Lullabies and laments: a song circle – Tuesday 3 July

Presented by MMV in partnership with The ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions. Facilitated by Samantha Dieckmann.


Did your grandmother sing you lullabies? Don’t miss this guided song circle, where you can share meaningful songs like lullabies or laments from your culture. Learn the songs of fellow singers and share stories passed down through the generations.


When booking, you can let us know how you’d like to participate. Participants can share and perform their songs themselves, or share a recording of the song and tell the accompanying story. Participants could also attend in pairs or small groups, and if interested may want to share their songs and stories in the Songs from Our Grandmothers concert on Wednesday 25 July.

The workshop takes place over the school holidays. We encourage grandmothers looking after school-aged children to bring them along! 


Tuesday 3 July at 10.30am

Location: Co.As.It Italian Historical Society & Museo Italiano


Songs from my Grandmother concert – Wednesday 25 July

Presented by MMV in partnership with The ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions. Facilitated by Samantha Dieckmann.


Enjoy this public concert featuring inspiring performances by singers and musicians from across Melbourne’s diverse cultural communities. Discover a diverse range of international music and the histories behind them. This concert program is a celebration and reflection of the roles grandmothers play in our lives and the special place they hold around the globe.


This concert will include solo and ensemble performances by musicians from across Melbourne’s diverse cultural communities. If you are interested in performing, you can let us know when booking tickets.

Wednesday 25 July at 6pm

Location: Islamic Museum of Australia

What does it mean to be a grandmother? – Sunday 17 June

Presented by MMV in partnership with The ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions. Facilitated by Professor Jane Davidson.


Don’t miss this fascinating discussion about the essence of what it means to be a grandmother. This panel will explore the roles grandmothers play within families and the broader community, as well as examining the intercultural and intergenerational exchange of stories, language, traditions, memories and emotions.


Panellists include Jewish grandmother Renata Singer, Italian grandmother Laura Mecca, Islamic grandmother Mona Mobarek, and Doreen Rosenthal AO FASSA, author of New Age Nanas, about being a grandmother in the 21st century.


Sunday 17 June at 3pm

Location: Jewish Museum of Australia

Multicultural grandmothers cook-off – Sunday 1 July

Presented by MMV in partnership with ABC Radio Melbourne.


In the spirit of healthy (and tasty) competition, five grandmothers from Chinese, Greek, Islamic, Jewish and Italian communities, will be showing off their culinary skills in the third Multicultural Museums Victoria cook-off! The cook-off challenges each grandmother to cook a meal inspired by their cultural backgrounds. The participating chefs will have just over an hour to prepare a main dish from scratch. So join us and be inspired by Melbourne’s “foodie” culture, and the grandmothers who feed us!


The challenge for this year’s chefs is to cook one dish to the theme ‘comfort food’ – those delectable, mouthwatering dishes that only your Grandma can make.

The cook-off will be broadcast live on Libbi Gorr’s Sunday program on ABC Radio Melbourne & Victoria from 10am to 12pm. Be sure to tune in!


Cooks include Italian all-star chef Rosa Mitchell battling it out for the Italians. Rosa is the author of multiple cookbooks, and runs the popular restaurant Rosa’s Canteen in Melbourne. Islamic cook Lina Haidar runs her own café, Little Bridge Café in Richmond, while Helen Mizrachi, aka Bubba Helen, will be flying the flag for her community. The Greek contender, Kathy Tsaples, is the owner of popular store Sweet Greek at Prahran Market, and she has also authored cookbooks. Chinese Museum finance officer Pody Tung will be cooking up a storm for her cultural team.


Judges include Samira El Khafir, Ramona Koval and Helen Kapalos.



Sunday 1 July at 10am


Location: Hellenic Museum

Memories made from sand – Thursday 21 June

Presented by MMV in partnership with The ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions. Facilitated by Penelope Lee and Kate Richards.


Join us for a sand casting workshop. You are invited to bring along a meaningful personal object that relates to your grandmother, a grandmother figure, or yourself as a grandmother. It may be a keepsake, such as jewellery, or an ornament or framed photo. The object should measure no more than 20cm squared. In this session, you will cast your precious object, share its story and join in a group discussion about the emotional and historical relationships we have with our treasured possessions and the material world.


Thursday 21 June at 11am

Location: Hellenic Museum

Grandmother’s Day at ArtPlay – Sunday 10 June

Presented by MMV in partnership with ArtPlay, with artist Briony Barr.


Bring your grandmother and her three favourite objects to this fun and interactive workshop and paint her portrait! Be inspired by the objects she has chosen, portraits from different cultural traditions, and a range of art materials to create your picture of her.


10.30am to 12pm for children 5 to 8 years

1.30pm to 3.30pm for children 8 to 12 years


Location: ArtPlay, Birrarung Marr



Free Open Day – Sunday 6 May

Come along to a fun and free open day to celebrate the launch of ‘Grandmothers’! Join us for a mix of activities including arts and crafts, music and food. An open day highlight will be a Story Time session at each museum with a special-guest grandmother from another cultural background.


Free Open Day opening hours

Chinese Museum — 3pm to 6pm

Co.As.It Italian Historical Society & Museo Italiano — 1pm to 5pm

Hellenic Museum — 10am to 4pm

Jewish Museum of Australia — 10am to 5pm

Islamic Museum of Australia — 10am to 4pm

Curators’ talks

Deepen your ‘Grandmothers’ experience by joining a curator for an insightful talk at each museum. Get a behind-the-scenes glimpse into how the exhibitions came together, who the contributors are, and what is unique about the grandmothers from these extraordinary and diverse cultures.


Dates and times

Co.As.It Italian Historical Society & Museo Italiano  – Tuesday 8 May, 11am

Hellenic Museum – Wednesday 16 May, 12pm

Jewish Museum of Australia – Sunday 27 May, 10.30am

Chinese Museum – Thursday 31 May, 6pm

Islamic Museum – Tuesday 31 July, 1pm


Featuring stories of grandmothers from across Melbourne, Multicultural Museums Victoria presents its inaugural joint project — ‘Grandmothers’. Through five extraordinary exhibitions and accompanying events, join us in celebrating the accomplishments, wisdom and the central role of the grandmother in Chinese, Italian, Greek, Muslim and Jewish communities.