Buried behind the trees lining the Maribyrnong river, in Pipemakers Park, The Living Museum of the West thrives. Opening it’s doors in 1984, this was Australia’s first Ecomuseum. These kinds of museums do something a little different, they focus on the identity of a place and the people who live there and. They connect their work to ordinary people’s lives and allow public access to their archives where people can view and contribute to them.
The Living Museum itself is a melting pot of many diverse stories about Melbourne’s West. It is an important community welfare and development hub which preserves the social, industrial, environmental history and untold stories of Melbourne’s Western Suburbs. Despite the museums close involvement with its community, the majority of the people who live there aren’t aware of its existence. This piece explores how the Museum and it’s dedicated volunteers have dealt with content that provides remarkable insight into the region and evolution of Melbourne.
RMIT Media students have been collaborating with the volunteers at the Living Museum of the West to create an interactive exhibition that focuses on the Museum’s research areas. Their pieces explore how the Museum and it’s dedicated volunteers have grown their archives that provide remarkable insight into the region and evolution of Melbourne.