I spent five days in downtown Melbourne, Australia in mid-June 2018.

I’ll list some of my favorites here, plus things I want to do next time.

Food and Restaurants

Food Pictures That I Took

The green papaya salad with pork from Chin Chin was really good! I liked the crunch things on top, too

Dinner at candlelight

The AUD $69 tasting menu at Supernormal was one of my favorite meals in Melbourne. Shown here is the main course: lamb with lettuce wrappers, plus white rice and a bread to sop up the curry.


  • NGV: Both locations are excellent and I spent several hours at each. Free.
  • ACMI: Worth an hour before or after NGV nearby. The permanent installation is free and informative and fun.
  • Justin Art House Museum: I was invited to visit the owners for lunch one day and enjoyed our conversation (and look inside their interesting home).

Museum Photos

Deer with many glass beads, plus awkward American gentleman standing to the right of it in a vest and black slacks

It was great to see the Pixcell Red Deer by Kohei Nawa (and me!) because it reminded me of the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Sculpture with purple dots and a wooden base

I like the size and shape and colors of this sculpture. It is “Short and curvy” by Tony Bishop, 1968. As seen at the NGV Australia

Light sculpture that’s bright white against concrete walls

As seen in the stairwell at the NGV Australia: The Ian Potter Centre

Two men standing next to each other

Charles Justin and me inside the Justin Art House Museum in Melbourne

Victoria’s Creative State Summit

I was invited to be a keynote speaker at the Victoria Creative State Summit 2018, hosted at the Melbourne Museum.

Here I presented about Museum Hack and what we’re doing, and then led one of the famous REMIX “Follow the Speaker” sessions in Q&A for a large crowd. It was great.

Notes on Australian Culture

This was my second visit to Australia and the country continues to fascinate me.

Here are some new things that I noticed or re-noticed.

How to Pronounce Melbourne

First and most importantly: it is not pronounced Melbourne in the way that Americans might say it.

For my American friends: pronounce it “Melbin.”

You might feel silly saying it like this (as I did), but I got so many props and kudos for “my incredible Australian accent” whenever I called their city as they say it.

For New Yorkers: pronouncing it “Melbourne” in the American way is akin to someone calling it “Houston Street” in the Texan way.

Announcement of Indigenous People

Many meetings or presentations that I was in were started with an announcement paying respect or acknowledging the “traditional owners and custodians” of the land.

We stand on land for which the people are the traditional owners and custodians

Example of a sign outside a building which acknowledges the traditional owners in Australia

The artists acknowledge the traditional owners and custodians of the land on which this exhibition is held

Another example of a sign, this time outside a movie inside an art gallery, announcing the traditional land owners.

As a North American, this was very interesting and always a bit curious. I now understand that Australia has a much different relationship with their indigenous people than we North Americans have.

Tipping Not Required

Not having to add gratuity everywhere I ate in Australia because “everyone gets paid what they should” is incredibly refreshing.

I love rewarding great service, and it felt so awkward to leave a zero tip on the credit card machines that I almost always left at least one dollar. Some of my new Australian friends made fun of me for this.

My Cocktail Party in Melbourne

On Monday night, June 18, 2018, I hosted a cocktail party for readers and fans of the Museum Hack newsletter. We did icebreakers and talked about museums and galleries. Lots of fun people showed up. I definitely want to do this again.

Group of people in the Sheraton Melbourne Hotel lobby restaurant area

Cocktail party with my new Melbourne museum friends and fans of Museum Hack

To-Do for Next Visit

On my list for next time:

  • Guided tour at the Justin Art House Museum
  • Guided tour at the Lyon House Museum
  • Visit some of the parks
  • Kayak in the river (or swim?)
  • Phillip Island Nature Parks: Penguin Parade
  • Edinborough Gardens
  • Explore around Smith Street
  • Abbotts Ford Convent

Video Blog: My First Live TV Appearance

During my trip, I was lucky to get interviewed on live national television and radio. This video blog shows the back-story of what it was like and how it all happened.

The End

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