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Eternity: Stories from the Emotional Heart of Australia

In the 16 years that Eternity has been open it has featured the stories of more than 130 people, grouped within the exhibition’s 10 distinctive emotional themes. This was a dramatic departure from themes used in more traditional museums and opened up exciting ways to examine the lives of Australian people and connect these lives in a new way, to the lives of our visitors.

As one of five permanent exhibitions developed for the National Museum's opening in 2001, Eternity is familiar and much loved. Eternity’s task was to examine the theme of ‘Australian people’ — it was a broad brief!

Our ambition was to make an exhibition that was distinctive, unpredictable and unique — showing a new way in Australian museology and history. I believe that we achieved this.

Touching lives

Eternity is an exhibition that has touched many lives. It has been made possible thanks to the generosity of the people featured, as well as their families, colleagues, friends and descendants.

People have loaned or donated objects, they have shared their letters, their diaries, their thoughts, their laughter and their tears. They provided insights into the range of human experience within Australian history.

Lengthy ... but not eternal!

The closure of Eternity will make way for exciting developments in the permanent exhibition spaces at the Museum. However, before moving on to the new it is time to thank all of the people that made the Eternity exhibition possible and to celebrate this remarkable and memorable exhibition.

Eternity closed on Thursday 1 June 2017.

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