The Australian Family
In 1998 twenty Victorian museums and galleries came together to display the multiplicity of possibilities that lie at the heart of the most intimate of relationships - the family.
The Australian Family project provides a series of stories that tell us about our past and our present, and about our various communities. There are theatrical families such as Max and Helen Reddy, sporting families, felon families such as Ellen and Ned Kelly, and wealthy families such as those who lived in Como House and Rippon Lea.
Recording the lives of Chinese, Jewish, and Koorie families amongst many others, The Australian Family is an eloquent expression of our cultural pluralism. Sir James Gobbo, former Governor of Victoria and patron of the project, writes: "The essays provide a rich tapestry of Australian life through its most important and sustaining institution: the family".
A selection stories from The Australian Family project are included in the Culture Victoria website:
Key texts about the project are included as part of this overview:
> Australian Family Histories an introductory essay by Mark Peel, which presents an historical overview and makes sense of the differences and similarities that have always been present in Australian family life.
> An essay on the development of The Australian Family project by Dr Helen Light.
> A list of museums and galleries that participated in the project.
The full series of essays and images are available in The Australian Family: Images and Essays published by Scribe Publications, Melbourne 1998, edited by Anna Epstein. The book comprises specially commissioned and carefully researched essays with accompanying artworks and illustrations from each participating institution.