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Islamic Museum now open.

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From Victorian Multicultural Commission (VMC) Islamic Museum now open Australia’s very first Islamic art museum, the ‘Islamic Museum of Australia’ is now open to the public. Encompassing five permanent galleries, a host of international and local visiting exhibitions, a café, educational resources for schools, a large multifunction centre and theatrette, the Islamic Museum of Australia aims to promote harmony and a mutual understanding between cultures and faiths. The museum is a not-for-profit organisation with an objective to share the rich artistic heritage of Muslims in Australia, by shining a light on the many contributions Muslims have made to culture and civilization throughout time. For example, it is a little known fact that Muslims first came into contact with Australia in the 1700s when the Macassan Fisherman traded peacefully with the Aboriginals many decades before European settlement. Then later in the 19th century, Cameleers arrived in Australia to help build some of Australia’s largest infrastructure projects such as The Ghan, which was named in honour of the Afghani workers - among those from other Islamic countries - who toiled on the project. Former Masterchef contestant and popular personality, Samira El Khafir operates the museum’s café, called 'Modern Middle Eastern'. The café serves Samira’s signature Australian-Middle Eastern fusion flavours for breakfast and lunch daily. Located in Thornbury on the banks of the scenic Merri Creek trail in Melbourne’s north, visitors can access the museum via either the main entrance or the Merri Creek trail, which also provides access to other cultural and environmental icons such as CERES and the Strettle Wetlands further north. The building itself has been designed by Desypher architects, using a unique melding of Middle Eastern and Australian design techniques that reflect both the traditional principles of Islamic architecture and the surrounding environment. For more information go to: http://www.islamicmuseum.org.au/ -