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Opening of the Memory Museum: address.



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ADDRESS BY HIS EXCELLENCY THE RIGHT REVEREND DR PETER HOLLINGWORTH, AC, OBE,

GOVERNOR-GENERAL OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA

ON THE OCCASION OF

THE OPENING OF THE MEMORY MUSEUM

FEDERATION SUNDAY, 21 OCTOBER 2001

My thanks also to Jane Jose and the South Australian Centenary of Federation Committee for inviting me here this morning to officially open the Memory Museum.

Your Excellencies Sir Eric Neal and Lady Neal.

Senator Robert Hill, representing the Prime Minister.

Premier John Olsen.

Admiral Chris Barrie and Mrs Barrie.

Former colleagues from the National Council for the Centenary of Federation.

Distinguished guests all.

The heartfelt words we've heard this morning from David Matthews and Frank Mills show us that personal memory also lies at the heart of a nation's history.

And how shared memory constitutes the core of a common, national story, enabling the past in some sense to live in the present.

The former American poet laureate Robert Pinsky refered to the "fragile, heroic enterprise of remembering".

So, in this significant year of our Centenary of Federation, and this morning on the Torrens Parade Ground, we gather as Australians to remember our shared history.

Indigenous Australians, whose rich culture is founded on the memories of millennia.

Former and current members of a defence force which has served the nation proudly through war and through peace.

It is especially appropriate to do so at this time when, once again, members of the defence forces are being deployed for service overseas.

People whose families have lived in Australia for generations, and those who have migrated here from all over the world and made it their home.

Each of us will experience this Memory Museum somewhat differently.

Its varied styles of installation, from live performance, through video, photography, music and news media will trigger different reactions in people, depending on our ages, backgrounds and experiences.

The images, sounds and smells will conjure different recollections, different emotions.

They'll prompt us to tell each other stories of our own lives, of parents and grandparents, neighbours and friends.

And they'll encourage us to think about how Australia's identity is forged, in part, on how we can remember ourselves - through the good times and the harsh times.

We congratulate Mary Moore and the team from Flinders University and the Adelaide Festival Centre Trust for their imagination, and their skill.

In combination with all the other important activities taking place today, and throughout this week's Australian Mosaic, South Australia has made its mark on the Centenary of Federation program for 2001.

And given the people of this city, and the State, a whole new collection of memories to take with them into Australia's second century as a nation.