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.

Make your own penguin softie

08 May 2013

All wonky eyes, felted flippers and blanket stitched bellies, what better use for scrap fabrics than a cuddly, crafty, cute-as-a-button-eyed penguin softie? 

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Sometimes, being negative isn’t so bad...

30 Apr 2013

This is something I discovered recently during the process of registering part of the large collection of photographic negatives, taken by photographer Gervaise Purcell, and acquired by the Australian National Maritime Museum.

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Billy Barnett, Master Shipwright of Sydney Harbour

26 Apr 2013

It seems that some skills take more than a lifetime to gain – they have to be inherited, in the blood. This is certainly the case with many boat builders and none more so than Bill Barnett, one of Sydney Harbour’s finest wooden boat builders and the man who designed, built and raced his 18-footer Myra Too to glory in 1951.

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Exposed! The Gervaise Purcell Collection

19 Apr 2013

In 2008 while researching and developing the museum’s travelling exhibition Exposed! The story of Swimwear, I was contacted by Leigh Purcell, the son of respected Australian commercial photographer Gervaise Purcell (1919 – 1999).

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The Pittwater Regatta

12 Apr 2013

Australia is not short of beautiful waterways and in the 1920s, around Christmas time, scores of boats would begin heading north from Sydney Harbour to visit one such spectacular site and to take part in one of the most important events on the New South Wales yachting calendar – the Pittwater Regatta.

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History comes alive on Hall’s harbour

28 Mar 2013

A few Saturdays ago my colleague Penny Hyde and I packed our sunscreen and hats and set off for Sydney’s oldest sailing club, the Sydney Flying Squadron in Milsons Point. In our own attempt to recreate history, our aim was to walk in photographer William J Hall’s footsteps yet again and see the world the way he did.

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Return voyage: A short family history

27 Mar 2013

In the 1850s my great, great grandfather, Frederick Payne lived in Thames Street and he was a waterman rowing passengers in his wooden skiff across the Thames, a stone’s throw to my left from where I stand.

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Frank Beaurepaire: Shark Rescue Hero

22 Mar 2013

In a life that was packed with civic achievements and sporting glory, it was Sir Francis Beaurepaire’s role in a daring shark rescue in 1922 that, for a time, propelled him into the spotlight and captured the public’s imagination.

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search and rescue hat

How to make a search and rescue hat

19 Mar 2013

One of the best things about a visit to the Maritime Museum for many kids is making crafty and creative souvenirs in our activity spaces and exhibitions to take home. Why wait until your next visit? Join us for some papercraft capers inspired by current exhibitions and all things maritime!

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A week away, working in the UK

18 Mar 2013

Over the last week of February I travelled to the UK as part of my work at the museum, where my first appointment was to attend the meeting of the International Congress of Maritime Museums’ (ICMM) International Historic and Traditional Ships panel.

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