8 March 2024

Museum of the Riverina welcomes inspiring artifacts of Australian of the Year Award recipients

| Shri Gayathirie Rajen
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group of award recipients

The proud 2024 Australian of the Year Award recipients, whose personal objects are the focus of an exhibition at the Museum of the Riverina. Photo: Supplied.

A captivating display of personal artifacts depicting the deeply personal stories of the 2024 Australian of the Year recipients is now on display.

The personal objects, including a toy unicorn, a motorbike helmet and a compass, are on exhibition at the Museum of the Riverina Historic Council Chambers.

The recipients include an environmental scientist, a champion for women in construction, an Indigenous health leader and an advocate for victims of crime.

The moving display of the personal items was officially launched on Saturday (2 March).

The National Museum of Australia, in collaboration with the National Australia Day Council, showcases the significant belongings of the 2024 Australian of the Year state and territory recipients, revealing stories about their lives, aspirations and experiences.

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Museum of the Riverina manager Luke Grealy said the venue was excited to host the exhibition.

“Touring exhibitions from national institutions like this are a wonderful way to increase access to art and culture for Wagga Wagga residents,” Mr Grealy said.

National Museum director Katherine McMahon said the recipients had chosen deeply personal objects that reflected their life’s story, work and experiences.

“We are delighted to display these captivating objects selected by the extraordinary state and territory recipients,” Ms McMahon said.

“These objects underpin their personal history, reveal significant moments in their lives and connect to the broader social and political impact they have.

“We invite all Australians to view the objects on display, discover the remarkable stories of the Australians who selected them and reflect on the issues they raise.”

National Australia Day Council chief executive officer Mark Fraser said the personal artifacts gave everyone hope in the current challenging times.

“These objects give us a sense of hope that our brightest days are ahead,” Mr Fraser said.

“Our Australians of the Year from each state and territory are, in their own way, making an impact – socially, environmentally or politically.

“They remind us of what can grow out of small seeds of action.”

The 2024 Australian of the Year exhibition will be on display at the Museum of the Riverina Historic Council Chambers, Baylis Street, Wagga Wagga, until Sunday, 28 April.

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Australian of the Year state and territory recipient biographies and display objects:

  • ACT – Joanne Farrell, founder of Build Like a Girl; object: steel hammer and hard hat.
  • NSW – Professor Georgina Long AO and Professor Richard Scolyer AO, melanoma treatment pioneers; object: triathlon medal and suit.
  • NT – Blair McFarland, founder of Central Australian Youth Link-Up Service; object: motorbike helmet.
  • QLD – Marco Renai, founder of Men of Business; object: Men of Business brick.
  • SA – Tim Jarvis AM, environmental scientist and adventurer; object: compass.
  • Tasmania – Stephanie Trethewey, rural women’s advocate; object: unicorn.
  • Victoria – Janine Mohamed, Indigenous health leader; object: child’s shoes.
  • WA – Mechelle Turvey, advocate for victims of crime; object: Cassius Turvey’s school report.

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