Home at heart of new exhibition

Wanneroo Regional Museum curator Natalie James with Mayor Tracey Roberts, who donated several hand-knitted jumpers made by her mother to the exhibition.
Wanneroo Regional Museum curator Natalie James with Mayor Tracey Roberts, who donated several hand-knitted jumpers made by her mother to the exhibition.

Staff have explored the theme of home in terms of familiarity and comfort, what happens when people relocate, and what items, traditions and pastimes travel with migrants.

To build the exhibition, they want City of Wanneroo residents to share their stories and mementos from their previous homes.

Having moved to Australia from an English village in the Yorkshire Dales 29 years ago, Mayor Tracey Roberts has given the museum two hand-knitted jumpers.

Although Mindarie is now her home, Mrs Roberts still gets upset when talking about the day she left the United Kingdom.

‘To this day, I still hate airport departure lounges,’ she said.

‘I can remember looking at the faces of my family and seeing the sadness in my grandparents’ eyes ” that’s when it really kicked in that I didn’t know when I would be seeing them next.’

Along with great friends and a supportive community, the comforts of her previous home helped Mrs Roberts through the first years in a new country ” hand-knitted jumpers, teddy bears, a trunk filled with childhood ornaments, and her Nanna’s old recipe book.

‘I brought items that would trigger a memory,’ she said.

‘My mum was a fantastic knitter and I still have the beautiful hand-knitted jumpers she made for me, even though it’s never really cold enough to wear them here.

‘And Nanna’s Yorkshire pudding recipe is still a family favourite.’

The museum wants to hear from people willing to share their stories about arriving in Wanneroo, traditions from their home country, favourite recipes or personal items they brought with them.

Staff expect to install the exhibition by mid-2014, and it will become part of the museum’s permanent display.

People may donate items, but if they wish to keep them, staff can copy or photograph mementos.

Call 9405 5920 or email museum@wanneroo.wa.gov.au.