Museum of Australian Democracy opens in Canberra

The Museum of Australian Democracy has just opened in Old Parliament House in Canberra. It

showcases key historical figures, events and decisions that have influenced the democracy we live in (Parkes, ‘Panorama,’ The Canberra Times, May 9).

There’s more than just Australia’s democratic history on display, Abraham Lincoln and George Washington feature amongst others.

[image: RiotACT]

Curator, Johanna Parker, reckons we’ll be challenged by what the museum exhibits and the various points of view shown. It’s also described as a “museum of ideas not of objects” and we’re asked to consider what we think about events and people in our history. I’ll be visiting soon and I’m especially interested in the balance between little ‘d’ democracy and bit ‘D’ Democracy. Parker assures us that there’s a fair share of both:

“There is something about democracy, social reform, liberty and fighting for the voice of people that just inspired ordinary people to do such incredible things” (ibid).

There are other Museums of Democracy, most noticeably the US Museum of Democracy. Then there’s the Cyberhall of Democracy and Human Rights, and I’m sure plenty of projects about democracy (particularly, I’d imagine, across the US), its expression, history and activities.

And a final word from Senator John Faulkner on the Museum’s opening:

“democracy isn’t words on a page, or numbers on a ballot paper, but a day-to-day lived experience.”

The Museum officially opened yesterday.

2 comments so far

  1. Dianne Allen on


    You might like to know about, to follow, a current discussion sponsored by IDS (Peter Taylor, et al) about teaching democracy …

    (PS put gory email details in your email)

  2. Marg on

    Thanks Dianne, will check it out. Good timing for my Masters essay too in fact! :o)

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