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.

Sydney under attack!

11 May 2012

Under the cover of darkness Japanese submarines stand north-east of Sydney ready to send three midget submarines with their two-man crews to victory and possible certain death. The date? 31 May 1942. The time? 8.01 pm and the first of the three submarines enters Sydney Harbour undetected.

Read more

Collecting bark for more canoes

04 May 2012

Monday, 30 April and I am on a mission to collect bark for more Indigenous canoe projects, this time it will be working with Tribal Warrior Association’s Youth Mentor Group. Getting bark is not a simple ‘go to the shop’ process – it needs permission, planning, and manpower.

Read more

Object of the week: The horrors of the deep

01 May 2012

Art has the capacity to evoke a range of emotions from the viewer, whether it be religious fervour, nostalgia, romance or even horror. Valentine Green’s engraving, Youth rescued from a Shark (1779), is designed to portray what was seen as, and to a large extent is still considered, one of the most feared aspects of the ocean – a shark attack.

Read more

Australian troops marched the streets of Sydney

24 Apr 2012

Amidst ANZAC day commemorations, Samuel J Hood’s photographs stand as a poignant pictorial record of those who served and lost their lives in World War I. There are many photographs in the collection, however, here are some highlights depicting Australian soldiers marching the streets of Sydney.

Read more

Object of the week: A sailor's woe and a heroic maiden

17 Apr 2012

I was trawling through the museum’s collection of sheet music when Married to a Mermaid (about 1866) caught my eye. Initially, I was struck by the peculiarity of the image; a sailor is depicted holding hands with a mermaid on the seabed with what appears to be animated fish hovering above.

Read more