Australia's first Children's Museum was launched in September 1985 by the Victorian Premier, John Cain, and the Minister for the Arts, Race Mathews. It operated within the Museum of Victoria, located on the corner of Swanston and Russell Streets in Melbourne. The Children's Museum closed in 1997, when the museum started its relocation to Carlton Gardens to become Melbourne Museum, reopening in 2000 where it became a permanent gallery at the new Melbourne Museum.

The Children's Museum was a trailblazer in developing highly interactive, thematic, information-based exhibitions and communication techniques, including pioneering the use of computers. Exhibitions included 'You're It: an Exhibition of Children's Traditional Games' (1988-1993) and the EveryBody family of naked, life-sized human body sculptures, created by Australian artist Peter Corlett in 1985.

A catalogue of the Children's Museum was compiled by Mary Featherston and Judy McKinty in 2020. It outlines the origins and development of the Children's Museum, together with images and descriptions of its major interactive exhibitions. It is the only comprehensive record of what was, at the time, a pioneering project in the area of children and learning in museums.

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