Waters of Tuvalu

by Philip Thiel
Publish date
22 March 2011
Comments (1)

This guest post comes from Philip Thiel, who works in the museum’s Online Learning team, creating and publishing material for education audiences on the web.

Tuvalu is still being wrecked by climate change over two years after the launch of Immigration Museum’s exhibition Waters of Tuvalu: A nation at risk. The nation’s greenhouse gas emission is miniscule compared to that of developed nations such as Australia, but it will become the first nation to be uninhabitable as a result of climate change. “This is a grave injustice,” writes Reverend Tafue Lusama at Crikey’s Rooted blog, at which he describes the devastating effects of changing weather patterns on fishing, agriculture and public health in his homeland. “Things are shifting rapidly now.”

A young girl looks out to sea A young girl looks out to sea.
Image: Peter Bennetts
Source: Peter Bennetts

We’ve just updated the Immigration Museum website with content from the Waters of Tuvalu exhibition, including beautiful photographs by Peter Bennetts and Fikau Teponga. There’s information about the history and culture of Tuvalu, as well as sections on the impact of climate change. You can also download the exhibition catalogue from the site, which further enriches the online archive of past exhibitions held at the Immigration Museum.

Waters of Tuvalu was opened in August 2008, and has since travelled to several other Australian venues including the Noosa Regional Gallery. The exhibition team created it with the goal of minimal environmental impact, utilising products, materials and suppliers in an effort to achieve best practice outcomes. This contributed to Museum Victoria’s Award for Excellence in Green Purchasing (Victorian State Government) in the 2010 Eco-Buy Awards.

Funafuti Atoll Funafut Atoll July 1999 - a shortage of land on Funafuti has led to housing being built around and on the rubbish-filled borrow pits.
Image: Peter Bennetts
Source: Peter Bennetts

We were proud to accept this award. Nevertheless – and despite the beautiful images and objects included in the exhibition – there’s something melancholy about telling the story of a disappearing nation.


Past Exhibitions: Waters of Tuvalu

From tiny Tuvalu: the island being destroyed by climate change

2010 Eco-Buy Awards

Comments (1)

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Nicole 23 March, 2011 16:33
I'm glad the exhibition content is now online and I can learn more. It's very timely. I heard Tuvalu mentioned in relation to the March 11 quake and tsunami in Japan, with concerns that the tsunami wave might cause damage there (luckily it didn't).
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Updates on what's happening at Melbourne Museum, the Immigration Museum, Scienceworks, the Royal Exhibition Building, and beyond.