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.

The Prince of Pickpockets who stole our imagination with a swagger

16 Nov 2012

Everyone loves a good convict story, and George Barrington’s chequered life of misdeeds, ‘dissipation and licentiousness’ fails to disappoint. A real life ‘Artful Dodger’, Barrington remains one of the most notorious convicts in history. He also played a role in one of the greatest literary frauds, a myth that perpetuates to this day.

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A Special Kind of Bluebird

09 Nov 2012

With these words Lieutenant Colonel A. B. Brockway of the Army Medical Corps heralded the start of WW1 service for a group of exceptional Australian nurses.

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The three Mysteries: the Island, the Star and the disappearance

05 Nov 2012

On 5 September 1936, crowds gathered at wharf 10 in Walsh Bay, Sydney to farewell the cast and crew of a new Australian ‘talkie’, Mystery Island. Among those at the wharf about to board SS Morinda was actor Brian Abbot who was photographed, by Samuel J Hood, farewelling his wife Grace Rikard Bell.

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From Brunswick to Bullecourt

25 Oct 2012

In a sea of faces, some worried, some jubilant, Private John Michael Hassett poses for a picture. It is October 1916, Melbourne, and Hassett and other members of his battalion are just about to board the troopship Nestor to leave for war.

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The ‘indescribable horror’

19 Oct 2012

On 3 November 1927, the Union Steamship Company’s RMS Tahiti collided with the Watsons Bay ferry Greycliffe off Bradley’s Head. It became known as Sydney’s worst maritime disaster and etched itself into the minds of those who witnessed scenes of ‘indescribable horror’ on the harbour on that sunny afternoon.

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The plywood yuki project - Gumleaf

17 Oct 2012

The traditional Indigenous watercraft for the Murray River and the Ngarrindjeri community in South Australia  is called a  yuki’. It is made from a single sheet of red gum, taken from the side of a tree so that it already has much of the canoe’s curved shape already in place. 

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Ron and Valerie Taylor and their quest to protect

12 Sep 2012

Three days ago, we lost one of the most highly regarded marine conservationists this country as ever produced – shark expert and underwater filmmaker Ron Taylor. Since the 1960s, Ron and his wife Valerie pioneered underwater photography and rigorously campaigned for marine conservation.

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King Neptune, his wife, a surgeon, a barber and - some bears

07 Sep 2012

The danger of sea travel and the mysteries of the ocean have produced some elaborate and fascinating mythology over the thousands of years humans have been at sea. At the whims of weather and water, the rough and adventurous lives of sailors and seafarers led to the creation of a wide variety of superstitions, omens and rituals.

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