2019 Round Up
2019 has been an exciting year. China ventured to the far side of the moon, the Event Horizon Telescope gave us the first image of a black hole, Richmond won the AFL Grand Final and the Climate Strike movement took the world by storm.
We think it’s been a pretty big year for Museums Victoria, too. Here are our top 10 moments of 2019.
10. The Museums Victoria Store was launched!
You can now browse a selection of our fabulous and curious wares from the comfort of your own home. Have a peek yourself.
9. IMAX saw record crowds with Avengers: Endgame
In April, IMAX opened Avengers: Endgame with over 12,000 ticket pre-sales, which built to a total of 23,460 admissions. Over the first four weeks of the film’s release, the IMAX Candy Bar also served over 6,400 popcorns, 10,800 drinks and 3,000 choc tops to Melbourne’s biggest Marvel fans.
8. The Wedderburn Meteorite
Researchers from UCLA discovered an extra-terrestrial mineral in the Wedderburn Meteorite. The meteorite, which landed in Victoria in 1951 and is now part of the Museums Victoria collection, contains Edscottite, a mineral that has only ever been seen synthetically before now.
7. Immigration Museum celebrated its 21st birthday!
Since 1998, Immigration Museum has shared the stories and histories of Victoria’s diverse communities and advocated for social respect, understanding and empathy.
In 2018-19 we welcomed 135,000 visitors through the museum’s doors to experience these stories and histories – our second-highest annual attendance since opening. We look forward to continuing this work into 2020 and beyond.
6. Dinosaur discovery in Victoria
The MV Palaeontology team, including Senior Curator of Vertebrate Palaeontology Dr Tom Rich, MV Honorary Associate Patricia Vickers-Rich and MV Research Associate Dr Stephen Poropat, were published in the Journal of Vertebrate Palaeontology for their work with the Theropod dinosaur discovered on Victoria’s Otway Coast. These fossils were collected by MV staff before being carefully prepped and housed at Melbourne Museum.
5. Royal Exhibition Building restoration
Over the course of 2019, the Royal Exhibition Building’s restoration project has continued. We’ve had approximately 429 visitors taken on walking tours to view the restoration progress and we look forward to reopening one of Melbourne’s greatest treasures to the public later in 2020.
4. The Great Melbourne Telescope celebrated its 150th anniversary!
The Great Melbourne Telescope celebrated its 150th anniversary since installation at Melbourne Observatory. For the first time since volunteers began working on its restoration in 2008, the GMT ‘skeleton’ has been assembled to its full height. Works will continue to make it fully operational and allow it to leave Scienceworks, returning to its Melbourne Observatory home.
3. LOVE was in the air
The beginning of 2019 saw LOVE in the air (and galleries) at Immigration Museum. Created in collaboration with Heide Museum of Modern Art, LOVE celebrated stories across time, gender, ethnicity, orientation, age and distance. The exhibition’s popularity saw Love for Longer in its last days, opening for extended evenings, and took home the AMaGA Victoria Award for Medium Museums. LOVE may have closed in April, but its touching stories are still in our hearts.
2. Museums Victoria to phase out all sugary drinks
In partnership with VicHealth, and as a leading educational institution, we hope to improve the health and wellbeing of young children who visit Melbourne Museum, Scienceworks and Immigration Museum. Sugary drinks are being phased out, vending machines removed, and new water fountains installed at all of our sites.
1. RACV Victorian Tourism Award for Bunjilaka
We are incredibly proud of the team behind the Bunjilaka Aboriginal Cultural Centre, who took home the QANTAS Award for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Tourism at the RACV Victorian Tourism Awards. It’s a privilege to be recognised as the top Victorian visitor experience of Australia’s First Peoples’ living cultures, histories and knowledge, and we look forward to continuing to deliver excellence in this space.