We want your stories

Australia is experiencing an unprecedented period of environmental change, from climate change and biodiversity loss to pollution and mega-urbanisation. Across the continent, people are seeing and feeling the transformation and loss of loved landscapes. Many are responding by creating new ideas, communities and activities designed to protect and enrich their local environments.

The National Museum of Australia is collaborating with the Sydney Environment Institute, the Australian National University and the University of New South Wales to collect and share these stories. Everyday Futures aims to create understanding about what it is like to live in Australia in this time of ecological challenge and to connect people who are enabling their places to flourish.

The National Museum tells stories through objects, so we’re asking Australians to contribute to Everyday Futures by writing about an object that tells their story of the environmental changes reshaping the places they love. Sharing your story will help others feel that we’re facing these challenges together.

What’s your story about living in Australia in a time of environmental change?

An object, your place, your story.

Choose an object, and tell us how it expresses your personal story about life in your place. Why did you choose this particular object? What does it look like? What’s its history? What’s changing in your place? Why? How do you feel about it? Why is it important to you?

Try to write in the first person, as if you’re describing your place to somebody who’s never been there. You could imagine that you’re writing a diary entry, or an email to a friend. You might reflect on the past and imagine what the future might bring. You might express sadness at the changes taking place, or hope and excitement about the positive steps that your community is taking to care for the local environment. Perhaps you’re involved in a project of wetland restoration, a community solar project, urban food garden or farmland regeneration. You might choose an object that tells how these projects got started or how you hope it might develop in the future.

We don’t mind what kind of ‘object’ you choose. It might be a rake or a solar array or a rock, or you might prefer to choose a particular photograph, or make a video.

Please include with your submission:

  • Text of 300 to 1200 words OR a short video of 3-6 minutes for your reflection/story
  • The location of your place if it’s not clear in the story
  • A one sentence bio
  • At least one high resolution image of the object (other images could include how the object is used, photos of your place, or anything else that relates to your story)

The stories we collect will be published on the Everyday Futures website. They will also help inform a National Museum of Australia travelling exhibition, an accompanying book and learning resources.

Contact Cameron Muir or use the form on this site to tell us about your idea for an object story.

 

Note: We plan to build on the stories we gather to create an exhibition that will travel to communities around Australia. It will come with learning resources and opportunities to contribute. If you think your community would be a good place to host the exhibition let us know. It could be displayed at a school, museum, library or another suitable venue.