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.


Stephen Gapps

Stephen is a Curator at the Australian National Maritime Museum. In 2014 he developed the War at Sea - The Navy in WWI exhibition. He was previously responsible for the collection areas of Environment and Industry. In 2015 Stephen developed a display showcasing Australian and Indonesian maritime connections. He has research interests in early colonial Australian history, Pirates and Vikings.

Australian military observers being welcomed by Republican officers in Yogyakarta on 14 September 1947. National Library of Australia.

75th anniversary of Indonesian independence

17 Aug 2020

On this day 75 years ago Indonesia declared independence from colonial Dutch rule. Curator Stephen Gapps looks back on this historic event and Australia's role in supporting Indonesia during its struggle. 


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Governor Bligh, Loyalists and Usurpers

25 Oct 2018

When then Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull asked his parliamentary colleagues to sign a petition over his leadership in August 2018, the connection may have been lost on many, but petitions have some long historical parallels in the Turnbull family, going back to the so-called ‘Usurpation’ of Governor Bligh in 1808.

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Chinese Junkets

Chinese junks and Australian sampans

21 Aug 2018

On July 11 in the year 1405 Admiral Zheng He’s Grand Fleet of over 300 ships with 28,000 crew departed China on the first of several expeditions through Southeast Asia and the Indian Ocean. The expeditions were aimed at establishing Chinese influence over long established trade routes, now often referred to as the Maritime Silk Road

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Spirituality and the sea

25 Jun 2018

The museum has acquired an evocative collection of maritime heritage from the Mission to Seafarers, Sydney, which has a history dating back to the early port in 1822. We can now explore the stories of the early provision of welfare to sailors and the surprising role of charitable religious organisations in maritime history.

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