Melbourne: TUESDAY June 7th, 2005 At the Museum of Victoria in Melbourne, Australia,the first-ever American Heritage Exhibition which was entitled Cowboys,Church Bells and Curtain Calls' was launched by the US Consul General, Mr David Hopper, with guest speakers, Dr David Greene, CEO Museum Victoria, and famous Australian movie actor Gus Mercurio - keynote speech was given by Keith Smiley, who is founder of the Australian Society of American Descendants which proposed the idea of an American heritage display. Joshua Cushman Bigelow was mentioned in the exhibition and catalogue and in the speech given by Keith who coordinated the research and put the exhibition together. He is the great great grandson of Shepherd Parkman Smiley who was from Skowhegan in Maine, and descended from Francis Smiley of Haverhill MA who arrived in 1727 from Antrim Nth Ireland - the Bigeolows in Australia used the name of their family home 'Bloomfield' which is so close to Skowhegan where the Smileys, Westons, Dinsmores, Snow and many other Somerset families came from and were mentioned in the exhibition..
The Exhibition received nearly a full page of editorial in the daily Melbourne tabloid newspaper, The Age, and has been well-received throughout the capital city and the State of Victoria. The Exhibition will remain open until August 22nd. The Exhibition is expected to travel thoughout capital and regional cities in Australia.
Keith concluded his speech by saying that "finally American immigrants are being recognised for their contribution to Australia with this wider Project, and will thus be placed on the multicultural map of Australia."
If you can contribute to this body of knowledge regarding American Australians, or wish to have more information go to: www.americanaustralians.org or write:
Keith Smiley PO Box 2130 Bayswater Victoria, Australia 3153 Or email:firstname.lastname@example.org