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25 October 2005

An exhibition showcasing the latest book of Australian children's author and illustrator Graeme Base - The Waterhole - opens later this week at the National Museum of Australia's own waterhole, the backyard pool in the Garden of Australian Dreams.

The Waterhole exhibition captures the designs of the picture book of the same name, while teaching children about the important role water plays in the survival of the world's ecosystems.

The exhibition features original artwork and friezes from the book, which tells the story of a diminishing waterhole and how this affects the animals which depend on the water.

'The Waterhole helps children identify the animals found on every continent, many species of which are hidden in the main illustrations,' said the Museum's children's programs coordinator Denise Fowler.

'Its message reflects the stories told in the Museum's Tangled Destinies gallery which focuses on how Australian life and agriculture has been shaped by the opportunities and limits of the natural environment.'

Graeme Base will launch the exhibition, The Waterhole, poolside at the National Museum at 11am on Friday 28 October. Afterwards, he will read to students from Canberra's Majura Primary School from his book - outside the exhibition in the Museum's Nation Focus Gallery.

He will also be available to sign copies of The Waterhole, published in Australia and overseas.

The Waterhole exhibition is presented by OzLink Entertainment in partnership with the Melbourne Museum. It will be on show in the National Museum in Canberra until 19 February 2006. Entry is free.

The exhibition opening coincides with Children's Week, which the Museum will celebrate with a range of activities for children and families.

The festivities begin on 26 October when radio personality and child psychologist Dr John Irvine will present the 2005 Children's Week awards.

Children's author Emily Rodda, whose works include the Rowan of Rin series, will deliver the annual Children's Week lecture in the Visions Theatre on 28 October. She is also speaking and signing books in the Studio on 29 October from 11am to noon.

For more information please contact Sandy Forbes on 02 6208 5351, 0409 916 481 or Leanda Coleman on 02 6208 5338, 0438 620 710 or email

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