Woman in museum collection store showing and object

Dr Moya McFadzean

Senior Curator, Migration & Cultural Diversity

About me

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University of Melbourne
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I am responsible for developing the museum's migration and diversity-related collections and exhibitions. My curatorial work focuses on the application of material culture and memory of migration and cultural diversity to interpretations of Australian migration, refugee and asylum seeker narratives, as well as museums as sites of social activism and their potential for developing relationships of genuine engagement and reciprocity with communities. I have widely published and presented on these subjects in national and international forums.

The Museum’s migration-related collections are amongst the largest and most significant in Australia and continue to grow; much of the collection is on the Museums Victoria Collections website.

Much of my exhibition work is visible at the Immigration Museum. My most recent exhibition achievements include the following at the Immigration Museum: Becoming You: An Incomplete Guide (lead curator, 2020-22); LOVE (lead curator, 2018-19) and British Migrants: Instant Australians? (lead curator, 2017-18). Moya also provided the curatorial lead or significant contribution to all the long-term installations at the Immigration Museum, including Identity: yours, mine, ours (since 2011) and Forget the Stereotypes: International Students in Melbourne (since 2020). Integral to all these exhibitions has been engagement with diverse communities and creative practitioners and developing innovative approaches to storytelling through the authentic voice.

My phd (submitted 2009), Glory Boxes: Femininity, Domestic Consumption and Material Culture in Australia, 1930-1960 (PDF, 18MB), examined the social, cultural and economic history of Australian-born and migrant women’s glory boxes through memory and material culture.

Significant research collaborations include two ARC linkage projects, one investigating the impact of museums exhibitions on school students’ attitudes and behaviours regarding racism (completed 2016); and another focusing on cultural representations in Australian television (completed 2019). I am currently an affiliate on a University of WA-led ARC Discovery project examining visualisations of Australian citizenship (2020-2-22).

Recent publications include chapters in Museum Activism (eds Robert Janes & Richard Sandell, Routledge, 2019) and Migration Memories. Oral Histories & Heritage in Australia (eds Kate Darian-Smith & Paula Hamilton, Palgrave Macmillan, 2019).

Qualifications

PhD, Glory Boxes: Femininity, Domestic Consumption and Material Culture in Australia, 1930-1960, School of Historical Studies, The University of Melbourne, 2009

MA, School of Historical Studies, The University of Melbourne, 2006

Grad Dip, Museum Studies, Deakin University, 1988

Key publications

‘Purposeful Memory-Making: Personal Narratives of Migration at Melbourne’s Immigration Museum’, Remembering Migration: Oral Histories and Heritage in Australia, (eds) Kate Darian-Smith and Paula Hamilton, Palgrave MacMillan, 2019

‘Active Museums: Inside Out’ (with Dale-Hallett, L., Moultan, K, Mauri, T.), Museums and Activism, (eds) Richard Sandell and Robert R. Janes, Routledge, 2019

‘Exhibiting Controversy at Melbourne’s Immigration Museum’, Melbourne Historical Journal, Vol 40, No 1, pp.5-19, 2012

‘Glory Boxes: Female Domestic Consumption and Material Culture in Australia, 1930–1960’ in Robert Crawford, Judith Smart and Kim Humphery (eds) Consumer Australia: Historical Perspectives, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2010

‘Technically speaking: Digital Representations of Refugee Experiences at Melbourne’s Immigration Museum’ in Hanne-Lovise Skartveit and Katherine Goodnow (eds) Changes in Museum Practice. New Media, Refugees and Participation, Berghahn Books, 2010

Links

Projects and events

Current and Completed Research Grant Projects

Affiliate Organisation, Australian Research Council (Discovery): ‘Picturing Australian Citizenship: the Power of Images in Shaping Australia’ (lead partners: University of Western Australia, University of Adelaide and Monash University).

Partner Investigator, Australian Research Council: ‘Migration, Cultural Diversity and Television: Reflecting Modern Australia’ (co-partners: University of Tasmania, University of Wollongong and Australian Centre for the Moving Image), 2015-18

Partner Investigator, with Associate Investigator Dr Maria Tumarkin, ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions Associate Investigator Scheme: ‘The Unending Absence’: Threading Grief through the Immigration Museum’s Permanent Exhibitions, 2014-16

Partner Investigator, Australian Research Council: ‘Using museums to counter racism and increase acceptance of diversity among young people’ (co-partners: Deakin University and University of Melbourne), 2012-2015

Current Research Associates

NIL at present

Current Exhibition Projects

NIL at present

Exhibition Industry Awards

Victorian Museums and Galleries Award AMaGA Victoria: Best Exhibition in Large Museum: LOVE, Immigration Museum, 2019

European Heritage Association/Europa Nostra/ICOM Best in Heritage Excellence Award: Identity: yours, mine, ours, 2013

Museum Industry Recognition Award, Museums Australia Victoria: Identity: yours, mine, ours, 2012

MUSE, American Museums Alliance: Getting In Interactive Interview Experience, 2004

Selected Professional Affiliations

Honorary Fellow, School of Historical and Philosophical Studies, The University of Melbourne, since 2015

Member, Multicultural Community Collections Committee, Museums Australia Victoria, 2011-13

Member, Organising Committee, 2011 Oral History Association Victoria Conference, 2010-11

Treasurer, Museums Australia Historians National Network, 2004-07

President, Vice President and Committee Member, Museums Australia Victoria, 1991-97

International Conference Papers

Exhibiting Migration & Cultural Diversity: Interpretive Approaches & Education Impacts at Melbourne’s Immigration Museum, Keynote Address, 25-26 November, Asia Pacific Museum Education International Conference, National Museum of Natural Science, Taichung, Taiwan, 2016

Really Making a Difference? Measuring Impact in Schools [co-authors/presenters Jan Molloy & Dr Jessica Walton], American Alliance of Museums Conference, Washington DC, 26-29 May, 2016

Exhibiting Difference: interrupting dominant narratives of multiculturalism through an affective museum exhibition experience [co-author/presenter Dr Jessica Walton], Museums Australasia Conference, Auckland 16-18 May 2016

‘Exhibiting Difference/Talking Difference/Making a Difference: Melbourne’s Immigration Museum’, Museum 2012: The Socially Purposeful Museum, National Museum of History, Taipei, Taiwan 20-22 November, 2012

‘Personal Narratives, National Histories. Representations of Migration at Melbourne’s Immigration Museum’, On Reflection: Representing Cultural Diversity in Museums, Museums Association Symposium, Birmingham, UK, 18 May, 2005

‘Beyond the Label: Museums, Histories and New Technologies. The Getting In Interactive Theatre Experience at Melbourne’s Immigration Museum’, Festival Audiovisuel International Musie & Patrimoine, AVICOM (ICOM), Taipei, Taiwan, 2004

Museums – Social Mirrors, Social Commentators? Or Who's Telling Whose Stories? Embracing Diverse Communities in Shifting Historical and Contemporary Landscapes’, Museum 2000 Confirmation or Challenge?, ICOM Sweden, Swedish Travelling Exhibitions and Swedish Museums Association, 2002

Selected Australian Conferences Papers and Public Lectures (since 2006)

Power of Authenticity: Memory-Making & Performative Visitor Experiences at Melbourne’s Immigration Museum, Australasian Sound Recordings Association (ASRA) Conference, 10 November 2021 (online)

Museums Telling Difficult Stories, Past Wrongs Future Choices Workshop, University of Victoria, Canada, 1 July, 2021 (online)

Forget the Stereotypes: International Students in Melbourne: creating an empathetic experience at Immigration Museum, Melbourne. Coronavirus and its Impact on International Students: International Education in the Time of Global Disruptions conference, RMIT University, Melbourne, Online, 10 February, 2021 (online)

Living the Curve: Communities surviving together, Museums Victoria Lecture Series lecture (with Forge, C, Hilli, L., Moulton, K. and Stevenson, M), 21 October 2020 (online)

British migrants: instant Australians?: making an exhibition. Public lecture. History Trust South Australia and Migration Museum, Webinar, 25 August, 2020 (online)

Oral History Collections and Museum Practice, Speaker, Round Table, ANU Centre for Heritage and Museum Studies, National Museum of Australia, 28 August, 2019

Collecting Absence. Australian Migration History Network (AMHN) ‘Migration History Now’ Workshop, Canberra 29 November, 2019

Lucky For Some: Exhibiting British Migration to Australia Since World War II [co-author Dr Sophie Couchman], First Eric Richards Symposium in British and Australasian History, Flinders University, Adelaide, 31 January-3 February, 2017

Honouring Voices, Creating Experiences: Personal Narrative Representations in Exhibitions at Melbourne's Immigration Museum, Oral History Association of Victoria Symposium, Museo Italiano, Melbourne 25 June, 2016

‘Big Picture, Human Perspectives: Migration Histories Told Through Personal Stories’, Federation of Ethnic Communities Councils of Australia (FECCA) National Biennial Conference, Multiculturalism in Action: Building a better future for all Australians, Sydney, 6 November, 2015

‘Beyond the Baggage: Reflecting on 25 Years of Migration Collections at Museum Victoria’, Museum Victoria, History Cultures & Collections Seminar Series, Melbourne Museum 18 November, 2015

More Than Suitcases: Collecting Migrant Stories at Museum Victoria. Eleventh Annual Family History Feast, State Library of Victoria, 25 August, 2014

‘Social Interventions: can Museums Really Make a Difference?’ Research and Collections in a Connected World, Museums Australia National Conference, University of Adelaide, 25-28 September, 2012

‘Museums Exhibiting Difference and Making a Difference’. Expanding Conversations: Social Innovation, Arts and Anti Racism forum, Australian Human Rights Commission/ Council Histories, Arts and Social Sciences, Sydney, 15 May, 2012

‘Exhibiting Personal Identity: Making an exhibition’, Public Histories Seminar Series, State Library of Victoria, August, 2011

‘Imagining a Home: the role of glory boxes in shaping the imagined domestic spaces of Australian women, 1930-1960’, Australian Historical Association Conference, Melbourne, 2008

‘Private Memories in Public spaces. Telling Stories at Melbourne’s Immigration Museum’, Moving Cultures, Shifting Identities Conference, Flinders University, Adelaide, 2007

‘The Glory Box: Lifting the Lid on an Ambivalent Signifier’, Australian Network for Research in Women’s History Conference, Melbourne, 2006

‘Private Memories in Public Spaces: Telling Stories at the Immigration Museum, Melbourne’, International Oral History Association Conference, University of Technology, Sydney, 2006

Teaching and students

I'm available for student supervision.

Lectures

‘Exhibiting Identity at the Immigration Museum’, University of Melbourne, ‘Urban Legends’ course, School of Historical and Philosophical Studies , annual lecture, 2016-2011

Student Internships

I am the Society & Technology Department student internship liaison and have also supervised many museum internships for students from a range of universities including Melbourne, Deakin, Monash, La Trobe and ANU. A partnership I manage with Birmingham University has resulted in student internships through their Global Challenge scheme since 2014.

Publications

Selected Publications

Book review: A. Atkinson-Phillips, Survivor Memorials: Remembering Trauma and Loss in Contemporary Australia (UWA Publishing, Perth, 2019). Australian Historical Studies, 51:4: 503-504, 2020

‘Purposeful Memory-Making: Personal Narratives of Migration at Melbourne’s Immigration Museum’, Remembering Migration: Oral Histories and Heritage in Australia, (eds) Kate Darian-Smith and Paula Hamilton, Palgrave MacMillan, 2019 (peer reviewed)

‘Active Museums: Inside Out’ (with Dale-Hallett, L., Moultan, K, Mauri, T.), Museums and Activism, (eds) Richard Sandell and Robert R. Janes, Routledge, 2019 (peer reviewed)

‘Collecting Narratives of Migration: Nineteenth and early Twentieth Century Collections at Museum Victoria, Melbourne’, Migration to New Worlds. The Century of Migration, Adam Mathew Online Resource, www.amdigital.co.uk , 2015

‘Human rights and the role of museums’, Human Rights Defender, Australian Human Rights Centre, UNSW Law, The University of New South Wales, Vol.24, Issue 2 July, 2015

‘Remnants of a Life’s Work: Caroline Chisholm’, Agora, Journal of the History Teachers’ Association of Victoria, 2013

‘Genteel women. Empire and domestic material culture 1840-1910 by Dianne Lawrence. Manchester University Press, 2012’, Book review in Australian Historical Studies: Volume 44/3 September, 2013

‘Exhibiting Controversy at Melbourne’s Immigration Museum’, Melbourne Historical Journal: Volume 40. pp.5-19, 2012

‘Glory Boxes: Female Domestic Consumption and Material Culture in Australia, 1930–1960’ in Robert Crawford, Judith Smart and Kim Humphery (eds) Consumer Australia: Historical Perspectives, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2010

‘Technically speaking: Digital Representations of Refugee Experiences at Melbourne’s Immigration Museum’ in Hanne-Lovise Skartveit and Katherine Goodnow (eds) Changes in Museum Practice. New Media, Refugees and Participation, Berghahn Books. pp.71-84, 2010

Contributing author, Deborah Tout-Smith (ed), Melbourne. A City of Stories, exhibition catalogue, Museum Victoria, 2008

‘Immigration and material culture’ (and three short artefact entries), in Treasures of the Museum, Museum Victoria, 2004

‘Displaced Persons’, Entry for Encyclopedia of Melbourne, Monash University, 2003

‘Museums – Social Mirrors, Social Commentators? Or Who's Telling Whose Stories? Embracing Diverse Communities in Shifting Historical and Contemporary Landscapes’, Museum 2000 Confirmation or Challenge?, ICOM Sweden, Swedish Travelling Exhibitions and Swedish Museums Association, 2002

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