Open House Melbourne



Immigration Museum
400 Flinders Street
Melbourne, Victoria, 3000
What's On

Immigration Museum at Old Customs House

Victorians come from more than 200 countries, speak 260 languages and dialects and follow 135 religious faiths. Why do people leave their countries of birth to live here? What is their experience in their new country? How do communities adapt to new arrivals?

These are the questions that the Immigration Museum poses. This series of talks and tours presents thought-provoking experiences filled with compelling stories. Somewhere within, you'll find your own story.

Note: The following tours will run for 45 minutes, with groups of 20 selected on a first come first serve basis. Full Museum access is included for those on the tours.

Walking Tour: The Architecture of Old Customs House

Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 July, 11am

Join the Principal Architects from Lovell Chen on a walking tour of Old Customs House. Explore this architectural landmark and hear how heritage buildings can be preserved while continuing to be utilised as part of contemporary life.

Peter Lovell, Director and Founding Principal Architect will take the Saturday tour.
Milica Tumbas, Principal Architect, will take the Sunday tour. 

Walking Tour: Old Customs House from an Indigenous Perspective

Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 July, 11am, 1pm and 3pm

The cultural significance of Old Customs House serves a very interesting part of Melbourne's History. Join us for specialised tours lead by Immigration Museum Customer Service Officer Wil Patten and discover how this building was more than just a first place of settlement.

Kid's Activity: Tiny Town - Tents to Mansions

The highlight of the Open House Melbourne Kids' Program is the Immigration Museum's 'Tiny Town – Tents to Mansions' project, open both days of the Weekend.

Can you imagine life in early Melbourne? Or as a squatter on a Victorian sheep station in the 1800s? Or as an Indigenous Australian in colonial times? In this workshop you will look at the depictions of settlements and buildings in the Immigration Museum's Collection, then use them as inspiration to create your own miniature wooden models of colonial housing; from camping grounds to grand manors and soaring skyscrapers.

There will be a 'tiny town' set situated on a blackboard, with block buildings that can be relocated by aspiring town planners. Families can explore maps of Melbourne locate significant sites, making connections to the buildings and sites in the Open House Weekend. The participants will also have a significant tiny building (approximately 15cm2), which they can design themselves – using evidence from photographs and artworks to recreate the features of buildings utilising a variety of materials.

Free, no bookings required.

The Immigration Museum is open 10am–5pm daily. Free Tours do not include Immigration Museum general entry.