Behind the Lines 2018

Behind the Lines 2018

Behind the Lines: The Year’s Best Political Cartoons 2018 celebrates another year in Australia’s unique, vibrant and fearless tradition of political cartooning. No politician, party or policy is safe from the nation’s best cartoonists; witty, powerful or ribald, their images offer an astutely observed journey through twelve months in our political life. Behind the Lines is a Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House travelling exhibition.   This year 'Behind the Lines' is presented as part of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Start Date: 4 March 2019 End Date: 23 April 2019   Behind the Lines is a travelling exhibition developed by the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House, proudly supported by the National Collecting Institutions Touring and Outreach program, an Australian Government program aiming to improve access to the national collections for all Australians.       ...
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Gold Rush: 20 Objects, 20 Stories

Gold Rush: 20 Objects, 20 Stories

Discover the turbulent tale of Victoria’s gold rush through the individual stories of just 20 objects. Gold was first discovered in Australia in 1851 – first in New South Wales and then in Victoria. The finds caused a sensation. Stories of fabulous discoveries in California were already famous and the Australian finds promised the same opportunity. Men throughout Australia immediately downed tools to ‘rush’ to the goldfields, soon joined by others from New Zealand. By the following year thousands began to arrive from Britain, Europe, America and then China. The impact on farms and businesses was devastating at first. As Lieutenant-Governor Charles La Trobe wrote to his superior in England, ‘Cottages are deserted, houses to let, even schools are closed. In some of the suburbs, not a man is left.’ The lure of gold was huge. It represented the opportunity of a lifetime to escape from the relentless cycle of hard work and low pay that was the lot of most people....
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A Nation Divided: the Great War and Conscription

A Nation Divided: the Great War and Conscription

In 1916 and 1917, during the darkest days of the Great War, two referendums were held asking Australians to decide whether men should be conscripted to fight overseas.  The issue was hugely controversial, dividing families, communities and political parties.  Thousands of impassioned speeches were made, endless newspaper columns written, mass meetings and huge rallies held throughout the country. In fact the debates surrounding these two referendums have been described by some historians as the most bitter, divisive and violent ever to consume the nation. As Australians divided in bitter recrimination, it seemed as if the soul of the grieving nation would tear itself apart. This exhibition tells the story of this extraordinary period in our history. It is a tale of political intrigue, industrial turmoil, civil unrest and a lurid propaganda war. There were passionate idealists on both sides of the debate, but also many ordinary people who quietly made up their own minds. In the end Australians voted against conscription, despite a huge government campaign to persuade them otherwise.  In a...
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