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Behind the scenes

Behind the scenes

Gallery opening

Side view of Peter Garrett standing behind a lectern.
The Hon Peter Garrett AM MP.
Photo: Lannon Harley.

Australian Journeys (now Journeys) was officially opened by Peter Garrett, the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts, on 29 January 2009.

The gallery offers visitors the chance to see some of the Museum's latest acquisitions and oldest treasures.

View launch photos on Facebook

Gallery development

Man looking into a clear glass cabinet which contains a photograph album and other objects.
Journeys gallery.
Photo: Lannon Harley.

Journeys is the first gallery development at the National Museum since it opened in 2001.

National Museum Director Craddock Morton said the gallery opening was an important milestone in the Museum's development.

'Developing a permanent gallery is amongst the most ambitious and rewarding work a museum can undertake.

Renewing an entire gallery gives us the space to show new acquisitions and more of the National Historical Collection,' Mr Morton said.

The making of Journeys

Convict token in the form of a circular copper disc stipple-engraved with 'THOMAS / LOCK / AGED 22 / TRANSPed / 10 Years'.
Thomas Lock's convict token.
Photo: Dragi Markovic.

National Museum senior curator Martha Sear presents a talk about the evolution of Journeys.

Follow the links below for a comprehensive overview of the stories and the objects that feature in the gallery.

audio_w15  Listen to 'Making of Australian Journeys' audio
Read transcript

Also see Martha talking about the making of Australian Journeys with Canberra reporter Nicholas Kittel on ABC local video.

Behind the Scenes audio series

Cream coloured waistcoat with black embroidery.
Guna Kinne's waistcoat.
Photo: George Serras.

This series features talks by curators about key collection objects considered for display in the Museum's Journeys gallery.

Highlights include:

  • the George Reid collection
  • the William Smith O'Brien Staffordshire figurines
  • Guna Kinne's Latvian dress
  • and the dàn tre bamboo instrument.

audio_w15 Listen to Museum professionals share details of their research

Construction highlights

Gallery ceiling under construction.
Gallery ceiling under construction.
Photo: Lannon Harley.

The Journeys gallery called for extensions to the National Museum's mezzanine.

Museum photographers documented a challenging concrete pour and the installation of a new steel ceiling.

Both major works were carried out in an awkward space, around a working museum full of precious objects.

View ceiling installation photos on Facebook

View concrete pour photos on Facebook