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The Museum reopens on 29 Oct 21. See Plan your visit

How has life changed in Australia?

Year levels


Group size

Up to 55 students


90 minutes


$7 per student (2021)
$9 per student (2022)


Tuesday to Thursday, 9.30am and 11.30am

What was life like for your Grandma and Grandpa when they were your age? Did they play games on computers or watch movies on their own television?

Then and Now is a Museum educator-led program where students handle objects and explore the galleries to investigate how life has changed in Australia over the past 100 years.


  • Help students understand continuity and change.
  • Give students an opportunity to explore the collection of the National Museum of Australia.
  • Introduce students to the idea of collections and the link between collecting and remembering.
  • Familiarise students with the concept that museum objects help us remember stories from the past and tell stories of the present.
  • Provide hands-on exploration of a diverse collection of objects to facilitate discussions about the past and the present, as it relates to objects in the home.


  • Introductory activity — students are introduced to the concept of change over time. They handle a large range of objects that would have been used in the home at different times in the past and discuss how these objects have changed.
  • Gallery activity — working in groups, students explore the Museum’s galleries and participate in a Then and Now treasure hunt, looking at and drawing objects that have changed over time.
  • Reflection — students share with the class the objects they found interesting in the Museum and discuss how these objects have changed over time.

Curriculum links

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