Wednesday 17th April 2024

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Open Monday - Saturday, 10am to 4pm

Tours at IMA

By System Administrator
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Monday 01 May, 2017
Here at IMA, without doubt out of all the activities and events, gatherings and dinners that we host at the Museum, our most favourite would have to be meeting with the range and diversity of groups coming through our doors for a guided tour. An aura of nervous anticipation is often registered amongst those that make their way through the perforated and rusty façade, inviting visitors to experience Australian culture like they never have before! As they enter the reception area, light scatters through the perforations, a metaphor for shedding light on the nuances of the Islamic faith and bringing light into our hearts, sharing our stories and spreading our light to touch the hearts of those that we meet, grounded in our common humanity. Quite often, the hustle of schoolchildren can be heard throughout the museum, many of them excited about their excursion as they bustle through the galleries grinning widely with schoolbags in tow, bringing spades of enthusiasm, questions and energy into the exhibits with their vivacious spirit. There’s nothing quite like watching a student grow in knowledge as they progress through the experience; from tackling stereotypes head on in an interactive presentation, many meeting a Muslim for the first time, to journeying around the five galleries, a discovery through Islamic Faith, Civilisations, Art, Architecture and Australian Muslim history, slowly piecing together the complex elements of what it means to be an Australian Muslim, each student arriving at their own conclusions having holistically considered the challenges and beauty of the faith in various contexts. It’s tiring work making sense of all of this Australian Muslim identity business – so many of our students (and accompanying teachers!) look forward to taking a break in between their program to devour some lunch cooked freshly here at the IMA café – a delicately spiced chicken wrap with tahini sauce, or perhaps some falafel served on a bed of fresh salad, a gooey chocolate brownie and a fruit smoothie usually does a trick, so that when energy levels are dully restored there are a plethora of other activities on offer for those that choose to extend their stay. IMA offers a geometric art workshop, where students trace the importance of Islamic art motifs back through the civilisations to create a twelve-pointed star and consider the role of tessellations in Islamic architecture. Facilitated by our expert art instructors, our students love being able to demonstrate their newfound knowledge through exercising their creative expression, colourfully decorating their elaborate artworks and taking them home to show off. For those that prefer the written word, students can complete a quiz or reflective worksheet in teams as they progress through the galleries, competing in honour to be named IMA Quiz champions! What means the most to all the volunteers and staff working here at the museum is how sometimes all it takes is a student to walk away, a beaming smile on their face, high fiving you on the way out for answering their questions, or simply being their friend for the day that makes everything worthwhile – when they look up at you directly in the eye declaring with the upmost sincerity,

‘Miss, thank you so much, this place is sick – I’m definitely coming back!’

Perhaps that is what is most important about the Museum, beyond the packages and quizzes and gallery content – it’s the human connection, the feeling of bonding with another individual, sharing struggles and celebrating commonalities that reminds us that in the next generation is our future and to invest in our future, we must nurture students reminding them that their individuality, spirit and zest for life is something that we should never, ever take for granted.
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