Gallery's biggest exhibition a celebration of Scottish Australia

THE Art Gallery of Ballarat’s biggest ever exhibition For Auld Lang Syne: Images of Scottish Australia from First Fleet to Federation was officially launched last night. 

Click the image above to launch a sneak-peek photo gallery of the exhibition.

The Federation University Australia Pipe Band lined Lydiard Street from 5.30pm to launch the exhibition, with Highland dancers entertaining guests at the door. 

More dancing, performances and speeches were held at the launch, before the doors to the exhibition were opened to visitors. 

Guest of honour Senator Doug Cameron gave a speech and ABC TV personality Gordon Brown from The Collectors gave the toast. 

“One third of all prime ministers have been Scottish or of Scottish decent, compared to only one fifth who have been Irish,” Mr Cameron said. 

Former prime minister Malcolm Fraser, a Scottish descendant, was proud to have his grandfather’s portrait hanging in the exhibition. 

Mr Fraser thanked curator Patricia Macdonald for her tireless work on the exhibition over six years. 

“Without her and Alison Inglis, the exhibition wouldn’t have happened and they did a wonderful job,” Mr Fraser said.

He said the exhibition gave attention to the contribution Scots made.

Gallery tour guide Fiona Tonkin said she had researched the exhibition and its works for months, so was intrigued to see how it all looked on the walls. 

Ballarat MP Sharon Knight said it was a brilliant exhibition that celebrated the spirit of Scotland. 

Gallery director Gordon Morrison said the exhibition took the viewer on a journey from First Fleet to Federation, delving into details such as fashion, sport, high art and whiskey and bringing all manner of curious stories to the surface.

“The exhibition is a fresh contribution towards building Australia’s understanding of its extraordinary cultural inheritance,” Mr Morrison said. 

The exhibition will run up until July 27 and opens to the public today.