Arrivals & Departures Melbourne's new Australian Music Vault to showcase Aussie music history

Photo of Gemma Nisbet

Items ranging from Kylie Minogue's famous gold hot pants to a schoolboy costume worn by AC/DC guitarist Angus Young will be on display at the Australian Music Vault, a new exhibition space in Melbourne focused on Australian contemporary music.

Set to open to the public on December 19 at the Arts Centre Melbourne, The Australian Music Vault will include a free exhibition showcasing items from significant people, places and events alongside education and digital programs.

Aussie acts ranging from Nick Cave to Courtney Barnett and Olivia Newton-John to Yothu Yindi will be represented.

"Whether it’s Paul Kelly or Kylie Minogue, the Seekers or Rowland S. Howard, musicians are our storytellers and provide the narrative and soundtrack to our lives and collective experience," said Victoria’s Minister for Creative Industries, Martin Foley. 

"The Australian Music Vault will bring all this to life, telling the stories of Australian music through the people and events who have shaped it and drawing on Arts Centre Melbourne’s extraordinary, internationally significant collection of music treasures. 

"This project has been a long time coming, championed by many in our music industry, and we are pleased to be bringing it to life."

The exhibition will feature rotating content organised around broad themes such as The Real Thing, which will explore whether an "Australian voice" exists and highlight the contributions of lesser-known but influential performers and music industry workers alongside famous names.

There will also be displays highlighting musical "tribes" and the ability of music to bring people together, with one of the first exploring punk and new wave. 

Founding patrons of the Australian Music Vault include Kylie Minogue, Archie Roach, Molly Meldrum and Michael Gudinski.

Artists represented will also include Men at Work, Split Enz, Midnight Oil, Tina Arena, Daddy Cool, Divynls, Paul Kelly, Jessica Mauboy, Cold Chisel, Missy Higgins, Silverchair, John Farnham, Spiderbait and the Go-Betweens. 

At top: Divinyls performing at Subiaco Oval on the Australian Made Tour, 1987. Photograph by Bob King, Gift of The Age, Australian Performing Arts Collection.

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