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.

A tribute to Robert Oatley AO BEM

15 Jan 2016

Robert Ian ‘Bob’ Oatley AO BEM was a well-known and respected businessman, winemaker, yachtsman and philanthropist. To the Australian public he was best known for his first winemaking company, Rosemount, and his last yacht, the eight-time Sydney to Hobart winning super maxi Wild Oats XI.

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The Bonnie Dundee

28 Sep 2015

In 1987 the Australian National Maritime Museum purchased a set of original shipyard plans produced by the Scottish marine engineering and shipbuilding company Gourlay Brothers & Co. in Dundee.

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Magnus Halvorsen (1918–2015)

07 Aug 2015

A generation of a family known for their classic wooden boat building in Australia has now come to an end with the passing of Magnus Halvorsen late in July, a month short of his 97th birthday. He was born in Norway, but migrated to Australia (via South Africa) as a child in 1925 with his mother, four brothers and two sisters.

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A woolie mermaid

04 Aug 2015

Last week I started exploring the fascinating intersection between needlework, craft and maritime history in the museum’s collection, examining an embroidered sampler made by young British migrant Julia Donovan in 1879. Today I will be looking at the sampler’s first cousin – the sailor’s woolwork picture or embroidered ship portrait, affectionately known as a ‘woolie’.

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Floating art galleries of Madura

12 Jun 2015

Recent maritime research in the big archipelagic nation next door – Indonesia – reveals an explosion of creative expression among some traditional fishing communities that are turning hard-working, everyday timber vessels into floating art galleries.

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Oysters and their punts

05 Jun 2015

Oysters – a first choice on the menu for many people, and while enthusiasts have their favourite coastal spot that they swear has the best specimens, remember that someone has to do the hard work of farming them in shallow water. And for this they need a boat.

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