Revitalising the Immigration Museum

Collaborating with and for Victoria’s diverse communities for our future

The Immigration Museum has a proud record of sharing the stories and history of Victoria’s multicultural communities and celebrating the rich diversity that makes this state so unique.

As the Immigration Museum enters its third decade, we’re looking at ways to grow its impact and strengthen its connections with existing and new audiences.

We are committed to ensuring that the museum continues to reflect what our community wants and needs it to be, which is why we have begun a process of phased consultation with Victoria’s diverse communities.  

Any new initiatives will be in addition to the long-standing work we do hand-in-hand with our multicultural communities, with their stories and histories continuing to be at the heart of the museum.

Community consultation

In 2018, the Immigration Museum commenced consultation to understand perceptions around four central elements of the museum: its purpose, thematic content, the visitor experience and who our audience is.

Phase One: Data collection (May 2018–June 2019)

Part One: Focus Groups (May 2018)
Focus groups were conducted at the Immigration Museum with visitors and stakeholders across a range of sectors including community, government, business and industry.

Part Two: Community Consultations (June 2018)
Four community consultations conducted in partnership with City of Melbourne, Maribyrnong City Council, Darebin City Council and City of Greater Dandenong.

Part Three: Online Surveys (June 2019)
The Immigration Museum undertook online surveys of the Victorian population soliciting their views on proposed changes for the museum.

Phase Two: Sharing our findings and inviting feedback (July 2019 – December 2019)

Community Forums (October – November 2019)
The Immigration Museum hosted a series of community forums to present the results of our research and offer an opportunity for questions and feedback. These forums were held in Melbourne, Thomastown, St Albans, Clayton, Shepparton and Geelong.

Frequently asked questions

Why now?

The Immigration Museum has been exploring and celebrating the state’s rich, multicultural heritage since 1998. As the communities we service grow and change, it’s vital that the Immigration Museum continues to evolve so that it remains relevant, engaging and connected. We are also committed to looking at new and innovative ways to present the collections we have on offer, to ensure the Museum remains relevant, inclusive and engaging to diverse communities and new audiences.

Is the Immigration Museum changing its name?

The museum currently has no plans to change its name.

As part of a first stage of audience testing, we have been asking people to consider a range of questions in relation to the museum’s purpose, content and visitor experience. Any future changes will be guided by our ongoing community consultation and audience research.

Will the Immigration Museum continue to explore migration?

Yes. We see the topic of migration as more important than ever.

Will you still exhibit Museums Victoria’s Migration & Diversity Collection?

Absolutely. Museums Victoria’s Migration and Diversity collection was established in 1990 and now includes more than 9,000 objects that tell the story of people who have migrated to Victoria and Australia.

In the last two years, more than 800 objects have been added to this collection, reflective of Museums Victoria’s continued commitment to preserving and sharing our migration stories. The Museum remains committed to presenting these objects and their stories in meaningful and innovative ways, both in our Museums, across our digital platforms and out in our community, reflecting the changing nature of audiences.

Who is driving this project?

The revitalisation of the Immigration Museum is driven by Museums Victoria.

Museums Victoria is Australia’s largest public museum organisation, and has been creating knowledge and experiences that help audiences make sense of the world and building the State Collection since 1854. Museums Victoria operates Immigration Museum, Scienceworks and Melbourne Museum.

One of Museums Victoria’s priority initiatives, as set out in its Strategic Plan 2017-2025, is the revitalisation of the Immigration Museum.

Will you continue to work with education groups?

Yes. Education programs for schools and universities are a vital part of the Immigration Museum and they will remain so as the museum evolves.

The Immigration Museum delivers learning experiences for over 30,000 students per year from early primary to tertiary. Programs explore migration stories and notions of identity and belonging using objects and stories from the Migration & Cultural Diversity Collection and are supported with detailed resources connected to the Victorian Curriculum.

Partnerships with creative arts practitioners including Maxine Beneba Clarke, Alice Pung, Nour Abouzeid and Will Kotsaikis offer topical programs and learning resources for teachers and students.

Find out more about our schools programs and resources.


Have questions or want to learn more about this project? Get in touch with us at [email protected]

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