Forging the Nation, Federation - the first 20 years

Forging the Nation posterForging the nation, Federation - the first 20 years was the Australian War Memorial's major contribution to the Centenary of Federation commemorations. This travelling exhibition covers the first twenty years of Australian nationhood, 1901-21, and examines the many events during this time which helped to create a unified nation from a diverse collection of semi-independent states.

The exhibition's title provides an insight into its overall theme. The Australian nation was created in 1901 through an act of legislation. However, a national spirit and identity was established through participation in activities and events, including the commitment to the First World War. Our nationhood was tempered by the fire of war, but also through internal conflicts arising from such things as sectarian, political, and racial differences.

There are two versions of Forging the nation. The first opened at the Memorial in October 2001 and was then showing in Melbourne, Newcastle and Townsville. The second version will tour to 23 regional venues across Australia on a tour that will take just over 18 months. Both versions of Forging are supported by an education kit and public programs developed by the Memorial and host venues to complement each region's local history. An online version of the exhibition is also available.

Forging the Nation, Federation - the first 20 years
Location Start Finish
AWM Special Exhibition Gallery 26/10/00 4/2/01
Melbourne Museum 2/3/01 3/6/01
Newcastle Regional Museum 21/6/01 21/9/01
Museum of Tropical Queensland 12/10/01 3/2/02
Modified version tour
Location Start Finish
Regional Art Gallery, Bathurst NSW 30/11/00 14/1/01
Lady Denman Heritage Complex, Huskisson NSW 17/1/01 11/2/01
Robert O'Hara Burke Memorial Museum Beechworth VIC 14/2/01 11/3/01
Benalla Art Gallery, Benalla VIC 16/3/01 16/4/01
Riddoch Art Gallery Mt. Gambier SA 23/04/01 20/5/01
Port Pirie Regional Gallery, Port Pirie SA 26/5/01 24/6/01
Gold Museum, Kalgoorlie WA 29/6/01 8/7/01
Residency Museum, Albany WA 13/7/01 22/7/01
Regional Art Gallery, Bunbury WA 24/7/01 31/7/01
Geraldton Region Museum, Geraldton WA 3/8/01 12/8/01
Constitutional Centre, Perth WA 14/8/01 22/8/01
Warwick Art Gallery, Warwick QLD 31/8/01 5/9/01
White Gums Gallery, Chinchilla QLD 7/9/01 16/9/01
Mitchell Library and Art Gallery, Mitchell QLD 18/9/01 23/9/01
Australian Stockman's Hall of Fame, Longreach QLD 27/9/01 2/10/01
World Theatre Charters Towers QLD 6/10/01 18/10/01
Nambucca Shire Council - Foyer, Nambucca NSW 25/10/01 11/11/01
Hastings Regional Gallery, Port Macquarie NSW 16/11/01 9/12/01
Manly Museum and Art Gallery, Manly NSW 14/12/01 13/01/02
Regional Art Gallery, Burnie TAS 23/1/02 29/1/02
Devonport Regional Gallery, Devonport TAS 2/2/02 8/2/02
Rosny Historic Centre, Rosny TAS 12/2/02 16/2/02
Port Arthur Historic Site, Port Arthur TAS 20/2/02 25/2/02