New exhibition highlights sixties as a dynamic decade for social and political change

A new exhibition at the Post Office Gallery steps back in time to tell local stories about living in the 1960s during a dynamic decade that shaped major social and political change.

Modern Revolution – Bendigo and the 1960s features the insights and memorabilia from a selection of local people who grew up, lived and worked in Bendigo during that decade.

Alongside recollections of significant local and world events, Modern revolution: Bendigo and the 1960s reveals lived experiences of what some historians say was a time of unprecedented change.

Bendigo Art Gallery Director Jessica Bridgfoot said the exhibition revealed fascinating insights in the 1960s, not only in Bendigo but also from a national and international perspective.

“It is hard to imagine that Bendigo only had a population of 35,000 in 1960s,” Ms Bridgfoot said.

“The exhibition steps back in time to capture fascinating local stories, including how the first set of traffic lights in Mitchell Street saw people driving around the block for another chance to use them.

“It reveals what was happening at the time in the world – nuclear war was a very real threat, the ‘twist’ was the new dance craze, Australia became involved in the Vietnam war and the contraceptive pill changed the lives of many women.

“It also highlights the significant change for First Nations peoples from across Australia when political shifts in policy moved towards recognition of Indigenous rights.”

For the exhibition, Post Office Gallery Guest Curator Euan McGillivray interviewed residents who lived in Bendigo in the 1960s. Mr McGillivray has over thirty-five years’ experience as a museum curator and manager. He developed collections and exhibitions at Museum Victoria and was instrumental in the establishment of Scienceworks, Melbourne Museum and the Immigration Museum.

He did pioneering work in computer cataloguing and digitising picture collections at Museum Victoria while he was Preservation Manager at State Library of Victoria. He assists many community collection custodians to ensure the preservation of significant collections.

Modern Revolution – Bendigo and the 1960s is a free exhibition and runs until Sunday August 29, located at the Post Office Gallery, 51-67 Pall Mall and is open 9am to 5pm every day.

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