The Australian Journeys gallery explores the journeys of people to and from Australia and the social, political and economic impacts of those journeys. Here are some of the highlights from the 750 objects on show in the gallery. These objects are from the National Museum's collections, unless otherwise stated.
All photos by George Serras, Lannon Harley, Dragi Markovic and Dean McNicoll, unless otherwise stated.
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Handmade telescope 'model' given to Hermann Wehner
Building the Anglo-Australian Telescope
Engineer Hermann Wehner arrived in Australia from Germany in 1952, contracted by the Australian Government to spend nine months refurbishing and installing the Great Melbourne Telescope at Mount Stromlo Observatory near Canberra.
He was still working there 15 years later, when he was seconded to work on the Anglo–Australian Telescope, a joint British and Australian initiative to construct a world-class telescope in the Southern Hemisphere.
The Anglo–Australian Telescope was opened by Prince Charles in 1974. Wehner returned to his job at Mount Stromlo and, as a farewell gift, his colleagues presented him with this handmade 'model' of the Anglo–Australian Telescope.
'Southern Cross' propeller fragment
Two journeys of adventure
This propeller fragment comes from the Southern Cross, the three-engined Fokker aircraft flown by Australian aviator Sir Charles Kingsford Smith on pioneering flights between Australia and England in the 1920s.
The propeller was smashed during a dramatic mail flight between New Zealand and Australia in 1935.
Kingsford Smith gave this fragment to 16-year-old Victor Piper, who met the famous pilot when he landed in Australia.
In 2001 the fragment went into orbit around Earth with Australian-born astronaut Andy Thomas.
Thomas took it with him aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery to honour Sir Charles Kingsford Smith's aviation achievements.
Thomas became the first Australian citizen in space when he flew on the Space Shuttle Endeavour in 1996. He has completed three further journeys into Earth's orbit, including 141 days aboard the Mir space station.
Minh Tam Nguyen's 'dan tre' (bamboo musical instrument)
A Vietnamese refugee's musical connection
From 1975 Minh Tam Nguyen spent six years as a prisoner of war in the 're-education' camps of the People's Liberation Armed Forces, or Vietcong, in central Vietnam.
During breaks from hard labour, Minh invented and played a musical instrument that combined features from Vietnamese bamboo zithers and Western instruments like the guitar. He called it the dàn tre, which means 'bamboo musical instrument'.
Minh made this 23-stringed dàn tre in a Philippine refugee camp after fleeing Vietnam in 1981. He brought the instrument with him when he and his son came to Australia in 1982. Playing the dàn tre connected him to the family he had been forced to leave behind in Vietnam.
Listen to 'The dàn tre: a musical migration story' audio
Curator Jennifer Wilson detailed her research on the dàn tre in a presentation at the National Museum on 8 August 2007.
'Tales of the Souk' by Fatima Killeen
An artist's connections to Morocco
Fatima Killeen grew up in Casablanca, in Morocco. Her passion for visual arts led her overseas to study painting and photography at the prestigious Corcoran School of Art in Washington DC, in the United States. There Fatima met her Australian husband-to-be, John, and in 1994 they moved to Canberra in the Australian Capital Territory.
Killeen created Tales of the Souk, during her final year at the Canberra School of Art in 1997. She soaked the wooden pieces that make up its patterned surface with fragrant saffron, henna and black nut powder to evoke the sights and smells of the Casablanca souks, or markets.
The eight-pointed stars in the work are known in Arabic as 'khatim'. These symbols are used widely in Islamic art and patterns made up of this shape decorate mosques and homes across Morocco.
Irish dancing costume made by Rachel Franzen
An Australian teaches Irish dancing in Dubai
Australian Rachel Franzen took up Irish dancing as a young girl living in Canberra. Irish culture isn't in her blood — she started dancing simply because classes were offered as an after-school activity conveniently close to her home.
After a year, Franzen was hooked. She went on to enjoy success in 10 consecutive Australian National Irish Dancing Championships.
Today, Franzen lives in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates where she works as an Irish dancing teacher and choreographer. She also runs a business designing and making Irish dancing costumes for students in Dubai and, via the internet, around the world.
Her designs blend traditional styles of Irish dancing dresses with modern fabrics and motifs drawn from Islamic architecture and decoration.
The design on this Franzen dress blends traditional Irish decorations with motifs derived from Arabic architecture. The pattern in the centre of the bodice, for example, is a traditional Celtic form signifying the continuity of life; while the decorations on the skirt petals were inspired by a tile from the Lutf Allah Mosque in Isfahan in Iran.
Cotton scoreboard banner from the Melbourne Cricket Ground given to Nance Clements
Cricketing journeys to and from Australia
Cricketer Nance Clements made her debut for Victoria against a touring English side at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) in 1934. She went on to play for Australia, becoming part of a long tradition of contests with bat and ball between Britain and its former colonies.
After her debut match, Clements souvenired the scoreboard banner bearing her name and discovered that 'LARWOOD' was painted on the back.
The MCG had apparently reused the banners from the Ashes Test series of the previous year, when Englishman Harold Larwood outraged Australian crowds and strained British–Australian relations by bowling fast, attacking 'bodyline' deliveries that injured several Australian batsmen.