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17 December 2003

The National Museum of Australia in Canberra wants to hear from community groups in Alice Springs who would like their suburb to feature in a photographic exhibit which depicts 'life in the burbs'.

Groups selected for the exhibition will be provided with cameras and film to capture what they think is important about their suburb - from community characters and natural features to gardens or landmarks. The final collection will be displayed in the National Museum.

Former Alice Springs resident and now National Museum curator Rebecca Hessling will meet with community groups in January to outline the project and set them up to document their surrounds.

'We want to show that suburbs are not just a collection of houses and streets, but an interrelated network of people. Looking Around is a chance for community groups to present a photographic essay describing what they think is special about their suburban area,' Rebecca said. 'And for me, it is something special for the Museum to choose my home town.'

'The Museum is very much a "people's museum", and this exhibit is yet another opportunity for the people of Australia to contribute directly to the Museum's content and stories.'

The photos go on display in Looking Around - part of the gallery, Nation: Symbols of Australia - exploring the diversity of people, modes of life and meanings that exist in our suburbs.

The suburbs already featured include Perth's Friends of the Attadale Foreshore, Tasmania's Penguin Primary School and Adelaide's West Torrens Historical Society.

Almost 2 million people have visited the National Museum since it opened in March 2001, so if selected, your group will receive wide exposure!

Groups interested in contributing to the Looking Around exhibit are asked to submit an expression of interest, including details of their community group, when they are able to participate and a short statement on what is special about their suburb to: Rebecca Hessling, National Museum of Australia, GPO Box 1901, Canberra, ACT, 2601. Rebecca can also be reached on 02 6208 5039 or

Expressions of interest should be submitted by 13 January 2004, with Rebecca visiting Alice Springs from 21 January 3 February 2004.

For interviews or more information please contact Leanda Coleman on 02 6208 5338, 0438 620 710 or

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