Tweed museum project highlights living with ability

Former Midwife Ally Page is part of the Exhibition of people living with a disability at the Tweed Museum in Murwillumbah.

Former midwife Ally Page is part of the exhibition of people living with a disability at the Tweed Museum in Murwillumbah. (Photo supplied by Tweed Shire Council courtesy of Tweed Daily News) –

A new major exhibition at the Tweed Museum shares the moving and inspiring personal stories of eleven ‘ordinary’ people whose rich life experiences include living with disability.

The exhibition, Untold Stories: living with ability, is part of a larger project being undertaken by Tweed Regional Museum called Contemporary Voices, which captures diverse stories of people living in the Tweed.

Participants in Untold Stories have generously allowed the museum to record and share their stories through audio, video and text, complimented by objects emblematic of their personal journeys.

The exhibition opened at the museum at Murwillumbah in late March and continues until 24 June.

‘It is no small thing to allow large parts of your life story to be recorded and used as the basis for a public exhibition,’ museum director Judy Kean said.

‘To do so in the community in which you live, so others can have a ‘window’ of understanding into experiences and issues they would otherwise be unaware of is especially generous.’

Tracy Barrell, Una Cowdroy, Jan Cronly, Suzy Hudson, Bev Larsson, Ally Page, Nicole Randolph, Tim Thomas, Anne-Gabrielle Thompson and Bill and Yvonne Trenear have each participated in an 18-month project which documents many aspects of their lives, including individual experiences of living with disability.

‘One of the most striking aspects of the project for me, has been that while each person’s experience of disability is significant and sometimes life changing, it’s just one part of much bigger richer stories characterised by survival, adventure, academic and sporting achievement, love, advocacy, spirituality, generosity, tenacity, and much more,’ Ms Kean said.

‘The exhibition is inspiring and moving for many different reasons, and offers visitors different ways of appreciating these stories.’

Museum staff worked with council’s community development officer in aging and disability, Karen Collins, and with members of council’s Equal Access committee, and project participants on the project.

A program of activities during the exhibition includes: verbal imaging tours of the Untold Stories exhibition and the museum for those with vision impairment; interactive story telling sessions for children by Bev Larsson in May and June, based on Bev’s book Along Came Henry; AUSLAN interpreted tours on Saturday 22 April and Saturday 20 May, and more.

The museum will host the launch of the 2017 Access and Inclusion Awards in May.
Untold Stories: living with ability is supported by the New South Wales government through Arts NSW.

For more details about the exhibition and program of activities contact the museum on 02 6670 2493 or visit the website

The museum is open Tues to Sat 10am-4pm, entry is free.

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