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National Museum of Australia

Collection Explorer



  • Social History Museums (South Australia) collection(172)

    Wattle Day, Our Emblem, Our Defenders, W.D.L. Ambulance Fund
    Wattle Day League, S.A, 1918
    Anzac Day - Lest We forget Gallipoli, 25 April, 1915
    Wattle Day badge
  • Chai Vang and Por Ye collection(12)

    Wooden arrow with cardboard fletching or fin
    Wooden crossbow with bark string
    Wooden arrow with cardboard fletching or fin
    Hoe blade

    The collection consists of one dibble (or digging stick), four cardboard signs, two knives, the head of a small hoe, a cross-bow and arrows used by Chai Vang and Por Ye, Hmong market gardeners in Tasmania. The metal objects were made in Thailand by Chai Vang's father, a traditional Hmong blacksmith, and the wooden items and cardboard signs were made by Chai in Hobart.

    Chai Vang and Por Ye arrived in Australia with their eight children as refugees from Laos in 1991. The family settled in Hobart, Tasmania within the small Hmong community that had established itself during the 1970s. In 2000 the family began to farm on several acres of land near Hobart and sell their produce at the Salamanca Markets. The Hmong market gardeners have become an important part of Tasmania's social, cultural and agricultural scene through their involvement with the Salamanca Markets and their willingness to share aspects of their traditional culture with the wider community.

  • Josef Lebovic Gallery collection no. 1(7553)

    Scenes - Australian Coast
    Postcard featuring two printed photograph oval portraits of men,
    Searchlight Practice, U.S.A. Fleet
    W Vale Chemist & Dentist - For the Hair, use Vale's Hair Restorative
  • Springfield - Faithfull Family collection(3501)

    Tissue paper
    Envelope addressed to Miss Faithfull
    Stud ewes bred by Lucian Faithfull.
    Manuscript containing handwritten reminiscences by Hope Webb (nee Faithfull] of Springfield

    The Springfield Collection comprises about 1550 artefacts from Springfield station, south of Goulburn. It includes colonial era costume, a bushranger medal, surveying instruments, a late-19th century landau, firearms and edged weapons, wool samples and Joseph Foveaux's pocket watch and bible. The objects are complemented by over 400 photographs. This diverse collection reflects the growth and economic success of the property, responses to changes in the wool market and the daily lives of the people who have lived on Springfield.

    Springfield has grown from a 518-hectare land grant given to William Pitt Faithfull in 1828 to the current 3183 hectares with ownership remaining in the one family. William Pitt Faithfull established the Springfield Merino Stud in 1838 with ten rams selected from the Macarthur Camden Park stud. The stud evolved slowly over the years until the early 1950s when, under the management of Jim Maple-Brown, a scientific approach to wool-growing was adopted and the stud's name was changed to Fonthill to reflect this.

  • Maruku Arts and Crafts collection no. 1(203)

    Goanna sculpture
    Lizard sculpture
    Hair belt
    Snake sculpture
  • Timothy Millett collection(314)

    Convict love token engraved with the initials G.E.R., 1828
    Convict love token from J. Dunham, 1835
    Convict love token from James Kelly, 1818
    Convict love token engraved with the names H. Orum and H. Cutler

    The Timothy Millett collection comprises 307 convict love tokens dating from 1762 to 1856, and seven contemporary documents relating to the criminal justice system including: recommendations to commute the death sentences of Hester Sampson and Thomas Hayes to life transportation; a calendar of prisoners awaiting trial in the goals of Durham, Newcastle and Northumberland; a request to the Middlesex assizes for rewards to be paid; a printed copy of George Skene's last speech prior to execution; a printed broadside listing prisoners in Dorchester jail awaiting transportation; and a 60 page handwritten account of the life of Thomas Jones, who was transported twice and finally hanged at Winchester Prison in 1856.

    Convict love tokens, typically made from smoothed-down coins and engraved or stippled with a message, derive from traditional sailors' farewells. The production of these 'leaden hearts' rose as criminal indictments increased in Britain, with the majority produced during the 1820s and 1830s. As mementos made by or for convicts facing transportation (or death) to leave behind for their loved ones, the tokens provide a poignant, personal insight into the transportation system.

  • Lindy Chamberlain-Creighton collection no. 2(8)

    Brown, grey and black patterned polyester sleeveless dress worn by Lindy Chamberlain
    Remains of supreme court exhibit tags from two single foam mattresses
    I [Love] Being Free from Smoking - Narcotics Education Inc., 1985
    Metal panel from the area under the dashboard of the Chamberlains' car with a spray of sound deadener that was incorrectly identified as blood

    This collection contains items relating to the events that surrounded the death of Azaria Chamberlain. The collection includes a number of items that the Chamberlain family took with them on their camping holiday in central Australia, pieces of clothing worn by Lindy Chamberlain, material sent to or made by her in prison and articles that related to the family's lives more broadly. A number of items were collected as evidence by the police and tendered in evidence at the inquests, criminal trial and royal commission into the convictions Michael and Lindy Chamberlain for accessory to murder and for murder.

    The disappearance of Azaria Chantel Loren Chamberlain (11 June - 17 August 1980) has become one of the most infamous events in contemporary Australian history. The explanation of her disappearance, that she was prey to a dingo at Ayers Rock (now Uluru), was soon treated with suspicion by the general public. After two coronial inquests, Lindy Chamberlain was convicted of murder and imprisoned for over three years, until mounting evidence forced a royal commission that ultimately resulted in the exoneration of Lindy and Michael Chamberlain by the Supreme Court of Darwin. The National Museum holds the largest public collection of material culture relating to the case.

  • Tania Verstak collection(12)

    Golden yellow poplin dress with Australian wildflower applique
    Deep pink silk chiffon dress with train
    Trophy awarded to 'Tania Verstak Miss Australia in recognition of outstanding service for Queensland Industry'
    Smiling woman

    The Tania Verstak collection documents Tania's experience as a participant and eventual winner both of the 1961 Miss Australia Quest and the 1962 Miss International contest. Trophies are a particular strength of this collection, representing the then unprecedented level of success achieved by Tania Verstak as the first naturalised Australian to win the Miss Australia Quest, and as an Australian winner of a high profile overseas beauty contest. Also in this collection are two evening gowns worn by Tania during competition for the Miss Australia Quest, and a dress worn for 'national costume' judging at the 1962 International Beauty Congress held in Long Beach, California. This collection is supported by file copies of photographs, newspaper clippings and ephemera, sourced from Tania Verstak's personal archive, that document her progression through the state and national stages of the Miss Australia Quest, her participation at the International Beauty Congress, and her world tour as Miss Australia 1961.

    The Miss Australia Quest (from 1992 known as the Miss Australia Awards) ran continuously from 1953 to 2000 and was arguably the longest running, most popular and most successful charitable enterprise in Australia's history. The first documented nationwide contest to identify Australia's ideal woman was held in 1907, however the first official use of the title 'Miss Australia' is more generally thought to have been used in relation to 'Miss Australia 1926' - Beryl Mills from Western Australia. Further contests were held in 1927, 1937, and from 1945 until 1950. It was in 1953 when Bernard Dowd (manufacturer of Hickory Lingerie in Australia) and his company Dowd Associates took over running of the competition that the Quest became a registered business enterprise, and the 'search for Miss Australia' gained momentum. From 1954 until 2000 the Quest ran primarily as a fundraising event for the Australian Cerebral Palsy Association (ACPA), and is estimated to have raised $90 million for people with cerebral palsy. Over its lifetime, the Quest reflected many of the changes that took place in Australian society and culture: the changing role and perceptions of women; changing perceptions of people with disabilities; the influence of migrants and 'New Australians'; and the presentation of Australia and Australians overseas.