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.

Object of the Week

03 Nov 2011

In late May 1857 the 1167-ton wooden three-masted sailing ship Dunbar departed London for its second voyage to Australia, carrying at least 63 passengers, 59 crew and a substantial cargo.

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Object of the Week

27 Oct 2011

Captain James Cook became a celebrated figure after his death in 1779, and was commonly depicted in books, on plaques and posters.

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Building a nawi - continued

20 Oct 2011

Since my last post about building a NSW south coast, tied-bark canoe, I’m happy to say that I’ve launched the canoe! Read on to see how I went…

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Francis Birtles: From London to Melbourne by Car

20 Oct 2011

Australian adventurer, author and filmmaker Francis Edwin Birtles (1881-1941) made this remark two days before departing on what would become his most famous adventure – driving from London, England to Melbourne, Australia in his 1925 Bean racing car known as the ‘Sundowner’.

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Object of the Week

19 Oct 2011

On 3 February 1954 Queen Elizabeth II and her husband the Duke of Edinburgh arrived in Sydney Harbour on the Royal Yacht Gothic, commencing their royal tour of Australia.

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Building a nawi

14 Oct 2011

Over the last couple of weekends, I have managed to make a full sized, NSW south coast, tied-bark canoe. They are known as nawi by the Indigenous communities based around Sydney Harbour.

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Object of the Week

13 Oct 2011

This maillot (one-piece) swimsuit was manufactured by Melbourne company Black Lance in the 1930s. Designed by Peter O’Sullivan, the popular ‘Brigadier’ swimsuit features star-shaped buttons (which fasten the top to the trunks) and nautical stripes inspired by naval uniforms.

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Designing the SIEV X memorial

29 Sep 2011

On 18 October 2001 a decrepit, overcrowded fishing boat embarked from Sumatra, Indonesia, carrying more than 400 asylum seekers who had fled Iraq and Afghanistan. It foundered the next day en route to the offshore Australian territory of Christmas Island, drowning 353 people – 146 children, 142 women and 65 men. The boat would come to be known as SIEV X (Suspected Illegal Entry Vessel Unknown).

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Object of the Week

28 Sep 2011

Sometime between 1839-1845 Frances (Fanny) Bligh, daughter of the renowned William Bligh, wrote this in a letter to a landholder in the colony of New South Wales named George Suttor. The ring Fanny was referring to was this intaglio bloodstone antique ring (00044369) which formerly belonged to her father.

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