First published on 28 Jan 2012. Updated on 25 Feb 2014.
Since the beginning of colonial settlement, we’ve seen Australia grow rich with the influence of Chinese culture: delicious food, spellbinding architecture, beautiful art and sparkly fireworks. The Chinese Museum looks at the influence of Melbourne’s Chinese heritage and, currently, celebrates the Lunar New Year – which continues for 38 days with traditional events to bring happiness, prosperity and peace. Yes please! Pay a visit to the museum followed by a piping hot bowl of chicken congee at David’s and marvel at the neon-lit Chinese arches – which were handmade in China, and reassembled in Melbourne under the supervision of keen-eyed Chinese craftworkers. Melbourne.
Although the Hellenic Museum is only six years young, Melbourne’s Greek heritage goes way back. And the artefacts on display at the beautiful Hellenic Museum go seriously waaaaay back. We’re talking Corinthian Gobulars as old as 600 BC. These incredible portals into another time can’t be seen anywhere else in Melbourne – not in permanent exhibitions anyway. And to think all these objects are from one man’s private collection: art historian AD (Dale) Trendall. Learn about the first Greek-Australians, some of whom arrived as convicts, early settlers, gold diggers. And others who arrived during the Australian Government’s migration scheme in the 50s and 60s. Melbourne.
Museo Italiano is a partnership between the Italian Historical Society and CoAsit, an organisation that provides welfare to Italian immigrants. Together they tell stories of the first Italian-Australians when Carlton became fondly known as ‘Little Italy’. Via interactive exhibitions, you can virtually experience the rough journey Italians took to the New World. Again during the gold rush (that really was a thing, wasn’t it?) and migration programs, Italian artists, farmers, craftsmen and people looking for a new life settled here. Wonder why Australia is famous for its kick-arse espresso, despite being at the end of the Earth? Carlton.
This unique museum looks at how bagels and babka came to be, and how Melbourne’s Jewish roots were laid. Until mid-March this year, the Jewish Museum tells the story of the hundreds of Yiddish-speaking Jews who arrived at our shores from Eastern Europe post-WWII. Mameloshn – How Yiddish Made a Home in Melbourne conveys the risky trans-Atlantic journey immigrants took in search of a new life and reveals the diverse, fascinating backgrounds of Jews living in Australia. St Kilda.