Last Thursday, 6 May 2021, the Museum was pleased to open our latest temporary exhibition: “Our Heritage”. As an organisation that focuses so heavily on the past, we tend to overlook our own history in favour of pursuing other stories. But our history is important, too. Drawing on our heritage collections, this exhibition follows the Museum’s early development through to the organisation that it is today. The building the Museum occupies through to the objects and memories that we preserve are important aspects of heritage; physical (or not so physical) reminders of our past.
As part of this new exhibition the Museum looked to the voices of the future to understand our past. The Museum asked all high school aged students to explain why history and places like the Museum will be important in the future. This wasn’t an easy task with students restricted to just 300 words however they were invited to use any format they desired. We received short essays, poems and even a rap-style entry which made choosing just five entries for our shortlist very difficult.
Our shortlisted entries have come from a number of schools across Sydney and notably two have come from our nearby Penrith High School. Our judging panel were asked to select a winner and a highly commended work from the shortlist. I am very pleased to announce that at a small ceremony at the opening of the new exhibit, local Penrith student Dhanush Peruri with his work “History Heritage” was awarded 1st place in the competition. Thanks to support from the History Council NSW, he has received a wonderful prize that includes book vouchers and a private tour of the State Library NSW.
Our Highly Commended work was won by Heer Panchal, also of Penrith High School with their work “Shadow”.
At the opening of the gallery another shortlisted entrant, Diadem Ajani from St. Patrick’s College Campbelltown received a special Curator’s Award from our Curator, Laura. Diadem’s piece “Don’t worry, there’s still time”, as well as Dhanush’s and Heer’s will be added to the Museum’s permanent digital collection to ensure the history of the Museum is preserved into the future.
Pictured Above: Curator Awards winner Diadem Ajani with Museum Curator Laura Anderson; Highly Commended winner Heer Panchal with Museum CEO Belinda McMartin.
To see these three and the other shortlisted entries you can visit the Museum’s new exhibit which will be open until later this year. From the opening of the exhibit until Sunday 16th May, the public can select their favourite work with the People’s Choice Award still up for grabs! For those who can’t make it into the Museum the shortlisted entrants will be available online for digital voting from Tuesday 11th May 2021. The winner will be announced on the final day of the heritage festival, 19th May 2021.
To vote in the digital competition please visit the "Our Heritage Exhibit" page.
This exhibition was launched to coincide with the National Trust’s month-long Australian Heritage Festival. This is just one of a number of activities and events hosted by the Museum for this heritage festival. See our website for more details and to book your place in our final special event, our “Behind the Scenes Tour” which will take place on Monday 17th May 2021.
If you have ever wanted to know more about how the Museum of Fire came into existence or how it came to be in Penrith then this is the perfect exhibition for you to visit.
The Museum of Fire is open 7 days, 9:30am – 4:30pm.
We look forward to seeing you in the Museum and if you have visited before this is a great exhibit to come back and see as we are asking those with fond memories of the Museum to share their stories by adding them to the exhibit.
-Museum of Fire CEO, Belinda McMartin