I remember noticing this building when I was previously in Melbourne, and made a mental note to visit some time. Actually I have a list of place to visit when I go to Melbourne, and there’s never enough time for me to see them all. This time though, happily I made it to the Immigration Museum.
Funnily, once upon a time I though there was only one sort of Museum, but these days there are new museums being opened all the time. I remember in China visiting a Wine Museum, a Bed Museum, a Wood Museum, and a Paper Museum, and probably some I don’t recall.
It was a short walk from the Pensione Hotel in Spencer Street and I set off with little idea of what I would be seeing.
The building itself is most interesting – I recall that it was the Custom’s House in a previous life, when migrants and visitors to Melbourne were offloaded at the nearby Yarra River to be cleared by Customs.
It was most interesting and quite an eye opener for me. I saw and watched a presentation where various migrants from all around the world were interviewed and talked about their lives in their homelands, the struggles through wars, poverty, political upheaves and more and how they made their way to the safety of Australia and a new life. The stories were very moving.
It is a place that one could spend many hours investigating the many exhibits – and I do hope I can return one day.
One of the major exhibits was about Muslim women, Faith, Fashion, Fusion which featured their fashions, on the second floor of the building. It was a beautifully done exhibition, and I learned how well education many of the Muslim migrants were, and what they were doing. It was helpful to understand why they wore the clothing that they do – and showed that there is quite a variety of clothing, plus the fact that not all Muslim women were the clothing.
There was so much to see – sometimes I get somewhat overwhelmed with all the information.
A big plus too was that as I am a Senior it was free to enter and enjoy the exhibits.
There are three floors of exhibits in the Museum - and I have just read that no photography can be taken on second floor. Ooops. Still I am promoting the exhibit!
More more information go to the website here.