The 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.
Image Gallery Page Navigation
Page 3 of 5
Sir Joseph Carruthers' uniform
A statesman's journey to Britain
In 1908, Australian politician Joseph Carruthers travelled to England for the first time, where he received a prestigious knighthood from King Edward VII. During his career in the New South Wales government, Carruthers contributed to the shaping of the new Australian Constitution and, along with many others, celebrated the Federation of the nation in 1901.
Carruthers attended the spectacular program of inauguration celebrations in Sydney, and the grand opening of the first provisional Federal Parliament at Melbourne’s Royal Exhibition Building. For Carruthers, wearing this uniform at Buckingham Palace was the pinnacle of a career dedicated to imperial loyalty and the ideals of a federated Australia.
The National Museum's collection also includes a dress worn by Lady Alice Carruthers at Buckingham Palace.
Photo: Mitchell Library, State Library of NSW - Call no PXE 1104 /1/ 7.
Debrie 'Le Parvo' motion picture camera used by Frank Hurley
Filming the Antarctic
In 1929 Australian photographer Frank Hurley boarded the steam yacht Discovery at London's East India Dock and embarked on his third voyage to Antarctica.
Hurley was official cinematographer to the British, Australian and New Zealand Antarctic Research Expedition (BANZARE).
He spent the next two years recording life on board the Discovery, the Antarctic scenery and wildlife, and the scientific work of the expedition.
Hurley purchased the Debrie camera especially for the expedition. He used it to make a 'talkie' called Siege of the South. This film premiered in Brisbane in 1931, bringing the alien world of the Antarctic home to Australian audiences.
Canvas swag used by Thomas Rutledge
Travels of a World War One soldier
In November 1914, as Australia followed Great Britain into war with Germany, grazier Thomas Rutledge joined the Australian Imperial Force. In four years, he travelled and fought at Gallipoli, and in Egypt, Malta, Italy, England, France and Belgium.
Rutledge used this 'swag' during service with the 2nd Australian Pioneers on the Western Front in Belgium in 1917. At the end of the war, he carried the swag home to Gidleigh, near Canberra, and later used it during camping trips in the Snowy Mountains.
A swag is a portable shelter that is rolled, often with blankets or other belongings inside, for transport.
Cotton nightdress made by Muriel McPhee
Preparing for a soldier's return
Between 1916 and 1918, Muriel McPhee sewed, embroidered and crocheted over 100 items of table linen, nightwear and underwear.
She was creating her trousseau — the clothes and drapery she would need in married life. But McPhee never wed and, after she died, her family found her trousseau, unused and stored in calico bags hidden around her house.
It seems that in about 1916, 18-year-old McPhee became engaged. It was the First World War and while McPhee stayed and worked on Arulbin, her family farm near Grafton in New South Wales, her fiancé went off to fight in Europe. Like 60,000 other young Australians, he never returned home.
Listen to 'Stories of sadness and loss' audio
Curator Susannah Helman detailed her research on the trousseau in a presentation at the National Museum on 13 June 2009. The talk also covered the Alexander Mussen ambrotype and convict tokens
Tree clearing tools used by group settlers
Clearing the land
Group settlers — known as 'groupies' — were mainly British migrants brought to Australia and given land for farms as part of an Empire-wide migration scheme.
They lived in 'group settlements' of 20 farms, helping each other establish their properties. But conditions were so tough, especially in the Great Depression, that many were forced to abandon their farms.
In Western Australia, group settlers were given land in dense jarrah and karri forests, which they had to clear by using hand tools and horses.
This image shows group settlers resting on a giant karri tree at Denmark, Western Australia, in the 1920s. A horse-driven stump puller and saws used in tree clearing are also on show in the Australian Journeys gallery. These objects were lent by the Denmark Historical Society.
Photo: Denmark Historical Society.
Eyemo motion picture camera used by Damien Parer
Filming Kokoda Front Line!
The Second World War arrived on Australia's doorstep in July 1942. Japanese forces advanced across the island of New Guinea to the north of Australia, and Australian soldiers rushed to meet them on the steep, forested slopes of the Owen Stanley Ranges.
Australian cameraman Damien Parer accompanied the 21st Brigade to New Guinea where he filmed the troops' gruelling trek along the Kokoda Trail.
His film, Kokoda Front Line!, brought the campaign home to Australian audiences. This Eyemo camera is believed to be one of several he used to make the award-winning documentary.