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Australian stories enlisted for Eternity

26 MAY 2003

Bionic ear developer Professor Graeme Clark, speed skater Steven Bradbury and former Young Australian of the Year Tan Le will launch their own personal stories in a huge changeover of the National Museum's popular Eternity gallery on Thursday.

Eternity explores the stories of 50 ordinary and extraordinary Australians, based on emotional themes, catching people at moments when their stories act as windows to larger events in history," said curator Sophie Jensen.

Professor Clark's passionate pursuit to help the deaf hear, Steven Bradbury's chance gold medal win at the Salt Lake City Olympics and Tan Le's migrant hope for a better future are among the 25 new stories to be launched.

Eternity will be launched in the Museum's Hall at 11am on Thursday, 29 May.

This is the first major changeover for any of the five permanent exhibitions of the National Museum since it opened in March 2001.

Each Eternity story is told through a multimedia voyage and a special object.

The new icons include the Australian team suit Steven Bradbury wore on his gold-medal winning skate, the first bionic ear to be successfully implanted by Professor Clark and Tan Le's Young Australian of the Year award.

Coinciding with the Eternity launch, Professor Clark will deliver the inaugural Celebrating Australians lecture in the National Museum's Studio at 12.30pm.

Professor Clark will speak about The Bionic Ear: Passion in Science, outlining his work to develop and implant the first bionic ear, the inspiration of his deaf father and the criticism he faced from sections of the medical and deaf communities.

Celebrating Australians is linked to the emotions explored in Eternity, with guests sharing the personal stories behind their professional achievements.

Other stories being introduced to Eternity on Thursday include those of RSL founder Sir Gilbert Dyett, mystery murder victim Linda Agostini (the Pyjama Girl), colonial cricketer Victor Trumper, convict woman Jane Walker, sustainable energy advocate Peter Pedals, early trade unionist Emma Miller and Yowie hunter Rex Gilroy.

For more information please contact Public Affairs Director Martin Portus on 02 6208 5351, 0409 916 481 or email m.portus@nma.gov.au