Seaside Stories: dementia and reminiscence

Seaside Stories are onsite reminiscence programs for people with dementia and their carers. These programs aim to promote story sharing, and to encourage social interaction and connection.

During the themed, hands-on reminiscence sessions, visitors can touch and hold museum objects. Museum educators (trained in dementia communication) ask questions and guide discussion. Participants are encouraged to share their personal recollections, stories and experiences in a safe and welcoming space.

The program includes morning tea at Ripples café. Visitors can enjoy coffee and a baked treat, while meeting new people and soaking up the beautiful views of Sydney Harbour.

The program concludes with an educator-led tour of the exhibitions. Tours are carefully planned to cater for participants’ sensory preferences, and mobility needs. Portable seating is available throughout the tour.

After the program, participants can explore the museum at their leisure. All areas of the museum and café are wheelchair accessible. Unfortunately, due to the vessel design and walkways on the vessels, wheelchair access is not available.

Two elderly visitors wearing nautical hats

2023 program schedule includes:


Swimming and the Beach
Be immersed in Australian beach culture; share your memories of swimming and visiting the sea; and hear the story of Kay Cottee’s circumnavigation of the world on an educator-led tour.

Suitcases and Travel

Share your memories of travel, holidays and migration while holding museum objects from cruises, plane flights, camping trips and more. Take a tour through the Passengers exhibition and hear stories of migration to Australia.

Ships and Ropes

Touch ropes, compasses and binoculars. Recall times spent on ships, boats and watercraft and go on a guided walk along the waterfront.


Lady looking delighted


Program reviews:

Wonderful, friendly staff. Engaging reminiscing sessions and guided tours through the exhibits.


Can’t think of anything to improve on the program


THANK YOU. It was very valuable. It sparked so many memories and stories.


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