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Melbourne Story Exhbition @ Melbourne Museum

Home > Melbourne > Exhibitions | Museums | Cultural Events | Historic Houses
by Catherine Wills (subscribe)
I'm in Melbourne often enough - so why not write a bit about some places I've seen :)
Published July 3rd 2012
It is easy to wander through the spectacular City of Melbourne and think of it as something that exists only in the past. Although Melbourne is a city alive with history at almost every turn, so many stories and events have been lost through the chronicle of time.

The Melbourne Story Exhibition at the Melbourne Museum is rectifying this through the ongoing display, available to the public in the Melbourne Gallery 10am-5pm daily. The exhibition opened in 2008 and is now on permanent display.

Start your stroll through the bygone days when Melbourne was a meeting place between European settlers and Indigenous peoples of the region. Between 1835-1850, the land that the Indigenous peoples knew was rapidly transformed by colonisation, and this is your chance to read about stories that affect both sides.

Then enter the era of the Gold Town, where Melbourne was buzzing with the prospect of riches between 1850-1880. The city boomed as people rushed from afar, hoping to make strike it rich. Put yourself in the place of a hopeful miner as you read about the stories of success and otherwise.

A model of Melbourne as a gold town. Photo:

Melbourne continued to thrive after the gold rush era, becoming a city of Boom and Bust 1880-1900. Here take a stroll through the recreated houses of 'Little Lon' where the wealth didn't quite reach. This is an interactive way to see how the economy didn't benefit everyone at once.

Be part of Melbourne becoming a state as part of a nation from 1900-1920, rather than a separate colony in Melbourne and the Nation. See how the values and expectations of society changed with Federation and how government policies responded to the change in this part of the exhibition.

A dress from the period of Federation. Photo:

Move on to 1920-1945 when Melbourne became an Electric City following World War One. Experiences the challenges and achievements as electricity gave new light to the city, through the Moon Carriage from Luna Park to radio announcements of Phar Lap's victories.

With the new hope of the second half of the twentieth century came the new ideals of suburbia, as Melbourne became a Suburban City in 1945-1980. Take a stroll down a street of suburbia and see how the city fringes transformed with social expectations and hopes.

This exhibition contains over 1,200 objects telling stories and events from so many perspectives. It is truly a fantastic insight to see what has shaped Melbourne as a city over the years.
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Why? Walk through Melbourne's history
When: 10am-5pm daily
Where: The Melbourne Museum
Cost: $10 adult, concession and children free
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