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National Museum of Australia

Collection Explorer



  • Josef Lebovic Gallery collection no. 1(7553)

    Brisbane showing Queensland Gunboat
    QSL card for VK4BB, Queensland, Australia
    Advance Australia!
    Entrance to Cataract Gorge, Launceston
  • Gullawun Daniel Roque Lee collection(1)

    The Final Hearing of the Kenbi Land Claim of 1995, (turtle shell) by Gullawun Daniel Lee, 1999

    This collection comprises the shell of a green sea turtle, hand painted in traditional Arnhem Land colours of red, ochre, black and white, titled" The Final Hearing of the Kenbi Land Claim of 1995". Painted by Larrakia artist, Daniel Roque Lee, also known as Gullawun, the large central oval features stencilled handprints, which represent Larrakia people's marking of their country. Surrounding this central design are eight smaller designs, each portraying stories relating to the significant sites, sacred sites and dreaming tracks, also land claim proceedings, on the Cox Peninsula (Kenbi) and nearby islands, west of Darwin in the Northern Territory. Clockwise from the top of the shell, the stories are: 1) Wariyn (like god), a very powerful and sacred site where females must have fire sticks burning under their armpits and any males who are not initiated must be painted when approaching; 2) Tojos (Toyota) driving to sacred and significant sites on the Cox Peninsula; 3) flying to Dum-in-mirie Island where there is Octopus, Oyster and Star Dreaming; 4) travelling to Duwun Island by barge. At the top are the connecting dreaming tracks. The yellow lines with black dots are the Yam Dreaming which protects the water; 5) left to right: kitchen, bush court tents and sleeping tents; 6) Kenbi Land Claim hearing with the balanda (white man) Judge with the hat on; 7) Larrakia mob set up camp at Bakamanadjing Â? a good hunting place where nutburra nutburra (white sand frog) lives; 8) Dreaming track that travel in the land and sea.

    The Kenbi Land Claim, lodged in 1979 and encompassing land, water and islands surrounding the Cox Peninsula, is the longest-running Aboriginal land claim in Australia's history. In December 2000, the Northern Territory Aboriginal Land Commissioner, Justice Gray, handed down his report recommending that approximately 600 square kilometres be handed back to the Larrakia peoples. Although this appeared to be a great victory for Larrakia people at the time, the Federal Court of Australia denied the claim in 2006. In 2009, the Northern Territory Government and Northern Land Council announced an In Principle Agreement; however, it was not until 29 June 2011 that an agreement was signed between the Australian and Northern Territory Governments and the Northern Land Council which paved the way for resolution of the Kenbi Land claim. In November 2011, another milestone was achieved, with legislation passed in Territory Parliament to set up a trust for traditional owners.

  • Dr Herbert Basedow collection(424)

    Glass plate negative - Man with spear poised, central Australia, photographed by Herbert Basedow, 1920
    Film negative - Typical porcupine grass country on Northern Territory boundary, Musgrave Ranges, South Australia, photographed by Herbert Basedow, 1926
    Glass plate negative - Men fighting with clubs called 'kutturu', Luritja people, Finke River, Northern Territory, photographed by Herbert Basedow, 1920
    Film negative - Indigenous man shepherding goats and sheep, near Oodnadatta, South Australia, photographed by Herbert Basedow, 1903
  • Timothy Millett collection(314)

    Convict love token from H. Honey, 1834
    Convict love token from 1820
    Convict love token to Sarah Wassell, 1841
    Convict love token from Paul Stieney, 1836

    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.

  • Warakurna History Paintings collection no.2(9)

    Ngaanyatjarra Council's 30th Birthday Party by Jean Inyalanka Burke, 2011
    Whitefellas Spinning Around by Jean Inyalanka Burke, 2011
    Wangurnu by Eunice Yunurupa Porter, 2011
    Land Management, Burning Country by Dianne Ungukalpi Golding
  • Helen Eager and Christopher Hodges collection no. 2(23)

    Awelye painting by June Bird
    Untitled painting by Ada Bird Petyarre
    Untitled painting by Billy Petyarre
    Women's Ceremony by Mary Kemarre

    This collection consists of works made during the 1990s by artists at the Ngkawenyerre camp in the Utopia homelands, NT. The works are varied in size and media, and in good condition. All works refer to aspects of the 'Awelye' ceremony and feature women's body paint designs. The associated ceremonies are an integral part of community life and the 'Awelye' is performed by women to ensure the fertility of the land, spiritual and physical well-being and social harmony.

    Aboriginal people of the Utopia region have a strong tradition of mark making in a range of media and their work is well represented in museum and art gallery collections in Australia and overseas. These works, collected in the 1990s, are seminal works representing the early transference of ceremonial design from traditional forms and methods of painting to portable two dimensional surfaces for outside audiences. They are historically significant examples of the use of introduced tools and materials such as acrylic paint on canvas and papier mache and wire. The papier mache figures were an experimental form, of which few examples now exist.

  • Aboriginal Arts Board collection no. 2(561)

    Ceramic glazed vessel tapering to a long narrow neck with a pouring lip and a handle
    'Lizard Dreaming Site at Linga-Goora (Lingakura)', painted by Ray Inkamala Tjampitjinpa, 1976
    Bark painting depicting a totemic crocodile by Yirawala, Croker Island, 1965
    Mothers Taking Food and Water to Initiates
  • Behind the Lines 2007 collection(12)

    Humble pie
    The details'll be along later
    Dream time - nightmare time

    The Behind the Lines 2007 collection consists of 68 political cartoons collected under the auspices of the National Museum of Australia's 2005-2007 Political cartooning targeted collecting project and the Behind the Lines 2007 political cartooning exhibition. There are 52 different artists represented in the collection including Alan Moir, Peter Nicholson, Cathy Wilcox, Mark Knight, Sean Leahy, Bruce Petty, Dean Alston and Ward O'Neill.

    The cartoons provide a satirical record of the major events and personalities in Australian politics in 2007. Major topics addressed within the collection include issues such as citizenship testing, the APEC summit, the rise of Kevin Rudd, the continuing conflicts in Afghanistan and Irag and an election year in which the Labour party regained the Federal Leadership. Taken together the collection provides a diverse visual archive of Australian political events in 2007 and demonstrates the quality of Australian political cartooning and illustration.