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Build commences on an exciting space for families

The National Museum of Australia is entering an exciting time as we plan to build a new centre for children and lifelong learning, in the next few years.

An artist's impression adults and children moving around inside an immersive play space.


What’s in store

The centre is an unprecedented project in the Museum’s history. It has been designed in collaboration with Arterial Design and ARM Architecture. It will include an immersive play space for children under five and an adjacent workshop space where a range of programs for babies through to seniors will be held.

The new centre will be fun and accessible, encouraging active participation and creative learning.

Under-fives space

The under-fives space explores six different Australian stories. Visitors will be able to:

  • Search mountains and moss to meet Dyirri the tiny corroboree frog and his friends.
  • Feel what it is like to be Chris the Sheep, squeezing through the bush maze to get to the shearing shed.
  • Explore a tropical lagoon and discover where Gelam rested at Erub.
  • Set sail with Trim the cat and embark on an incredible journey across the ocean.
  • Pretend you are a joey in a soft, warm pouch and learn how the kangaroo got her pouch.
  • Beware of the bunyip! Dress up as a bunyip and make up your own story at the billabong.

The design of the space, with its architectural ribs and portholes, references Matthew Flinders’ ship, HMS Investigator, that circumnavigated Australia. Animations bringing the different stories to life can be seen through the portholes.

Arterial’s design offers full-body interactive play opportunities and caters for different abilities and learning styles. There is something for everyone to love and engage with.

Workshop space

In the workshop space hands-on programs, talks and themed events will be run by artists and experts. Digital connections can also be made with groups who might not be able to visit in person.

Visitors, particularly children, parents and grandparents can look forward to this unique and exciting offering at the Museum in the years to come.

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