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National Museum of Australia

Collection Explorer



  • Project 2000 Taskforce Olympic Games collection(4)

    Sydney 2000 Olympic Games cauldron
    Canberra Olympic Games Football
    FIFA For the Good of the Game 1977
    FIFA Fair Play 1993

    The Project 2000 Taskforce Collection comprises an Olympic Flame Cauldron, a Canberra Olympic football banner and two Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) flags.

    The aim of the taskforce based in the ACT Chief Minister's office was to maximise the sporting, cultural and business opportunities for Canberra presented by the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. Canberra was one of four cities outside Sydney which held Olympic Games events, hosting 11 of the 48 soccer matches. The banners and the torch relay played an important part in popularising the Olympic Games in Canberra. The Olympic torch spent three days in Canberra prior to the Games. The football banners are examples of those placed on the main roads leading to Canberra Stadium. The blue FIFA flag was flown at the stadium and the gold FIFA flag was carried on the pitch before the teams at the start of each match.

  • Josef Lebovic Gallery collection no. 1(7553)

    The bush fire
    Postcard featuring a photographic montage of a mother and daughter with an image of a soldier about them
    QSL card for VK5LD
    Bronte Beach, Sydney, NSW
  • Les Stillman Militaria collection(1)

    Convex crescentic gorget (breastplate) with 'GR' royal cypher, as worn by British Army officers

    Medieval in origin, gorgets (breastplates) were originally worn as part of a suit of armour and were designed to protect the vulnerable throat area (la gorge, fr.) from serious injury. From the eighteenth century, however, gorgets were primarily ornamental and were worn as badges of rank and authority and as symbols of importance. Although its provenance is unknown, the gorget in this collection is an example of those worn by British army officers in Australia who were permanently stationed in Australia from 1788 to 1870 who wore gorgets as duty symbols until 1832. According to British regulations of the time, the royal cypher of the reigning monarch "GR" - King George III (1738-1820) - beneath a crown, bordered on either side by laurel branches, was finely engraved on this gorget using fine hand held cutters and tools.

    This gorget provides a basis for comparison with the Museum's Aboriginal breastplate collection. In colonial Australia, giving inscribed breastplates, similar to gorgets, to Aboriginal people became common practice from 1815. Gorgets could be inscribed with the wearer's name and an honorary title such as 'King' or 'Queen', and were presented as symbols of leadership, as tokens of gratitude for services such as tracking or guiding expeditions, for bravery or to those believed to be the "last living member of a tribe". Because it was based on service/usefulness/ obedience to British authority, this practice often undermined traditional power structures and breastplates can therefore be seen as emblems of dispossession as well as of pride.

  • Ruby Lee collection(134)

    Handwritten note by Marge Tait
    Handwritten poem
    Merit certificate awarded to Ruby Monaghan
    Photograph of Ruby Monaghan in cricket attire
  • Political Humour Competition 1997 collection(5)

    Mr Howard reaches out
    Ear-biter Bruce
    Kim rolls over
    Cannibals and Others
  • Springfield - Faithfull Family collection(3501)

    The Crown Prince of Johore and Equerry at the Coppice Coal Mines Cannock Chase
    Pearl Faithfull wearing an elaborate full-length pale dress, seated on a carved wooden chair with her train draped over arm
    Cream-coloured dance program with 'Tuesday, Galatea Ball' handwritten on the front
    Dance program titled 'Government House'

    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.

  • Ben Chifley collection no. 3(53)

    Speech by Senator N E McKenna on the death of Ben Chifley ,19th June 1951, and a note card
    Prime ministerial correspondence with related letter
    Australian Red Cross Society
    List of donations for 1957 to 1959.

    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.

  • Australian Institute of Anatomy collection(163)

    Round split cane coiled basket
    Painting depicts two pointed oval-shapes