Christmas at the Old Treasury 2018

Christmas at the Old Treasury 2018

Immerse yourself in a time gone by! Visit the Old Treasury Building’s annual Christmas display from the 1920s. By the 1920s there were quite sophisticated Christmas decorations for sale in the shops, but most people could not afford them. These are the kinds of decorations they made instead. Newspapers of the time printed designs and patterns for cheerful decorations which could be made at home using readily available materials. As a reminder of times past, the Old Treasury Building has used these patterns to recreate a homely Christmas in the caretakers’ basement flat. We’ll also share some old recipes for Christmas food. You’ll recognise some things – but others will be an eye opener! Start Date: 12 November 2018 End Date: 6 January 2019 ...
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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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