Museum of Australian Democracy


Democracy is what we make it

At MoAD we celebrate our democracy and the power of your voice in it. We live in a world where democracy is constantly under threat and where trust in our system is in decline. If we want to live in a society that is free and fair, we have to make that happen. This year we focus on how Australians have built our strong democracy in the past, and how we can continue to do so.

Be Enlightened at Old Parliament House. There is more to it than the images on the outside. Step in and add your voice to the larger-than-life Card Castle where your contribution will help create the scaffolding for the Card Castle, an interlocking story of shared community, hope, trust, diversity, curiosity and courage.

Community: PlayUP

The future of democracy is in good hands if the visitors to PlayUP are anything to go by. This creative exhibition celebrates active citizenship and provides a welcoming environment for families to engage in the conversation about children’s rights and responsibilities through play-based learning, imagination and fun.

Diversity: The Rainbow

In 2017 the rainbow became a symbol of the Same Sex Marriage campaign. Our community’s acceptance of this change, our willingness to embrace differences supported by a majority, even when they are not our own, contribute to the strength of Australia’s democracy.

Hope: The Gift: Art, Artefacts and Arrivals

The Gift is an exhibition currently on show. Through stories of the lives and families of Holocaust survivors The Gift celebrates the hope for a new life that brings new immigrants to Australia. But immigration is an exchange of gifts. Immigrants bring their gifts to Australia and Australia gives them much in return. You can make a gift too – leave a message explaining what you hope life in Australia will be for our new citizens.

Courage: The 75th Anniversary of Women in the Australian Parliament

Australia was ground-breaking in giving women the vote and the right to stand for parliament. Having the right was one thing; getting there was another. It took four decades before women finally began to take their place in Old Parliament House. Overcoming barriers, inertia and discrimination took determination, skill and courage – and it still does. It’s how we build our democracy

Trust: Behind The Lines: The year’s best political cartoons 2017

Criticising the powerful can be risky; elsewhere in the world it can mean exile, imprisonment or death. In Australia we’re fortunate; our media is classed as free and we practice freedom of speech. We may argue about where the boundaries of these freedoms lie, but ultimately they are built on trust. For Australia’s political cartoonists trust is the background to everything they create.

Kindness: Enlighten – strange, beautiful and unexpected

Kindness can be strange and it can be unexpected – but it is always beautiful. MoAD celebrates Enlighten in our beautiful building and we invite you to come inside, explore and add your story to our Card Castle as it transforms our majestic King’s Hall into an immersive artwork.