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Melbourne’s marvelous multicultural museums

2 April 20191 comment

A new alliance of five ethnic museums across Melbourne is sharing the city’s rich multicultural history and legacy.

The Chinese Museum, Co.As.It. Museo Italiano, the Hellenic Museum, the Islamic Museum of Australia and the Jewish Museum of Australia have united to form Multicultural Museums Victoria.

MMV’s newly appointed Executive Officer John Petersen said the creation of an overarching body would help the five museums promote themselves better and collaborate more.

“Melbourne is one of the world’s great multicultural cities, where opportunities for discovery abound,” he said.

“Under the MMV banner, we’ve brought together a unique partnership of five ethnic museums to share our rich cultures and present exciting joint programs and events.

“Whether you’re a local or just passing through, explore five cultures that have helped shape our vibrant and diverse city.

“Immerse yourself in our dynamic exhibitions, events, talks and workshops,” Mr Peterson said.

Chinese Museum
Tucked away in the heart of Melbourne’s Chinatown off Little Bourke Street, the Chinese Museum is a hidden gem. Over its five-storeys, the Museum explores the culture and history of Chinese immigrants to Australia from the Gold Rush through to the latest waves of ethnic Chinese immigrants from Southeast Asia. 22 Cohen Place, Melbourne.

Co.As.It Italian Historical Society & Museo Italiano
This is a cultural hub where people from the Italian and the wider Australian community get together to share, enjoy, and create Italian-Australian culture. The Museo’s free permanent exhibition explores the experience of Italian immigrants to Australia, how their culture influenced Australian life and the distinctive culture that evolved. 199 Faraday Street, Carlton

Hellenic Museum
Housed in the historic former Royal Mint, the Museum is dedicated to inspiring a passion for Hellenism by engaging visitors with innovative programs, exhibitions and events. The Hellenic Museum has five permanent exhibition galleries and two touring galleries, one of which is currently exhibiting the acclaimed Gods, Myths & Mortals collection on loan from the Benaki Museum, Athens. The Hellenic Museum’s collections span 8000 years of Greek history, from Neolithic treasures to contemporary art. 280 William Street, Melbourne.

Islamic Museum of Australia
This unique Museum showcases the rich heritage of Muslims in Australia and abroad. Housed in a stunning contemporary building that melds Islamic and contemporary Australian architecture, the Museum is 10 kilometres from the city. Its five permanent galleries explore Islamic art, Islamic architecture, Australian-Muslim history, the Islamic faith and the Islamic contribution to civilisation. 15 Anderson Rd, Thornbury

Jewish Museum of Australia
This award-winning Museum showcases the history and culture of the Jewish people and Australian Jewish life past and present. With four permanent galleries and two changing exhibition spaces, the Museum brings the diversity of Jewish culture to life, drawing on its unique collection of over 20,000 objects. Engrossing temporary exhibitions explore facets of Jewish history, practice, spirituality and culture. 26 Alma Road, St Kilda


Laurie Nowell 
AMES Australia Senior Journalist