In Victoria, multiculturalism was a prime political instrument, and the museum was a key feature of Kennett's 'cultural renaissance' and attempt to rebrand the state as the cultural and economic capital of the nation. Multiculturalism is central to this study because it was a structural precondition for the establishment of the Immigration Museum in Melbourne and continues to exist as a social 'norm' that is both associated with and contested by Australian civic nationalism. While the Immigration Museum by and large avoided getting tied up in the political and public contestation surrounding the opening of the National Museum of Australia, it has not entirely escaped criticism from museum professionals and scholars. The Immigration Museum opened with the full backing of the Victorian Government. The history of the transformation of museum methodologies within the various, increasingly interdisciplinary, theme or identity specific museums that have been developed over the past half-century.