The four items in the presentation are displayed together behind glass in a heavy period-style moulded wooden frame (external dimensions 845 × 1200 mm). They are behind individual windows cut in one large mat: the display comprises a very large full-length portrait photograph of Hayes in uniform (573 × 269 mm); his colour pictorial testimonial certificate from the City of Collingwood, dated 5 June 1919 (446 × 264 mm); his 'Honourably discharged' certificate, dated 8 February 1920 (298 × 320 mm); and a group portrait of approximately 136 men in the regiment (182 × 306 mm). A small printed plaque identifying Hayes (with his middle name incorrectly shown as 'Hughes') is included.
The portrait photograph is lightly silvered-out; the City of Collingwood certificate is a little stained, with minor surface silverfish damage; the discharge certificate and the group portrait have trifling surface blemishes; overall, a very impressive display piece.
John Hayes enlisted in June 1916, four days after his 18th birthday; his enlistment form is annotated and signed by his parents that 'He is not to embark before he reaches the age of 19'. He eventually embarked in November 1917; he arrived at Southampton on 5 January 1918. He was taken on strength with the 14th Battalion on 17 April, and while on active service on the Western Front, he received a 'severe gunshot wound' to the right buttock on 18 September. He was admitted to hospital, 'dangerously ill', on 22 September; when he was pronounced 'out of danger' he was admitted to 2nd Southern General Hospital in Bristol on 26 October. Still convalescent, he embarked on the hospital ship HMAT 'Wandilla' on 31 March 1919, arriving back in Melbourne on 18 May. He received the certificate from the City of Collingwood three weeks later. The official discharge certificate states that he 'Served with Honour and was disabled in the Great War'.