Discover stories behind the latest exhibitions, fascinating explorations into maritime science and archaeology, and the surprising details of what happens inside (and outside) a modern working museum.

Goy Galdeano (centre, in white striped top) with the first group of female Spanish assisted migrants to Australia, 1960 [reproduced courtesy Melissa Zabalegui]

Mutiny on the Montserrat: The 60th anniversary of Operation Eucalyptus

02 Sep 2019

An archive of newspaper clippings in the museum’s collection documents a dramatic episode in assisted migration from Spain and Greece to Australia 60 years ago, writes curator Kim Tao. The nightmare 54-day voyage of the Montserrat was marred by engine trouble, fighting between passengers and crew, and even allegations of a mutiny by passengers in the middle of the Indian Ocean.

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Watercolour of Port Adelaide, South Australia, by Samuel Thomas Gill, 1840s. Rex Nan Kivell Collection, National Library of Australia

A worker in tulle: The English lacemakers of Calais

27 Aug 2019

The 1848 Revolution in France led to the exodus of a unique group of refugee artisans now known as the lacemakers of Calais. Curator Kim Tao profiles the story of Edward Lander, chairman of a committee representing nearly 650 English laceworkers and their families, who sought a fresh start in the Australian colonies.

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Annarosa Coluccio (third from left) with her parents (left) and mother-in-law (fourth from left) at her proxy marriage in Roccella Jonica, Calabria, Italy, 1956. Reproduced courtesy Isabella Coluccio

Until we meet again: An Italian proxy bride's story

22 Aug 2019

Annarosa Coluccio (née Bova) was one of 12,000 young Italian women who arrived in Australia as proxy brides between 1945 and 1976. Confronted by vast cultural and linguistic barriers, she eventually settled in with the love of her husband and the friendship of their new Australian neighbours.

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