In August 2010 twenty students attended a Kids' College to seek feedback about their interest in birds of paradise, how they felt about text and labels in exhibitions generally and what they would like to see and do in the Birds of Paradise exhibition specifically.

Today, those same twenty students returned to visit the exhibition for the first time and give us their feedback. We were very excited to see them again, yet rather nervous as we wanted them to like what we’d done.

Birds of Paradise worksohp
Coalition of Knowledge for Building Schools. Granville Boy's School and MLC gir'ls school Image: Jennifer Miller
© Australian Museum

Once the students arrived and were welcomed and introduced to staff, they were let free to visit the exhibition before retreating to a separate room to discuss what excited them, what surprised them and what they would tell others. We also asked them to consider the main theme of the exhibition We are more alike than you think. They also had the opportunity to quiz Museum staff who had worked on the exhibition, before leaving us with their final message. Here’s a little of what they had to say.

What excited you?

  • The misty glass
  • Movies
  • The interactives
  • The design of the exhibition
  • “Coming back to see if our feedback was acted on”

What surprised you?

  • “I wasn't expecting to see myself on a TV”
  • “I wasn't expecting to see wigs made up with feathers”
  • “That they were dead instead of alive”
  • “Most of the photos of the dancers that were posted on the walls are copied from those colourful birds”

What would you tell others?

  • "Firstly, I think I don’t have word to describe the beauty of nature. But I would be able to tell others about the birds in many ways”
  • “I was surprised by the variety of birds and how they're unknown to a lot of people. I like how their culture reflects on the birds, and the designs of their clothing resemble the birds”
  • “I feel there is not many interactive activities"
  • “What excited me was the marvelous colours of the different types of birds”
  • “To come and check out the interactive exhibition”

Are we more alike than you think?

  • “Yes, we show off too!”
  • “We are both living things. We live the same in some ways. We both have feet”
  • “Not really, but birds come in different colours and appearance and the fashion of the human race is like that too”

A final message for the Museum

  • “I think overall, the exhibition was very interesting and I could see our ideas incorporated in it. It really is something more people should know about as before I came, I didn't even know the birds existed. The videos were good”
  • “Please tell us the process to save the birds of paradise”

Yet another inspiring day of getting closer to our audiences, while learning from them and having fun at the same time.