IF THERE is one song that lives in the hearts of all Australians, it’s Waltzing Matilda.
The song, written by A. B. ‘Banjo’ Paterson in 1895, has played a significant part in defining the Australian character. Waltzing Matilda inspires the Australian spirit. It can be a feel-good song, a rousing chorus or simply impart a feeling of nostalgia. It’s sung at sporting events, in schools and by expatriates all over the world.
You can learn the truth and the myth behind the writing of the song when you visit the Waltzing Matilda Centre in Winton the geographical heart of Queensland. Find out why the song is as relevant to Australians today as it was 110 years ago.
The entire Waltzing Matilda Centre is inspired by the song embraced by the Australian people as their unofficial national anthem. The Centre was built in 1998 after the centenary celebrations for the song, Waltzing Matilda and is constantly evolving. The Waltzing Matilda Centre uses today’s technology and interactive displays to interpret the song, our history and what it is to be Australian.
The Waltzing Matilda Centre is the only attraction in the world dedicated to a song. Self-guided tours allow you to discover this amazing attraction at your own pace.
The introduction to the complex is the Billabong Theatrette where the ghost in the billabong tells his story of the poem, bringing the story to life during an unforgettable audio-visual presentation that touches the hearts of those who see it Australians and international visitors alike.
The Legends Exhibition Room offers an interactive display of the history, the legend and the romance behind the song. The hologram has to be seen to be believed.
The Qantilda Pioneer Place Museum is dedicated to Winton and the history of the district. It honours some of the country’s great pioneers and icons.
As an introduction to the museum, step back in time in the Sarah Riley Theatre to view a short film into Winton’s past and its museum.
Winton is also the birthplace of Qantas, that other great Australian icon. The Qantilda Museum takes visitors through the origins of Qantas and its pioneering history of the Winton district. The extent of the historical collection, including a steam engine, the Jeffery Quad 4x4, machinery, military display and Christina Macpherson Cottage ensures the museum rates as one of the most extensive Australiana type museums in regional Australia.
The Banjo Paterson Room was created to house special displays and currently showcases Winton’s sporting history and memorabilia.
The award-winning country style Coolibah Cafe is a great place to relax over a tea or coffee and your choice of freshly baked home-made delights. All meals are prepared using the freshest of ingredients. Other facilities of the centre include the accredited Winton Visitor Information Centre; Westpac In-Store Bank, the Station Store and the Outback Regional Gallery and Foyer with new exhibitions every six to eight weeks.
The Waltzing Matilda Centre is open seven days a week and can be contacted by phone on 1300 665 115 or (07) 4657 1466 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Outback Regional Art Gallery offers many views of the outback
April 22-May 7:
Gallery: Tony Walker ‘Paper, Paint and Canvas’
Foyer: Regional Feature Artist Lindie Hardie ‘Moments in time’
Gallery: Woollam Waltzing Matilda Outback Art Show 2010 Foyer: Highlights of the Shire Collection
Gallery: Margaret Barnett ‘Shibori Unbound’
Foyer: Regional Feature Artist Jane Colvin
September 13-November 19:
Gallery: BHP Billiton Cannington Waltzing Matilda Photographic
Competition and Exhibition 2010
Foyer: Highlights of the Shire Collection
November 22-February 4:
Gallery: Generation Next Regional Youth Competition and Exhibition
Foyer: Regional Feature Artist Sash Whitehead
And of course, art isn’t limited to the indoors. Enjoy the open-air art you can see when you stroll along Winton’s main street.