an appetite for the big technology objects.
"There's a really strong appetite for looking at the social impact of war, whether it be physical or medical."
There will be a focus on the cost of war. "We know that there's a desire among the general public for content which is thought-provoking and that obviously means that there are going to be very difficult stories told."
There will be "strong content warnings" so children or sensitive adults can avoid trauma being triggered.
Staff have been discussing with representatives of refugees from wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. There's now an advisory group to reflect the views of a much more diverse section of people.
"We've set the advisory group so we are really authentically representing this country," Ms Jensen said.
The change in tone and emphasis at the Memorial comes as the leadership changes.
The Memorial's new chairman, Kim Beazley, said in February there should be a greater focus on the "frontier wars" where Indigenous Australians resisted British colonisation.
He said he supported "proper recognition of the frontier conflict", asking how the institution can "have a history of Australian wars without that".
We've made it a whole lot easier for you to have your say. Our new comment platform requires only one log-in to access articles and to join the discussion on The Canberra Times website. Find out how to register so you can enjoy civil, friendly and engaging discussions. See our moderation policy here.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.