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National Museum of Australia

Where our stories come alive

Collection Explorer



  • Josef Lebovic Gallery collection no. 1(7551)

    Town Hall and Methodist Church and First Hospital at Powlett
    Barron Falls. Cairns District. Q,1905
    Boondarra, showing horse teams pulling wagons loaded with wool bales
    Australian Troops March Through London
  • Faye and Albert Neuss collection(1)

    1955 FJ Holden Special sedan

    The Faye and Albert Neuss collection comprises one 1955 Model FJ Holden Special Sedan together with original purchase paperwork, handbook and manuals. The car was purchased new in September 1955 and regularly driven from Tharwa to Queanbeyan until the driver's first encounter with the newly installed traffic lights in Queanbeyan. Shortly after that experience the driver cancelled her licence and never drove again.

    The FJ Holden, 'Australia's Own Car', was released in 1953 and quickly became a 'dinky-di Australian icon'. Produced locally, it sold in large numbers and was the first car that many 'ordinary' Australians had ever owned. The FJ was essentially a revamped version of the earlier 48-215 (commonly known as the FX) model and came in Standard, Business, Special, Utility and Panel Van versions. This particular vehicle was purchased new in Queanbeyan and used to travel from Tharwa to Queanbeyan on a regular basis.

  • Aboriginal Arts Board collection no. 2(561)

    Child's drawing
    Before Initiation Boys Receive Presents
    Bark painting 'Two Hunters' by John Namerredje Guymala, Gunbalanya, 1974
    Bark painting depicting four concentric circles by P. Teeampi, Bathurst Island
  • Bali Bombings 2002 Memorial - Parliament of Victoria collection(49)

    Bali Offerings
    Letter of condolence
    Sympathy card from Victoria Police
    Letter of condolence

    The Bali Bombings 2002 Memorial Collection - Parliament of Victoria collection is a small sample of the large amount of material left on the Victorian Parliamentary steps in the two weeks following the Bali bombing on 12 October 2002. The collection is made up of cards, letters, various paintings by children, wooden Catholic cross with fabric lei, wooden sculpture of a Balinese surfer carrying a surfboard, soft toys such as butterflies, soft koala teddy bears, dolls and football, two small Australian flags, small pieces of jewellery, some textile objects such as a satin throw and fabric flowers, vegemite jar, a 'In Memory' book signed by the members of the Ivanhoe Grammar School and community and a bound collection of children's drawings and letters from the students of Penleigh and Essendon Grammar schools.

    Late on the evening of Saturday 12 October 2002, two bombs exploded in the crowded Paddy's Bar and the Sari nightclub on Jalan Legian, Kuta Beach, Bali, Indonesia. Shortly afterwards a third bomb exploded at the US consulate in Denpassar, Bali. Exact figures were difficult to substantiate, but at least 202 people were killed in the first two blasts and over 300 injured. Of the two hundred or more dead, eighty-eight were Australians. The deadly attacks produced profound shock in Australia. For many, this event seemed to bring home the immediacy of global terrorism, which had come to public prominence the previous year in New York and Washington.

  • Timothy Millett collection(313)

    Convict love token from George Robotham, 1827
    Convict love token from Thomas Harris, 1841
    Convict love token from T. Rea, 1829
    Convict love token from H. Flood., 1844

    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.

  • Erub Erwer Meta collection no.1(8)

    Ghost net Dinghy named the 'Loyalty' with Outboard Motor and accessories
    Ghost net Kebi Koreg
    Ghost net Night Fish
    Ghost net Oyster Cracker

    The collection is comprised of a series of objects all made from ghost net, and which evoke different aspects of the Erub artists' relationship to the marine environment. It comprises a full-sized dinghy, named 'Loyalty', sand and coral anchors, a fishing spear, two oars, a petrol tank, an outboard motor (60 horsepower), six fish and a squid. The principal artists are Alma Sailor, Ellarose Savage, Emma Gela, Florence Gutchen,Kapua Gutchen, Jimmy Thaiday, Nancy Naawi, Nancy Kiwat, Racy Oui-Pitt, Lavinia Keetchel, Milla Anson and Maryanne Bourne. Participants in the 'My Path' Indigenous employment scheme also assisted with the welding of the dinghy's steel frames. All the objects are made from salvaged ghost netting. The netting on the dinghy has been secured to the steel frames using cable ties and sewn synthetic thread. The ghost net was collected from beaches by rangers on Erub (Darnley Island).

    Ghost nets are remnants of fishing nets which have been lost, discarded, or abandoned at sea. Made of long-lasting synthetic materials, they drift with the ocean currents and tides creating environmental dangers for marine life, including threatened and protected species, other fishing vessels and shipping. They are periodically washed up on the shores of northern Australia and the islands of the Torres Strait. From this environmental hazard has emerged a new genre of art which has been enthusiastically embraced by artists at Erub Erwer Meta (Erub Arts Centre) and other northern Australian Indigenous arts centres as a continuation, revival and reinterpreta tion of traditional stories and methods of sculpture and weaving. The art form also highlights the environmental concerns caused by the ghost nets.

  • I Dowdle collection(8)

    Record of Sessions House, Old Bailey
    Permission for convict Edward Evans to pass from Launceston to Campbell Town Police Office
    Third leaf of Record of Sessions House, Old Bailey
    Second leaf of Record of Sessions House, Old Bailey
  • Daisy Bates and Herbert Browne collection(12)

    Symmetrical yellow-brown boomerang
    Spearthrower with carvings and fibre on hand grip
    Spearthrower with wooden peg bound with resin and sinew
    Symmetrical brown boomerang

    The Daisy Bates - Herbert Browne collection consists of twelve Indigenous objects which belonged to Herbert Browne. Browne acquired a collection of objects from Daisy Bates while she was living at Ooldea in the 1920s and 1930s. The collection is comprised of eight boomerangs, two spearthrowers, a shield with a painted and incised design and an adze with a stone flake mounted in resin. Four of the boomerangs are small and light, typical of so-called 'returning' boomerangs, the other four are larger and heavier, typical of the hunting and fighting boomerangs of inland regions. One of the spearthrowers is plain, the other incised and has pigment staining consistent with use as a palette.

    Daisy Bates and her relationship with Aboriginal people in Western Australia and at Ooldea are an important part of Australia's history of settler-Indigenous relations during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. These objects are significant for their link to the story of Bates and her sojourn in Ooldea. Their links to Herbert Browne also make them significant for understanding the history of the theatre in Australia during the early twentieth century, and the way in which theatre moved around the country. These objects are also significant for demonstrating the economics of material culture and artefact manufacture at Ooldea and the early development of Aboriginal arts and tourism industries in Australia.