page loading
Menu toggle

National Museum of Australia

Collection Explorer



  • Ben Chifley collection no. 3(53)

    Bathurst & District Police Sub-normal Children's Appeal
    Eight Christmas note cards from Mrs Laura Wilkins to Mrs Elizabeth Chifley
    Scots School, Bathurst, Swimming Pool Fund
    Bereavement card, newspaper clippings and four telegrams

    The objects in the Ben Chifley Collection refer to the lives of Ben and Elizabeth Chifley, primarily from the Chifleys' days as Prime Minister and Prime Minister's wife, but stretching beyond Ben's death in 1951 until Elizabeth's death in 1962. Significant objects include a letter of condolence to Elizabeth Chifley from Elsie Curtin (former PM John Curtin's wife) on the death of Ben Chifley (above), photos of Chifley as a young boy and a bible on which Chifley was sworn in as minister in the short-lived Scullin government of 1931.

    Joseph Benedict Chifley was Australia's sixteenth Prime Minister, leading the Australian government between 1945 and 1949. This period was one of particular importance in Australian history, being the time during which many of the contours of post-War Australian social and economic development were established. Chifley also articulated the values of the reforming Labor Party in his "Light on the Hill" speech of 1949. However, the election of December that year saw the beginning of a drastic re-alignment of political allegiances in voting behaviour, leading to over twenty years of conservative dominance in Australian politics. An understanding of Ben Chifley, in both his private and public guises, illustrates much about this crucial era in post-War Australian history.

  • Springfield - Faithfull Family collection(3501)

    Sir Ernest Cable's property, Devon 1915
    Doronicum Grandiflorum
    Plate No. 6 in Carter's Floral Illustrations
    Receipt from Tirranna race club 1874

    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.

  • Josef Lebovic Gallery collection no. 1(7553)

    Hotel Hampton Court. Kings Cross, Sydney
    Postcard featuring a coloured drawing of a soldier sitting on a bench with a woman in a blue dress holding a blue parasol
    Postcard featuring a printed portrait of Edwin Wesley Howard Fowles
    Overlooking Newcastel, NSW
  • Barry Williams collection(60)

    Scout's National Service Record
    Scout's Grong Grong Quarterly Competition certificate
    Scout's Basketworker badge certificate
    Scout's Oarsman badge certificate

    The Barry Williams collection comprises 53 items of 1940s scout memorabilia, including awards and items of uniform from the Surry Hills scout troop, Sydney. Awards such as badges, cords, shoulder tabs and dated certificates are a complete material record of the donor's progress from scout to king's scout. The collection contains the full range of awards available to scouts in the 1940s, except for two awards.

    This collection records a scouting experience that is typically Australian. The 1940s marks a stage of great popularity for the Scouting movement when they were a very visible presence in Australia. The Surry Hills scout troop was disbanded in the 1990s, the demise of the group was probably caused by the changing demographic and social values, of the people living in Surry Hills. This collection is a record of a past urban scouting experience in Australia. It is also evocative of some of the social changes that have taken place in Australia, that have contributed to the decrease in popularity, of the scouting movement.

  • Alick Tipoti collection no. 3(2)

    'Maza Mawa (Wapiya) II' by Alick Tipoti, 2011
    'Sugu Mawa' by Alick Tipoti, 2011
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs Art (ATSIAA) collection(2104)

    Bark painting 'Galawu - Stringy bark house', by George Milpurrurru, 1985
    Carved emu egg
    Photograph of a man with scaring on his chest
    Pastel drawing by Kathryn Norris, 1996

    The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs Art collection comprises 2050 artworks and other objects. The artworks - which numerically dominate the collection - were produced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities throughout Australia. The accumulation of these artworks into a single collection has resulted from the choices and selections made during a 38 year period by a variety of staff working for the Council for Aboriginal Affairs (CAA), the Department of Aboriginal Affairs (DAA), the Aboriginal Development Commission (ADC) and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC) at the national, regional and local levels.

    The collection spans the years following the 1967 referendum, when dramatic changes in the governance of Aboriginal people took place, up to 2005 when the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission was dissolved. It provides a snapshot of the diversity and changes in Indigenous art and its representation which occurred during the period of its formation. The small number of 'non-art' objects in the collection is also significant in providing insights into the working of the various Commonwealth bodies involved in Indigenous affairs. As well as the significance of many of the individual pieces, the collection is also significant as a whole, as a complex artefact stemming from Australia's history of governance of Australian Indigenous peoples.

  • Nanette Ward collection(226)

    Black and white photographic postcard showing Australian cricketers v Yorkton (Canada), September 1913
    Length of chestnut coloured horse hair from the horse
    Autograph book signed and dated by E.R. Mayne, and containing the autographs of the teams which Australia played against on two tours, 1912 and 1913 to England, Canada, USA & Bermuda
    Outer seating area of the East Melbourne Cricket
  • Bernard Freedman collection no. 2(17)

    Press gallery pass
    The Argus of Melbourne press pass
    Pass to Parliament House for B Freedman
    Royal Banquet to Her Majesty QEII