Waving goodbye to a phenomenal family exhibition

Mayor Danny Gibson and Bell Bay Aluminium communications manager Louise Clarke playing on the equipment one last time before the play centre closes after 15 years.


This Sunday 30 April will mark the end of the much-loved family exhibition the Phenomena Factory at the Museum at Inveresk to make way for a series of new touring family experiences in Launceston. 

Since opening in 2008, the Phenomena Factory learning centre has welcomed over 1.5 million visitors and has been a staple educational activity for both family and school audiences, igniting excitement of science-based learning in young minds.    

At the time of opening, the Phenomena Factory was a leading STEM-based learning experience for ages K-6 in Tasmania.  

Continuing the institutional commitment to STEM education in northern Tasmania, QVMAG is now preparing to welcome its next interactive family exhibition Australia in Space to the Museum at Inveresk in June. 

This touring exhibition showcases an exploration of Australia’s contemporary excellence in space, allowing visitors to discover how space operations push the limits of human ingenuity and how space is changing the ways we live and work. 

While exploring the exhibition, visitors will be inspired by the achievements, aspirations and motivations of real Australians in the space sector through a range of hands-on and interactive modules. 

City of Launceston Mayor Danny Gibson said the Australia in Space exhibition was an extraordinary offering for schools and families across northern Tasmania.  

“To welcome this national touring exhibition exclusively at QVMAG is a wonderful opportunity for our community,” Cr Gibson said.  

“QVMAG is committed to the delivery of STEM-based learning opportunities and this exhibition is a great way to further deliver on this. 

“The Phenomena Factory has been a wonderful addition to the Museum at Inveresk for 15 years, and I encourage families to enjoy one last visit to the play space before it closes on April 30.” 

General Manager Creative Arts and Cultural Services Shane Fitzgerald said the Phenomena Factory had been a fantastic way to promote STEM education in Tasmania. 

“The Phenomena Factory has had a brilliant educational impact for both schools and families over the last fifteen years. To have had 1.5 million visitors through this space in its lifespan is an incredible outcome,” Fitzgerald said.  

“Fifteen years for such a popular hands-on activity to be in operation is a long time, and it's now time to see this space renewed to further expand upon our STEM education goals.

“Our next interactive educational exhibition Australia in Space offers a rich experience for students and families to explore the science behind space exploration and research. 

“Welcoming this new exhibition is the beginning of a range of new interactive education offerings at QVMAG, and we’re looking forward to sharing this with our local community and visitor audience.” 

Bell Bay Aluminium General Manager Richard Curtis said the partnership formed with QVMAG in 2008 to develop the Phenomena Factory was to deliver on the common goal of promoting science-based education in northern Tasmania.  

“We first collaborated with the City of Launceston and Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery (QVMAG) about 30 years ago and quickly recognised that we shared a common goal to promote the role of science and education. This led to us entering a formal partnership with QVMAG in 2004 that resulted in the creation of the hands-on science centre, Phenomena Factory in 2008,” Curtis said.  

“While we are farewelling this much-loved family exhibition, we know first-hand how important science and technology is to the world and how it can improve our quality of life and create a more sustainable future.  

“Our partnership is also another example of the way Bell Bay Aluminium supports Tasmania and its communities, and I am confident we will continue to explore further partnership opportunities with QVMAG to inspire young and old and make a difference for our region and future generations.” 

Australia in Space will be on display at the Museum at Inveresk (2 Invermay Road, Launceston) from Saturday 17 June through to Sunday 15 October with free entry.  

For more information visit www.qvmag.tas.gov.au/AustraliaInSpace