About Cavalcade

Cavalcade’s founding members had the significant foresight to recognise the heritage significance of the collection by recording the provenance of acquisitions and retaining the name of the gown’s owner. Dedicated work of committed volunteers, with guidance from museum advisors, has enabled maintenance of a full schedule of community events and exhibitions whilst ensuring that the collection is conserved to the highest standards.

The collection, through a ‘Museum without Walls’ philosophy, brings history alive with presentations and displays & exhibitions. Our philosophy has inspired the public to donate family heirlooms. When each gown is donated, a record is made of the donor and original wearer’s history, where they lived, who their family was, where they wore the gown and what made the gown a family heirloom. The collection and associated provenance is an outstanding record of the social history of Australian women and their families, using fashion as a medium.

A scene from an early Cavalcade Parade

Our Mission

  • Collect, preserve, interpret and exhibit artifacts that relate to the history, heritage and culture of Australia, and, in particular, Australian women.
  • Showcase the collection through our public programmes of presentations and displays & exhibitions.
  • Provide educational opportunities and activities for the greater community.
  • Acknowledge and tell the story of the wearer, social context, and times in which they lived.
  • Bring the collection to life and contribute to the community’s heritage understanding.

Cavalcade Parade 1962


  • Powerhouse Museum: Australian Dress Register entries.
  • NSW Museum and Galleries IMAGinE Award: Category 4 – Organisation Awards for Excellence: Highly commended for Volunteer Organisations, 2009.
  • NSW Government Heritage Volunteer Award, 2007.
  • Statement of Significance, 2004.


Our Achievements

  • Conservation and cataloging of the collection to museum standards.
  • Digital record keeping.
  • Over 350 parades, 800 presentations and 100 displays and exhibitions held in city and regional areas.
  • Estimated $1 million raised for charitable organisations.

A Cavalcade Exhibition visited by Queen Elizabeth II


Our Future

  • Using the collection as a resource for a wider variety of community groups including students, craftspeople, artists and historical groups.
  • Continued conservation of the collection for future generations.
  • Changing the focus of activities to include fund-raising for conservation and presentation of the collection.
  • Expand audiences and extend venues for ‘Museum without Walls’ philosophy through presentations and displays and exhibitions.
  • Increase members and Friends in all age groups.
  • Collaborate with partners in the museum, art, fashion, craft, event and historical arenas.