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 + opening hours



what's on / news

Opening hours 2022

Thursdays 11am – 4pm
Fridays 11am – 4pm
Saturdays 1pm – 4pm

email admin@livingmuseum.org.au

Museum News October - December 2022

DOWNLOAD available here from 1 December


AGM Sunday 27 November 2022

The Living Museum 2022 AGM will be held at the Museum Visitor Centre and also via Zoom video link on Sunday November 27th at 6.00 pm. If you are interested in attending please contact us directly in advance so we can email you a meeting link and password. admin@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:





Opening Saturday 19 November 2022


presented by Trocadero Projects in collaboration with Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West. 

Dates: November 19 – December 15 2022

 is group exhibition exploring crafts, decorative arts and textiles as objects of personal, social and cultural history. 

Featuring handmade objects and textiles, mixed-media dioramas and detailed drawings by local artists, this exhibition is fascinated with the dichotomy of public artistic practice and private, personal art-making. Two Little Houses explores a room as a shrine to oneself and a self-curated space.

Featuring works by Matilda Davis, Amie Green, Rumer Elisabetta Guario, Handbag Full of Worms, Madi Mercer, Ruby McCumiskey, Olive Snell, Morgan-Lee Snell and Emily Spratt.

TWO LITTLE HOUSES is presented by Trocadero Projects in collaboration with Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West. 

Dates: November 19 – December 15 2022
Location: The Living Museum of the West, Pipemakers Park, Maribyrnong VIC 3032
Opening Hours: Thursday & Friday 11am–4pm, Saturday 1–4pm.

ACCESS: Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West is wheelchair accessible with limited parking available directly in front of the Visitor Centre, on request. Regular parking is available in Pipemakers Park carparks nearby.




Trocadero would like to thank Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West for its generosity and community spirit in inviting us into its space and archives, as well as its ongoing efforts in documenting and sharing the unique heritage of the western region of Melbourne.



Vale, Peter Haffenden

30.03.1946 – 14.10.2022


It is with great sorrow we announce the passing of Peter Haffenden at home with his family on Friday 14 October 2022. Our thoughts are with Kerrie and Phoebe at this time.  

Peter’s life will be celebrated at the
Living Museum of the West on
Thursday 3 November at 4 pm.

The Living Museum is creating a ‘Peter Haffenden Future Project Fund’ to develop new projects in keeping with Peter’s legacy and philosophy of museology. 

We ask that, rather than sending flowers, contributions instead be made towards the establishment of this fund, via EFT donation. The Museum is a tax deductible registered charity.

Please email admin@livingmuseum.org.au for further information and receipts.
EFT details can be found below.
Peter spent 38 years working in the museum industry as a photographer, project manager and innovator and has made an elegant tribute through photographs, journalism, history and museology in Australia.

Peter grew up in his family’s milkbar in Barkly Street, West Footscray, in the 1950s, working in local factories as a teenager and organising dances at the local church. After completing an Economics degree and a short stint as a Marketing Analyst, Peter worked as a journalist with The Age newspaper, then the ABC, and then studied art and photography, drove taxis, and began working at the Museum as Media Co-ordinator from its inception in 1984.

With the Museum’s first director, Olwen Ford, Peter was instrumental in establishing First Nations projects and programs at the Living Museum from the late 1980s, including positions of Cultural Officer (from 1991), Arts Officer and training programs such as the Koorie Gardening Team, of which he was a Director. Over 30 years, Peter has made many close colleagues and friends across generations of elders and families of the tribes of the Kulin Nation and beyond.

From 1997 to 2007, Peter was the Director of the Living Museum, managing hundreds of projects and supervising the production of innumerable events and exhibitions.  Peter has photographic work in the State Collection of significant photographs, has written many articles on the history of the Western suburbs and the book, Your History Mate.  He received awards for contributions to the museum industry and a Bicentennial Medal for contribution to the community. 

In 2011, upon request, Peter returned to work as a member of the Committee of Management of the Museum, developing new projects and sharing his knowledge. Peter has been instrumental in ensuring the continuation of the Living Museum, the recognition of Pipemakers Park as a heritage site of national significance, and the ongoing preservation of its historic buildings.

A relentless advocate for the environment, Peter’s legacy includes multiple copies of educational touring exhibitions: Pobblebonk (2005), about the Maribyrnong River, and Volcano Dreaming (2011), about the critically endangered biosphere of the Victorian Volcanic Plains, on permanent display in the windows of the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning on the corner of Victoria and Nicholson Streets. Peter founded the Friends of Buckley Park to protect the intact remnant coastal dune system between Point Lonsdale and Ocean Grove in 1999 and remained the group’s president throughout.  

Donations to 'Peter Haffenden Future Projects Fund'
EFT details: Melbourne's Living Museum of the West Inc.
BSB: 083004 Acc: 018485325




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 has enabled the Museum to employ two casual staff to support the work of the Committee to deliver the Museum’s Strategic Plan and 3 Year Program.

Annual Reports / Strategic Plan 2020 -2023

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


Presenting two 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.

Flowerlands, 2020


Art Programs and Residencies, 2020




This grant enabled the broader Museum team to continue to be available to answer research enquiries remotely during Covid lockdowns.

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









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.










LMW is supported by Parks Victoria and the City of Maribyrnong

Pipemakers Park is managed by the City of Maribyrnong.