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Memento : Issue 16
tells our story For many Australians a sense of belonging is second nature. While we seldom contemplate the notion too deeply, it's a state of mind shaped by our family, our lifestyle, home or occupation. For some it can also be a spiritual connection with a particular place. This Centenary of Federation year will provide many opportunities to reflect on the diversity of the Australian experience over the past 100 years and how our feelings of who we are and where we belong have changed. And to help tell the story, a new exhibition, Belonging: A Century Celebrated, presents an array of material from the magnificent heritage collections of four prominent cultural institutions. The National Archives, the National Library, and the State Libraries of NSW and Victoria have been working together for the past two years to ensure Belonging contains the best exhibits from their combined holdings. The exhibition is sponsored by AAMI (Australian Associated Motor Insurers Limited) and supported by the National Council for the Centenary of Federation. In exploring Australians' sense of place from Federation to today, the exhibition reveals rare photographs and films, paintings, posters, personal stories, letters and interactive exhibits. Consultations with communities across Australia have informed the exhibition, and comments from participants feature in the exhibition. Consultations with Indigenous communities and individuals helped to shape the section of the exhibition devoted to Indigenous people's viewpoint of their 20th century belonging in Australia. The exhibition looks at the past in an engaging manner, and is sometimes challenging, sometimes serious, often amusing and lighthearted. It shows that a sense of belonging can be as complex as family ties or as simple as the smell of the bush or the sound of the sea. january 2001 memento His Excellency the Governor-General, Sir William Deane, opened the exhibition at the State Library of NSW on 3 January 2001. Belonging will travel around Australia to the venues below. •••••••••••••••••••• State Library of NSW 3 January -- 1 April 2001 State Library of Victoria 5May--22July2001 National Archives of Australia & National Library of Australia 22 August -- 11 November 2001 Tasmanian Museum & Art Gallery 8 December 2001 -- 4 March 2002 Queensland Museum 12 October -- 8 December 2002 'Belonging' State Library of New South Wales The first Governor-General took his oath of office at the same desk that Queen Victoria used to sign the documents creating the Commonwealth of Australia. NAA: A1200, L83907 An unusual Australian marsupial lives in the front yard of Frank and Pierina Bastianon, Griffith NSW. Photo by Gerrit Fokkema, 1987 3