Annisa Istighfari is a Study Melbourne Ambassador. Study Melbourne has 22 international student and alumni ambassadors for 2018. During their time as ambassadors, they regularly share insights and experiences to help international students have a great experience while studying here in Victoria.  

Visiting the Islamic Museum of Australia

by Annisa Istighfari

If you’ve been in Melbourne for some time, you might have heard about the Melbourne Museum as well as the Immigration Museum. But what about the others? Victoria has many interesting museums that are worth a visit.  Why not check out the Islamic Museum of Australia.

About the museum

The Islamic Museum of Australia was first opened in February 2014 as a tribute to the Muslim community in Australia. Do you know that our Aboriginal Australians started the relationship with the Muslims hundreds of years ago? What about the fact that mathematical terms such as “algebra” and “algorithm” came from the names of Muslim scholars?

The first Muslims to ever get in contact with Aboriginal Australians came from Makassar, which is now part of Indonesia. A few years later, Muslim camel handlers from Asia and the Middle East were brought into Australia after camels started to be used as a mode of transportation in the outback. Oops, did I spill too much information? Hopefully you’re still curious to find out more about the museum and its rich history!

Speaking of information, the museum has five permanent galleries with different themes. They are called Islamic Faith, Islamic Contribution to Civilisation, Islamic Art, Islamic Architecture, and Australian Muslim History. The galleries are spread over two levels, and it is recommended that you head downstairs before exploring the ground level. On the lower level, you will first learn what Islam is all about. From there, you can learn about the Islamic influence in contemporary science as well as art.

Apart from showcasing beautiful pictures of mosques from all around the world, the ground level also has a dedicated space for explaining the how the relationship between Australia and the Muslim community has evolved over the years.

While the main galleries are open all year long, there are also visiting exhibitions happening regularly. If you visit before July 8, you will be able to see the Ways to be Muslim exhibition, which displays portraits of Australian Muslims from various personal and professional backgrounds. This exhibition showcases how diverse the Muslim community really is - not only in Australia but all around the world.

display showing camel, mohamed street and history of 'afghan' cameleers

A display at the Islamic Museum. Camels have been very important in the history of Australia, and Annisa discovers the story of their arrival here.

How to get there

The Islamic Museum of Australia is located at 15A Anderson Road, Thornbury, Victoria, 3071. It is easily accessible by public transport.  You can take tram No. 1 or No. 6 from the city and get off at Moreland Rd/Holmes St. From there, walk down Moreland Rd until you find Anderson St. Head down Anderson St, and you’ll find the museum on your left.

The museum opens every Tuesday to Saturday from 10am - 4pm. To enter, you need to pay $10 AUD (student /concession) or $12 AUD for an adult.

Why you should go

I recommend this museum to all international students who love the multicultural environment in Melbourne, and Australia in general. Not only will the museum educate you about Islam as a religion, it will also make you feel proud to be a part of this “melting pot”, where people from around the globe live together in harmony.

Want to know more about the museum? Visit the Islamic Museum of Australia website. Have fun exploring!

About the author

Having spent time studying in Japan, South Korea and now Melbourne, Annisa understands what it’s like to be an international student. She is passionate about meeting new people and providing a welcoming experience for those who have just begun their international study journey. Meet all the Study Melbourne Student Ambassadors.

Annisa Istighfari