Our expertise is in the planning and development of intimate participatory projects that encourage meaningful participation beyond 'inclusion' and towards community connection through the cycle of belonging, participation and capacity-building.  

The Foundling Archive sources funding from small local council community grants funds, crowd sourcing and other independent funding pools. We utilise the resources available within the communities we collaborate with - local businesses, libraries, community halls and local media outlets. Each project adds to our oral history collection - which aims to document Australian culture and society through the perspective of the everyday experience.

 

Unedited interviews are available to researchers and artists with permission. Please contact us for more information about accessing unedited interviews; thefoundlingarchive@gmail.com , Please do not reproduce projects without permission.

NOBS and SOBS

NOBS and SOBS

While statistics and demographics can provide some insight into changes in population, we wanted to see how everyday lives are shaped through landscape, people and local history. Residents were stopped for a quick chat in the street or at the local library; while waiting for public transport or in a local café or shop. Some locals had agreed to be interviewed in their homes, while others preferred a quick chat while waiting at the bus stop.

Contemporary place

Contemporary place

Local residents in partnership with the foundling archive and Fawkner Community House established a town square for two weeks, in a little ally off a small shopping strip in Fawkner, Melbourne.

When War Will End?

When War Will End?

Remembrance Day 2014 Federation Square We explore the Australian tradition of commemorating war. How do we choose to remember and forget war? How has the memory of conflict shaped individuals, families and our community? Was war the catalyst for you becoming Australian? Through interview, we explore the personal, while media clips and historic footage tap into the collective experience. The completed project spans 20 experiences and 61 minutes.

Showcase 2016

Showcase 2016

Italian Australian

Italian Australian

Photography and recorded interviews of around 200 participants result in an exhibition that may confirm your impressions of Italian-Australians and may also challenge it. This is not a nostalgic gaze into tradition, nor is it a definitive contemporary document, but rather an introduction to the idea that it is possible to be both Australian and Italian, and it is possible to feel like you are neither. In partnership with CO.AS.IT, Museo Italiano.

International Melbourne

International Melbourne

'International: Melbourne' looks at us - Melbournians - in all our multicultural, diverse hipness and asks the question: "Are we as open, as friendly, as cosmopolitan as we think we are?" This project has been developed by Masters in Art Curatorship students at The University of Melbourne in partnership with The Foundling Archive and ACP Projects.

Refugee Week 2011

Refugee Week 2011

City of Whittlesea Our team was invited to develop an exhibition and documentary to compliment the City of Whittlesea Refugee Week Awards 2011. The exhibition travelled around the municipality’s libraries and the documentary featured during Refugee Week on Channel 31 TV.

5 Generations

5 Generations

Home Movie Day 2014 Carlton Festa 2014 We trace the development of an Australian family through 5 generations of home movies - from just after migration following the Second World War, through to today. Traditions, both formal and informal have sustained and changes in technology and fashion have influenced daily life. You see how the past carries through, while time moves on, and how cultural connection doesn't mean being un-modern or un-Australian. Full project, 32mins

Thinkers & Makers Salon

Thinkers & Makers Salon

​Bringing together local artists, writers, spoken-worders, performers, poets, soap-boxers and academics. Co-Curated with Nur Schembi. Part workshop, part debate always unpredictable. Contact us to host a T&M in your area. 2017's programme brought together: Mars Drum, Ms Saffaa& Regan (haha) Tamanui, Nazid Kimmie, Abdul Hammoud, Justin Clemens, Ghassan Hage, Hari Sivanesan, Samia Khatun, Chelsea Wilson, Koraly Dimitriadis, Alice Melike Ulgezer, Fiona Boyd, and many, many more.

This is.....Mirrool

This is.....Mirrool

This is... our ongoing project. This is…..introduces Australian communities to each other. Through photography and text, residents record their community and comment on each location as they are today – its people, resources and facilities, landscape and opportunities. Historical and demographic research complement the contemporary perspective. This is... manifests as a travelling exhibition - communities 'move' onto the next location in a chain - and in zine form.

Pop-Up community place

Pop-Up community place

COMMUNICATE EXPERIENCE, PROVOKE DISCUSSION  & INSPIRE THOUGHTFUL DEBATE. Our biggest project to date, The Good Room was our 2-year gallery experiment dedicated to the communication of ideas, social commentary and history through the perspective of the individual,  presented as works across media and text, photography, film and spoken word.  It hosted a variety of exhibitions, events and workshops aimed at providing small groups of people a place to robustly discuss big ideas. Loved it.

BUILDING BLOCKS

BUILDING BLOCKS

We asked participants to build with blocks for 20 seconds. Some tested the limits of the project, asking for more time or blocks or a second take. some asked for assistance from friends and family. It became clear that a level playing field did not bring equality. Participants acted according to the knowledge and skill they literally brought to the table but only within framework already established. Screened in full as part of White Night, Melbourne 2015.

Around for Applause

Around for Applause

Here we are at the Sydney Road Street Party 2014. We asked people to clap and to introduce themselves, with their name and their postcode. These are signs of the individual, their connection to place and the expression of a social gesture. This project is used in our education package for students and teachers to 'think with'. What's a community? Is community effortless, innate and 'just there' or is it curated and moulded? hmmm

Home Movie Day

Home Movie Day

Federation Square 2014 For our first Home Movie Day, we wanted to share a part of our own story. Our dad talks about loss, a chance meeting and an unexpected conversation. These events and the people associated with them have become part of our family's mythology. When you can't connect with the grand narrative society creates for you, these stories give you a connection to place, and a chance to create your own version of Australian-ness.

Beyond the Lens

Beyond the Lens

City Library, Melbourne. Melbourne Arts Week 2014 This project looks at the interaction between one man and the people he encounters over his entire catalogue of travel footage, dating from the 1960s until the 1980s. What does he see? How does he view others? How do they accept him and his interfering camera? What is important for him to show us, for him to try to capture and remember into the future?

Homefront wartime camps: rework

Homefront wartime camps: rework

These oral histories were originally conducted by Laurline Knee in 1994, of the Tatura Museum. This reworking, including the experiences of nurses, garrison and internees from Australia's WWII wartime camps is a resource, intended as an aid for researchers wishing to gain insight into the nature of the oral histories. For more information about this collection: htttaturamuseum.org.au/