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

contact and opening hours




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.


Museum News January / February 2021

- museum re-opens

- new and extended opening hours 2021

- welcome to Rosemary Forde

Dear Members, Friends and Stakeholders, 

It is with great pleasure the Committee of Management welcomes Rosemary Forde in the new role of Business Manager at Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West.  Rosemary is a curator, educator and arts administrator with a wealth of experience working both independently and in museums and the artist-run sector in Melbourne and New Zealand. Rosemary shares the Living Museum’s belief in the value of art as a critical tool for local histories and community building.  We look forward to working with her! 

Establishing the part-time position of Business Manager has been possible thanks to recently announced Triennial Funding from the City of Maribyrnong, and will help secure the Living Museum’s future and expand its capacity for programming and public access to the archive.

After a challenging year for all in 2020, we look forward to welcoming you back to the visitor centre soon!

The Living Museum re-opens from February 4, 2021 with new expanded public hours:

Thursdays 11am – 4pm

Fridays 11am – 4pm

Saturdays 1pm – 4pm

The museum is following all COVID-19 safety guidelines and has processes in place to keep visitors and volunteers safe. Enquiries and appointments are also welcome.

We have exciting artistic programs to look forward to this year, including upcoming exhibitions by LMW artist-in-residence Nic Burridge as part of Melbourne Design Week (26 March – 5 April); The image is not nothing (Concrete Archives) curated by Lisa Radford & Yhonnie Scarce (13 May – 26 June); our ongoing River and Streams series of artist talks developed by Matthew Davis; a curatorial project with West Space; the launch of our new open studio program Canteen, and many more projects to be announced!

Thank you, as always, for your continued support of the Living Museum. 


Museum News October / November 2020

Due to the Covid-19 (coronavirus) pandemic the Visitor Centre of Melbourne's Living Museum of the West remains closed to the public at present...


Triennial Funding

The Living Museum has successfully secured Triennial Funding from the City of Maribyrnong to support its programs and operations during 2020 - 2023. 

The additional funding will enable the Museum to employ a part-time business manager to support the work of the Committee to deliver the Museum’s Strategic Plan and 3 Year Program. With the lifting of Covid restrictions we are hoping that the Museum’s doors will open once again in early December. We will keep you posted.  

In the meantime, this year our AGM will be held remotely, via zoom, on November 19th details are below.

Business Manager postion vacant

The Business Manager is a new part-time position and the Living Museum’s only paid position. The position is part of a 3 year strategy to support the volunteer management committee who currently run the Museum. The Business Manager will support the implementation of the 2020 – 2023 Strategic Plan.

Details about this position and how to apply can be found here.


AGM 19 November 2020

The Living Museum 2020 AGM will be held remotely via Zoom video link on Thursday November 19th at 7.30 pm. If you are interested in attending please contact us directly in advance so we can email you a meeting link and password. events@livingmuseum.org.au

Current Museum members can renew their membership subscription via email, new members can download a membership form here which must be signed and dated and returned via post or email to:

PO Box 60 Highpoint City, VIC, 3032

Download Living Museum membership form here:

Annual Report 2019 -2020 / Strategic Plan 2020 -2023

The Museum's 2019-20 Annual Report and Strategic Plan 2020 -2023 documents are available upon request.


Museum News July / August 2020

Presenting two new videos...produced during Covid 19 restrictions in Melbourne

 ‘Supported by the City of Melbourne COVID-19 Arts Grants’.


The Museum is proud to present two new videos, 'Flowerlands' and 'Art Programs and Residencies' produced during Covid 19 restrictions. These videos present some of our archival materials and will be used to introduce a series of webinars held over the coming months. Stay tuned for updates.

Find out more and register for free webinar events here.

Flowerlands, 2020


Art Programs and Residencies, 2020




This grant has also enabled the broader Museum team to continue to be available to answer research enquiries from artists and the general public, which would usually occur face to face at the Museum Visitor Centre, on Tuesday’s, by zoom or by phone.

Please feel free to contact the Museum on admin@livingmuseum.org.au to make an appointment for a consultation on any Tuesday between 11 am and 3 pm.

 ‘Supported by the City of Melbourne COVID-19 Arts Grants’.







march 2020

Due to the Covid-19 (coronavirus) pandemic the Visitor Centre of Melbourne's Living Museum of the West is closed to the public for the foreseeable future.

Please stay tuned to this space for updates on Museum projects. To reach out to our volunteer base email admin@livingmuseum.org.au or find us on Instagram @livingmuseumwest for updates.

Stay safe everyone!'




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



more about this event



archived website 1997- 2007

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LMW is supported by Parks Victoria and the City of Maribyrnong