Well on Sunday afternoon Niki and I decided to get a little history and culture into us, so we decided to look at dead things, hard things and things that would eat us for dinner…if they were still alive. Yes readers, we went to the Western Australian History Museum. And if seeing lots of animals stuffed, butterflies pinned to the wall and random bits of ecological artefacts thrown around the place is your cup of magic tea, then this place is for you. I’m sure by now you’ve detected a hint of cynicism in my writing and you might be pondering if this will be my first negative review on a site? Well it just might be.
The museum is found in the centre of Perth and is located in a grand historically listed building, with beautiful manicured lawns and an iconic image of a dinosaur in its front hall. A gold coin donation will get you in. However sadly this museum is a relic of the past, where stuffing, pinning, and skinning any creature walking was the norm. It might be due to the fact that in the last few years I’ve seen some of the best museums in the world, however I felt that the majority of the exhibits lack any excitement and hadn’t been updated in the many years since I last saw it. Most of the touch info centres had sign’s saying out of order and many missing pieces.
However in saying all that, there are two roses amongst the thorns. Firstly the hall dedicated to the understanding of the Indigenous groups of Western Australia and exploring the sad historical events of the stolen generation. This hall was very sobering, well presented and highlighted the conditions Aborigines, as well as European peoples faced during colonisation in Western Australia. The exhibit used original photographs, stories, media articles and footage to convey its message, and left me sadly pondering our recent history.
And then there was Megamouth! Or as we in the ecology field like to call it… a bloody big shark! Okay I know it goes against my notion of stuffed animals, but this creature is amazing. Half shark, half man, this creature….okay just shark… comes from the deepest parts of the ocean and is extremely rare. Lucky for us, one washed up down south and they we able to preserve this monster of the deep. This creature puts jaws to shame and looks like someone took a shark, crossed it with a hammer and then gave it a chain saw, cause quite clearly it wasn’t already scary looking enough?!
The museum sadly isn’t the best Perth can offer and we need a lot of improvements to match those in other states. There was so much more history we could have acknowledged, yet there were gaps. It needs to be more active and more inspiring, it needs to explain the importance of conservation and what we can learn from history in Australia. This is a great day out for the kids, or if you want a quick overview of Perth, or if you’re on the cheap and its raining, then head out for a couple of hours, The Indigenous hall and Megamouth are worth the visit!
Megamouth Image – Check this out, if you thought Jaws was scary!
P.S. Made a really nice cuttlefish and chickpea soup tonight – come round if you want some!