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• The museum is home to approximately 4.5 million items.
• When the museum was established in 1891, it was
known as the Geological Museum. The following year,
ethnological and biological exhibits were added, and
by 1897 it had become the Western Australian Museum
and Art Gallery.
• As well as housing historical artefacts, the museum also
manages 200 shipwreck sites off the WA coast, and
eight Aboriginal land reserves.
• The WA Museum Foundation has been given a whopping
$420 million by the state government to connect the
community with its history and identity. Its way of doing
this? A brand new museum, which will open in 2020.
• The museum is located across six sites: Perth, Albany,
Geraldton and Kalgoorlie-Boulder, plus the Maritime
Museum and the Shipwreck Galleries in Fremantle.
• Teams from the museum are conducting some cutting-
edge research: just this year they’ve dated 14th century
coral on a prehistoric Micronesian island; unearthed
perfectly preserved 400-year-old mass graves in the
Abrolhos Islands; and preserved rare 17th century Dutch
chalice embroidery in New Norcia.
• The museum is kid-friendly, with school-holiday
programs, discovery centres at its Perth and Albany sites
(where kids can touch and interact with the collections),
and fun activity trails to guide them through the exhibits.
• The Reveal WAM app streams museum content direct
to your smartphone or tablet – all part of the museum’s
goal to reach the public. The app sends digitised
versions of historic photos, feature articles, videos and
even podcasts straight to you. Plus, it’s free!
• Those grey blocks outside the Maritime Museum are
Welcome Walls, which commemorate the migrants who
first landed in Fremantle. There are also Welcome Walls
in Albany, and about 2500 migrants have their names
inscribed on the walls over the two sites.
• The museum’s Earth and Planetary Science department
studies fossils and rock material from as far back as
3.8 billion years ago. It holds more than 1.5 million items
in its collection.
Full details and online bookings at scoop.com.au/museums
Ami Vitale’s image took out
Second Prize in the Nature,
Singles category, 2014
(photography Ami Vitale/
SUBURBS AT WAR
It’s easy to think that war
only happens in far-off
places, but as this exhibition
shows, we’ve experienced
it right on our doorstep.
Freshwater Bay Museum,
ongoing, 9340 6983.
A HISTORY OF
To celebrate its fourteenth
decade, Freo Prison is
launching a brand-new
exhibition stepping back
through its rich history. You
don’t look a day over 125 to
us, Freo Prison! Fremantle
Prison, ongoing, 9336 9200.
THE YEAR 2014
We’ve borrowed this one
from our friends at the SA
Museum, and who could
blame us? Incredible, vividly
coloured photos of flora,
fauna and landscapes for
your viewing pleasure.
WA Museum, until Jun 1,
1300 134 081.
This program showcases
the art of West Australian
prisoners. More than just
a recreational activity,
art is a lifeline for many
prisoners to connect with
culture, family and country.
Fremantle Prison, until
Jun 1, 9336 9200.
DA VINCI MACHINES
Pop quiz: what do the
parachute, scuba gear, and
the armoured car have in
common? If you answered
that they were all invented
by Leonardo da Vinci,
you’re probably a fan, and
would be interested in
this exhibition of 60 of his
visionary inventions. If you
didn’t know that – what
are you waiting for? Visit
the beautifully crafted
replicas and learn more. WA
until Jun 14, 9021 8533.
Beyond its use as a way of
describing what Broome’s
all about, how much do you
really know about the pearl?
Head to this exhibition
to find out about one of
Australia’s oldest industries
– much like the object that
emerges from the oyster,
the pearling industry is
one that may appear
brilliant, but has come from
a gritty place. WA Maritime
Museum, Jun 20-Oct 25,
1300 134 081.
FAITH, FASHION, FUSION
Hear the stories of
Australian Muslim women as
they share their experience
of faith and fashion in this
exhibition, which showcases
an emerging style scene.
WA Museum, Kalgoorlie-
Boulder, Jun 27-Aug 30,
1300 134 081.
It’s taxing looking through even
a few of a friend’s holiday snaps –
we’re deeply impressed by people
who can feign interest in a sixth consecutive
blurry palm-tree shot. So we’re sparing
a thought for the judges of this annual
photography comp, who had to sift through
a whopping 97,912 images for this year’s
entries. They came from 5692 press
photographers from all over the world, who
competed for the title of Press Photographer
of the Year, and €10,000 in prize money.
That field has been (sensibly) narrowed down
to just the award-winners from each category for
this exhibition, which could teach your touristy
pals a thing or two about creating a highlights reel
– you won’t be able to tear your eyes away from
this show. WA Museum, Jul 4-26, 9212 3700.
RIGHT A group of young Samburu warriors
encounter a rhino for the first time in their
lives. Most people in Kenya never get the
opportunity to see the wildlife that exists
literally in their own backyard.
WA Museum Fun facts about our state museum.
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