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.
The Gai Waterhouse collection comprises a gold-coloured cast metal trophy in the form of a horseshoe mounted on top of a stylised horse's hoof, on a square wooden base with bevelled sides. The horseshoe is in the toe-down position and it has a small representation of a riding crop diagonally across it. "1992 / TELECOM NATIONAL BUSINESS DIRECTORY / GOLDEN HORSEHOE / GAI WATERHOUSE" is engraved in a plaque attached to the side of the base. The back of the trophy bears the maker's stamp "Rocca".
Born 2 September 1954, Gai Waterhouse is one of Australia's leading horse trainers. She served her apprenticeship under her father, the late T.J. Smith. She obtained her trainer's licence in 1992 after a protracted battle with the Australian Jockey Club. She challenged the rule, current at the time, that the spouse of a "warned off" or banned individual was ineligible to obtain a licence. Her husband, bookmaker Robbie Waterhouse, had been warned off in 1984. During her first year as a trainer, she came seventh in the Sydney trainer's premiership and third in the prize money, a statistic that underlined her ability to pick the best races for her owners as well as her willingness to start horses at provincial meetings. During the year she had her first Group 1 success when Te Akau Nick won the Sydney Metropolitan and first Group 3 success when Moods won the Gosford Gold Cup. The Telecom National Business Directory Golden Horsehoe was awarded to her in recognition of these achievements.
Women with Attitude collection and exhibition:
This object is part of the Women with Attitude collections. In 1995 twenty-four Australian women were asked by the Museum to identify one object that was symbolic of their life in the political arena for inclusion in the travelling exhibition Women with Attitude: 100 years of political action. The objects made up a section entitled "Individuals with Attitude" which linked the historical sections of the exhibition with the future. Together the objects provide a significant if quirky record on Australian women in 1995 and their priorities and mementoes. The intention of the curator, Marion Stell, was to have this group of women link the historical sections of the exhibition with the future without imposing didactic text. The intention was to achieve a range of perspectives - political persuasions, ages, races, styles, familiarity, occupations and backgrounds.
Because many of the women were well-known, they had experience in being portrayed by the medial. Part of the politics of the exhibition was to allow each woman to choose one object, to write up to 250 words and provide her own image. This was thought to give them some kind of 'control' over their own image. An exhibition, just like the media, can distort the image that we as individuals wish to portray.
The women were presented in alphabetical order and photographs and text were delivered in a purple wash of standard size. As a result coloured photographs had no advantage over black and white or large over small. The objective was to afford each woman equality.
The exhibition opened in Canberra on 8 March 1995 and toured to Fremantle, Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney and Hobart closing on 8 May 1997. At the end of the two-year exhibition and tour, each woman was contacted and asked if she would be prepared to donate the object to the Museum.
The following text accompanied Gai Waterhouse's object and photograph in Women with Attitude:
Gai Waterhouse The horse racing game has generally been regarded as man's world, that is until Gai Waterhouse stepped in.
Gai Waterhouse has made her mark both nationally and internationally as the woman who changed the face of Australian racing. Her bitter battles with Committee of the Australian Jockey Club saw her victorious in the Court of Appeal in her determination to obtain her licence to train horses. That even was seen by many as a landmark decision for working women, justifying a woman's own rights to a career and enforcing the fact that she is not simply an appendage of her husband.
While her success as a horse trainer and as a leader of women in the field of men flourishes, she still has time for two children, a husband, a home and a dog. Gai Waterhouse is a woman of substance full of endless energy for her family, friends, career and the future of racing."
This collection comprises a brass breastplate presented around 1840 to Michael Kinsela of Cudgelbong, a Kamberri man. It was given to (or collected by) pastoralist George Sibley, who owned the original 'Red Hill' property at Gundaroo, New South Wales, in the 1850s and whose descendants still live in the region today. Since 'Cudgelbong' is probably a variation of 'cudgegong', an Aboriginal word meaning 'red hill', it is highly likely that the land around Gundaroo was Michael Kinsela's country.
By the 1830s it was common practice to present Aboriginal people perceived as local leaders with breastplates in an attempt to aid peaceable settlement. Breastplates were also presented as a reward for labour or particular acts of heroism. It is possible Michael Kinsela worked as a tracker for the police and took his non-indigenous name from Patrick Kinsela, who was appointed to the position of Chief Constable of Queanbeyan in February 1838. Some of the descendants of Patrick Kinsela have, like the Sibleys, remained in the region. Thus Michael Kinsela's breastplate is not only tangible evidence of a named individual - a rare record for an Aboriginal person in colonial Australian history - but is unusual for having a relatively strong provenance to two families and locations with an ongoing local history.
The Bradman, World War One and agricultural collection (David Westcott) consists of five World War One silk postcards; six 19th century agricultural show prizes; eight "Japanese invasion money" notes from the Netherlands East Indies; one book on Donald Bradman (1948).
With the separation caused by overseas service during World War One, postcards became an important way to reduce the pain of absence for those at the front and those at home. Silk postcards, initially hand-made in France but later mass produced, were a popular souvenir to send home. The Japanese Government authorised various printings of so-called "invasion money" to equate approximately with each occupied country's pre-war currency. After Japanese forces were defeated, the Allies destroyed all known "invasion money" issues, but many examples were souvenired by servicemen. The agricultural show certificates provide and important link into the agricultural economy of Federation-era Australia (in particularly the Victoria-New South Wales border). The book on Donald Bradman was written by journalist and selector AG Moyes. Moyes was a State selector who helped bring Bradman into top class cricket. He was clearly a great admirer of Bradman, as well as a friend. The book is an example of the development of the Bradman legend at a key moment in "The Don's" career.