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Colour photo of a fridge covered in signatures and hand written text, being filmed and lifted from a utility truck at the National Museum of Australia. - click to view larger image
The Bungendore Fridge arrives at the Museum

The iconic Bungendore Fridge is the National Museum's contribution to International Museum Day on 18 May 2020.

Today, museums, galleries and people everywhere are invited to choose an object of personal significance and post it on social media using the hashtags #Our2020 on #IMD2020.

The Museum’s Director, Dr Mathew Trinca, recognises the significance of the fridge in telling the story of Australia in 2020.

As fires raged across the country, Bungendore residents Scott and Claire Hooper set up the fridge by the highway outside their home. They stocked it with cold drinks for firefighters battling blazes in the region. Locals and passers-by made sure the fridge remained full of drinks and snacks.

‘The Bungendore Fridge exemplifies the kindness and community spirit synonymous with Australians facing difficult times,’ Dr Trinca said.

‘The story of this bushfire catastrophe is still being written but our memories and recollections of this summer will resound for many years to come — for many reasons it will come to be seen as a defining moment in the nation’s record of this time.’

Sometimes objects define us. Sometimes we define history with objects. 2020 is a year that will define us.

Every year since 1977, the International Council of Museums (ICOM) has organised International Museum Day. On this day, museums around the world plan creative events and activities to engage with visitors and highlight the importance of the role of museums as institutions that serve society and its development.

A fridge stand out the front of a house. There are signatures and hand writing covering the door of the fridge conveying messages of thanks and an Australian flag hoisted above.
The Bungendore Fridge outside the Hooper's home

This year, ICOM Australia organised a social media campaign. It called on museums and galleries to choose an object, work of art or other artefact that reflects this moment in time in some fundamental way.

Using the hashtags #Our2020 on #IMD2020 these objects will be captured in a virtual, collaborative exhibition.

The Museum invites you to choose an object of significance and post it to Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.

Watch video of the fridge coming from Bungendore to the Museum on Facebook

Director's choice

Mathew Trinca:

The past six months has seen us deal with drought, bushfires and now the coronavirus crisis in Australia — 2020 is a year unlike any I have experienced before. This wall hanging made from salvaged blankets by Ukrainian refugee Olga Basylevich in Germany in the aftermath of World War II is evidence of the power of the human spirit.

Olga's triumph over her circumstances shows how people reveal their humanity in adversity, and reminds me that however challenging the COVID19 crisis is, people have coped with much worse in the past and come through.

Wall hanging depicting Little Red Riding Hood walking through a forest. A wolf appears from behind a tree, with his red tongue hanging out the side of his mouth. A variety of fabrics including felt and fur have been sewn onto a grey blanket to form the scene, which also shows an owl, a bird, a squirrel and a rabbit. Some of the elements are padded using a technique called stumping, and they have a three-dimensional appearance.
Little Red Riding Hood wall-hanging
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