Talking Machines

Talking Machines

The machines that transformed Australia, brought to life.

Talking Machines reaches across generations to give a voice to dormant farm machinery and capture the story of Australia's industrial past.

43 videos capture the machines that transformed Australia's agricultural production across the Nineteenth and Twentieth centuries.

See long-retired machines at work digging, cutting, shearing, sorting, harvesting and more. Hear from people who still remember using them, as they recount how Riverina's unforgiving landscape was turned into a food bowl.

11 Museums across the Riverina region of NSW contributed their machines and knowledge to the project, which was coordinated by the Museum of the Riverina, in Wagga Wagga.

Accompanying the films are education resources targeted at Year 9/10 (Stage 5) history students. The resources tie in with the Australian National Curriculum, and are a unique look at how the Industrial revolution played out within Australia.

Specialist resources have also been prepared to complement the Stage 1 and 2 History and Geography NSW Syllabuses for the Australian Curriculum.

Talking Machines is coordinated by Museum of the Riverina, in partnership with 10 museums across the Riverina region, and the Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences (MAAS).

Talking machines is coming soon!

Talking Machines project launch

This two-year project to capture the region’s rural past is now complete! Join us for a grand screening of films from the 11 participating museums and afternoon tea.

Special guest Speaker and Australia’s foremost rural technology expert, Margaret Simpson, will discuss the importance of the Riverina’s nationally-significant collection of rural machinery. Margaret is the Curator of Science & Industry at the Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences.

When: Friday 12 May, 2017, 2-4pm
Where: Wagga Wagga City Council meeting room, Cnr Baylis and Morrow Sts, Wagga Wagga
Bookings essential: Fast RSVP with the form below or call 69 269 655


Production photographs

Have a look at the photo gallery below to see what we've been up to.


Talking Machines is a partnership between The Museum of the Riverina, The Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Museums & Galleries of NSW, the Wiradjuri Language & Cultural Heritage Recovery Program (Charles Sturt University), Oral History NSW, award-winning local filmmaker, John Riddell, regional cultural and educational consultants and 11 community museums across Eastern & Western Riverina.

The participating museums are:

  • Batlow Museum
  • Cootamundra Heritage Centre
  • Greens Gunyah in Lockhart
  • Junee Broadway Museum
  • Museum of the Riverina, Wagga Wagga
  • Pioneer Women's Hut in Tumbarumba
  • Temora Rural Museum
  • Tumut Museum
  • Weethalle Whistle-stop Arts Centre & Museum
  • Wyalong Museum
  • The Up-to-Date Store, Coolamon.

Talking Machines is supported by Regional Partnerships Funding from Arts NSW.

Thank you to our Talking Machines sponsors