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.
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'Gender barung pelog' from the Gamelan orchestra
Promoting Indonesian independence
In 1926 a Javanese court musician named Pontjopangrawit was imprisoned by the colonial government of the Dutch East Indies, now Indonesia. He was held at the remote Tanah Merah camp, on the Digul River, in Irian Jaya, now West Papua.
Pontjopangrawit appropriated wood, nails and tins from camp supplies and used them to make a suite of instruments for a gamelan orchestra. It is known as the gamelan Digul, or the orchestra made on the river Digul. The gendèr barung pélog is one of the instruments from this orchestra.
When the Japanese invaded the East Indies in 1942, the Dutch government sent its Tanah Merah prisoners to a camp at Cowra, New South Wales.
Pontjopangrawit's gamelan Digul travelled with the prisoners to Australia. Two years later, the prisoners were released. Many moved to Melbourne and worked towards Indonesian independence. The gamelan's music became an integral part of their campaign.
Carmelo Mirabelli's camera and case
Capturing an Italian migrant's journey through Australia
Sicilian-born Carmelo Mirabelli arrived in Sydney on the ship Assimina in 1951, and immediately headed north to cut sugarcane.
He followed seasonal harvests across the country for five years, then settled in Brisbane because its climate reminded him of Sicily. He later moved to Melbourne in search of work.
Mirabelli used this Zeiss Ikon camera to record his experiences as an itinerant worker in Australia during the 1950s. He photographed himself, friends and workers on the sugarcane fields of Queensland and the orchards and vineyards of Victoria.
Migration did not end Mirabelli's connection to Sicily — he sent money to his mother back home and photographs that showed what life was like in Australia.
The Ride family's 'Nomad' brand tractor lawn sprinkler
Watering an English garden in Australia
David and Margaret Ride met and married in Hong Kong and later moved to Oxford, England. In 1957, David was offered the directorship of the Western Australian Museum, and the family, assisted to migrate by the Australian Government, settled in Perth.
The Rides' new home had a garden featuring English favourites like rose bushes, a willow tree and a lovely expanse of lawn, but the Rides didn't understand that to make it flourish they needed to water it!
Eventually the willow tree died, and the family purchased this 'set and forget' tractor sprinkler. The Nomad has a painted metal chassis, cast iron wheels and copper tube sprinkler arms.
Film of the tractor sprinkler at work, evoking the nostalgic sounds of the sprinkler mechanism and water spray in a time before water restrictions, appears in the Australian Journeys gallery.
View the tractor sprinkler in action (MPEG4, 12mb) duration 05:00
Tania Verstak's Miss Australia 1961 trophy
Tania Verstak becomes the first migrant to win the Miss Australia Quest
Tania Verstak was born in Tianjin, China to Russian parents who escaped the 1917 Russian revolution. When the Communist Chinese government began pressuring Russians to leave, the Verstaks fled to Australia, arriving in Sydney in 1952, where they settled in Manly.
In 1961 Verstak became the first migrant to be crowned Miss Australia. She also won the United-States based title, Miss International. The Miss Australia Quest ran annually as a fundraiser for the Australian Cerebral Palsy Association.
By the 1960s Australian society was becoming more multicultural. Verstak's win reflected a change in the national image.
'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.