Home National museum National Museum of Australia unveils exciting new gallery redevelopments

National Museum of Australia unveils exciting new gallery redevelopments


Launch of a world-class environmental gallery and an educational play area for children

Exclusive announcement of the ICEHOUSE concert

The National Museum of Australia in Canberra has launched two new state-of-the-art galleries as part of its biggest redevelopment since opening to the public in 2001.

In a $34 million renovation that reimagines more than a third of the building, the museum launched the groundbreaking Great Southern Land Environmental Gallery and the innovative Tim and Gina Fairfax Children’s Discovery Center.

The Great Southern Land Gallery was designed by the renowned New York-based Local Projects, best known for its acclaimed work on the National September 11 Memorial and Museum in New York.

The Tim and Gina Fairfax Discovery Center is a fun and immersive play space designed and curated for children ages 0-6, their families and caregivers.

Federal Arts Minister Hon Tony Burke MP welcomed the redevelopment. “I am delighted to see these galleries open today, which showcase our unique environment and natural history,” said Minister Burke.

“I am particularly excited about the role they will play in showcasing the connection First Nations people have to the country.

“I am confident that audiences of all ages will leave feeling educated and inspired by the diverse cultural experiences on offer.”

National Museum director Dr Mathew Trinca said the two new galleries represent a major new offering for the Australian public.

“This is a pivotal moment in the history of the National Museum, and I am thrilled to see the years of hard work and planning come to fruition in the incredible Great Southern Land Environmental Gallery and the remarkable Tim and Gina Fairfax Discovery Center. “, said Dr. Trinca said.

“The National Museum celebrates over 20 years of engagement with the Australian public and these new developments will see it grow stronger in the decades to come.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank Tim and Gina Fairfax, and all the experts who have supported and worked on both galleries for many years, for their generous advice and expertise.”

The Great Southern Land Gallery explores our fundamental relationship with the land, incorporating the stories of the First Peoples who have lived on the continent for at least 65,000 years and the stories of all who have followed.

Fiona Jose, a member of the National Council of Museums and chair of the Indigenous Reference Group, said the new gallery celebrates stories from Australia’s deep history and the First Peoples.

‘Stories of how First Nations people have belonged to and cared for the country over countless generations are woven into the gallery. This new gallery shows how Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander knowledge of this ancient continent is a legacy on which all Australians can draw and the key to fulfilling our shared responsibility to care for and nurture the land,” said Ms. Joseph.

The Great Southern Land Gallery explores the vast and complex Australian continent, its ancient origins, geological features, unique species, natural forces and the role humans play in the ecosystem. It offers exciting interactive and immersive digital experiences related to Australia’s unique environment and natural history.

The gallery features over 2,000 objects and rich multi-sensory experiences show how the continent has changed over time and how these changes can guide the nation through future challenges.

The Discovery Center invites children to explore Australia’s iconic animals and stories, including kangaroos and bunyips, an early explorer’s cat and social media star Chris the sheep.

Leading Australian philanthropists Mr. Tim Fairfax AC and Mrs. Gina Fairfax AC supported the development of the new space dedicated to children’s play and education and said they were delighted to see the new Discovery Center open to the public.

“This new center has been designed to engage children in Australian stories and the work of the museum. It offers on-site interactive educational games and facilities to reach regional and remote communities,” Mr. and Mrs. Fairfax said.

As part of the launch of the Great Southern Land Gallery, the National Museum will display in its Gandel Atrium a Sequential Circuits Prophet-5 synthesizer, which is the same model of instrument used by Iva Davies of iconic rock band ICEHOUSE to composing the 1982 hit song of the same name, “Great Southern Land”.

“In 1982, when I created the title ‘Great Southern Land’ for a song I was writing, I had no idea what impact it would have on listeners around the world, and especially on listeners Australians,” said Iva Davies.

“To have included the song as part of the incredible project undertaken by the National Museum of Australia to chart the history, diversity and magic of our country is humbling.

“My thanks to the wonderful team, who put together the gallery and exhibition, for all their hard work and for including my song as part of their study of our Great Southern Land.”

When ICEHOUSE started in 1977, synthesizer technology was still relatively new.

“The Prophet 5 is so called because it could play five notes at once, which meant it could play a full musical chord. It could also store the sounds you created on it in ‘memory’ slots. which was incredibly useful, especially for live performances,” Mr. Davies said.

‘The first song that was produced in this exploration was “Great Southern Land” and the sound of Prophet 5 is the backbone of that song. You will immediately recognize the sound of that very first long note as coming from the Prophet.

To coincide with the launch of the gallery, ICEHOUSE has announced a one-time concert, supported by Mix 106.3, as part of its national Great Southern Land 2022 – The Concert Series to be held at the National Museum of Australia on Friday November 4, 2022.

“The ICEHOUSE band members and team are very excited to be able to perform at the National Museum of Australia,” said Davies.

“Having the concert at the Museum during the first few months of the Great Southern Land exhibition gives us all a unique opportunity to celebrate not just 40 years of our song, but the unique history of our home country. be a very special event for all of us.

Tickets for the November 4 concert will go on sale at 9 a.m. on Friday, September 16, 2022.

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