Documenting and preserving the stories and the images of the people and places of Melbourne's West since 1984



Visitor Centre
Pipemakers Park, Van Ness Avenue,
Maribyrnong. Melway Map 28 B10

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Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West is a community Museum which actively involves the people of Melbourne’s West and others in documenting, preserving and interpreting the richness and depth of the region’s social, industrial and environmental history.

Melbourne's Living Museum of the West is Australia's first 'ecomuseum' and is based on ideas about inclusive and community museums that were first developed by Sven Lindqvist (Sweden), Georges Henri Riviere and Hugues de Varine (France) in the late 1960s early 1970s.

Established in 1984, in Footscray, by people such as Joan Kirner, Olwen Ford, Eva Yencken and David Yencken the Museum has focused on the region to the west of Melbourne, the industrial heartland of Melbourne that is of great significance to the history of Australia. By collecting the personal stories and images of people who have lived, worked and migrated to that region; and by helping them to preserve, interpret and document their history the Museum endeavours to preserve and convey some important aspects and otherwise missing links within Australia's history.

march 2019

december 2018



Great Western - is a collaboration between the museum and recent graduates from the Drawing and Printmaking Department at the Victorian College of the Arts.

Featuring artists Daniel Kotsimbos, Kathleen Hicks, Chas Manning, Tamara Marrington, Brahmony Mccrossin and Lucy Wilson, each of whom have explored the rich collection of the Living Museum of the West to draw forth relationships between peripheral archival material and contemporary art practice. The artists utilise the context of site, specifically the museum’s Visitor Centre as the axis for investigation and exchange thereby bypassing the formalities of exhibition conventions to convey a social engagement with a disparate range of histories and narratives. Each work is located within and amongst the permanent displays of the museum to create conversational platforms that highlight and potentially illuminate the core objectives of the museum’s interest in the region, its people and its immediate environment.

Exhibition dates: 1 December to 16 December 12 – 5 (Saturdays and Sundays only)

Opening celebration: Saturday 1 December 3 - 5



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archived website 1997- 2007

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LMW is supported by Parks Victoria and the City of Maribyrnong