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National Museum of Australia

Where our stories come alive

Collection Explorer



  • Josef Lebovic Gallery collection no. 1(7551)

    Mine shaft
    'West Aus Freemantle the Port of Perth' -
    Hotel Hampton Court. Kings Cross, Sydney
    Students outside a school at Warat
  • E Milne collection(652)

    Aboriginal breastplate for Sawyer, King of Wickham Hill
    Aboriginal breastplate for Charley York, Chief of Bullangamang
    Top grinding stone [stone implement]
    Ground edge hatchet head [stone implement]
  • Jack Heenan collection(25)

    Pair of Holden cufflinks
    Green plastic swizzle stick advertising Rhodes Holden, Melbourne
    Cartoon related to General Motors Holden employee Jack Heenan and Holden cars
    Pair of gold-coloured metal cufflinks bearing the Holden lion logo

    The Jack Heenan collection comprises memorabilia, artwork, clothing accessories and industry journals relating to the career of Jack Heenan who worked for General Motors Holden (GMH) from 1935 until his retirement in 1974. He began his career working in forecasting, but later transferred to the sales department. These objects were used by Mr Heenan in his daily working life.

    GMH has played an important role in the history of Australian motor transport. The early model Holdens (the FX and FJ) are among the most recognisable cultural artefacts of 1950s and 1960s Australia. Motoring memorabilia illustrates the passionate connection some people feel towards motoring and Holden cars. The creation of marketing symbols as functional and collectible items also demonstrates the nature of Holden's powerful marketing campaigns. This collection of objects also traces the evolution of Australia's motoring history, Holden's own sense of its history and connection to post-war development, and Holden's continuing prominence in the popular imagination.

  • Enid Bowden collection(227)

    Blade [stone implement]
    Flake [stone implement]
    Blade [stone implement]
    Blade [stone implement]
  • Springfield - Faithfull Family collection(3501)

    Cream-coloured page on which is handwritten
    Lilian Faithfull on her wedding day, 16 February 1898, standing on the verandah at Springfield
    Property in the Riverina
    Photograph of interior of a living room at Camelot, home of Lilian Faithfull after her marriage to William Hugh Anderson

    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.

  • L Richard Smith breastplate collection(20)

    King Mallee of the Nyungar Danoo Outstation 1881
    Tommy, King of Connai
    Jimmy (King), Brisbane Water
    Sam, King of Merton, Presented by William Dawes Esq

    This collection is comprised of seventeen Australian Indigenous breastplates (also known as king plates or gorgets). They come from a collection accumulated by L. Richard Smith, a noted collector of medals and porcelain. The breastplates are associated with Indigenous people from Queensland, New South Wales and Western Australia. The breastplates are all metal, of varying size, and are generally crescent shaped. Each is inscribed with the recipient's name, and many include an associated region and an honorary title such as 'king', 'queen' or 'chief'.

    During the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, government authorities and settlers gave breastplates to Indigenous people for a variety of reasons. They were used as a way of selecting and identifying local elders to act as intermediaries between settlers and local Indigenous people. They were also given out in recognition of service and/or assistance (for example to Aboriginal stockmen or for saving people from ship wrecks). As such, they are significant cross-cultural objects that document early interaction between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in different regions of Australia. They often record the names of Indigenous people, and the station or region with which they are associated; people who are not otherwise represented in historical records. The collection is also significant in expanding the geographical scope of the National Museum's existing breastplate collection.

  • Papuan Official collection(1043)

    Carved human figure
    Cane cuirass
    Carved human head
    Shell money
  • J Davidson collection no. 3(319)

    Spirit People by Yirawala, Croker Island, 1965
    Opossum Tree Dreaming.
    Yirritja moiety