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 objects that were previously 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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'Maris Pacifici quod vulgo Mar del Zur' map (Pacific Ocean, currently known as the South Sea) by Abraham Ortelius
European imaginings of the Great South Land
Map by Abraham Ortelius, hand-coloured print from an engraved copper plate published by Plantin Press, Antwerp, 1595.
Ortelius's map included up-to-date information from European explorers who had visited the Pacific. It also reproduced ideas about the Southern Hemisphere from ancient Greek times. Made before any European is known to have set foot on the Australian continent, Maris Pacifici perpetuated the northern belief that at the bottom of the world was a great south land.
William Smith O'Brien figurines
Transportation of an Irish rebel
Parliamentarian William Smith O'Brien was convicted of high treason in the 1840s for leading a rebellion against British rule in Ireland. He was transported to Van Diemen's Land, now Tasmania.
These Staffordshire figures, made in 1848, both portray William Smith O'Brien.
The standing figure shows O'Brien in chains and convict clothing, though in Van Diemen's Land, he was not required to dress in convict uniform or wear irons. This figure was based on the popular image of a convict.
The seated figure was made about the time of O'Brien's arrest. It shows him in the clothes of an aristocrat, wearing the chains of his imprisonment.
Listen to 'Captured in Staffordshire: Staffordshire figurines of Irish nationalist, parliamentarian and convict William Smith O'Brien' audio
Curator Rebecca Nason detailed her research on the William Smith O'Brien figurines in a presentation at the National Museum on 11 June 2008.
Ambrotype portrait of Alexander Mussen
Remembering a Canadian gold miner
In 1856 Alexander Mussen sailed from Canada for the Australian goldfields. Mussen was the son of a prosperous Montreal merchant.
He travelled in search of wealth and adventure, and to find a new life so he might redeem himself in the eyes of his family.
Twenty-two-year-old Mussen moved to 'Nuggety Gulley' in New South Wales to put half the world between him and the friends who had drawn him into debt and disgrace. He was shot dead by a bushranger while trying to protect a local store.
A few years before Mussen travelled to New South Wales he sat for an ambrotype portrait. The photographer was Mathew Brady, now well known for his photographs of the American Civil War. It seems that Mussen left this portrait with his family in Montreal, where it became a treasured memento of a son who never returned.
Listen to 'Stories of sadness and loss' audio
Curator Laina Hall detailed her research into Alexander Mussen in a presentation at the National Museum on 13 June 2009. The talk also covered the Muriel McPhee trousseau and convict tokens.
'Race to the Gold Diggings of Australia' children's board game
Imagining a journey to the gold diggings
Australia, Victoria, Port Phillip: in the English imagination of the 1850s, these names became synonymous with gold, opportunity and adventure.
Thousands of British men and women boarded ships for the three-month journey to Victoria, braving separation and shipwreck for the chance to make a quick fortune.
In England in the 1850s, stories about life on the goldfields and advice for potential emigrants were in high demand.
One company produced the board game, 'Race to the Gold Diggings of Australia'. It invites children to imagine the excitement and wealth promised by a journey to the far reaches of the British Empire.Explore the 'Gold Rush' interactive
Brick used to construct a Bendigo kiln
Chinese industry on the goldfields
In 1859 the Bendigo Advertiser reported that A'Fok, Fok Sing and Co. had applied for a lease of ground near the Chinese encampment to build a brick kiln.
One hundred and forty-five years later, archaeologists from Heritage Victoria excavated the site of the kiln, recovering bricks including this one, believed to be part of an arch.
Some 4000 Chinese men and women migrated to the Bendigo goldfields in the 1850s. They were entitled to mine surface alluvial gold but the authorities excluded them from delving for the deeper quartz deposits.
As a result, many gave up mining and started businesses in service industries instead, doing laundry, market gardening, shopkeeping or, like A'Fok, Fok Sing and Co., making bricks.
Lent by Heritage Victoria.
Following British fashions
By the 1880s wool was Australia's most important export. Thousands of fleeces were shipped to Britain's mills to be scoured, carded, combed, spun, dyed and woven into cloth.
Some of the wool eventually returned to Australia — as bolts of fabric or ready-made clothing, drapery and furnishings.
The Faithfull family of Springfield station, near Goulburn, New South Wales, grew wealthy supplying wool to Britain. In about 1885, one Faithfull daughter bought this dress from David Jones department store in Sydney.
This pink fine wool dress consists of a bodice and skirt, made in about 1885. It represented the latest in British fashion, but its origins probably lay close to home. It is made of fine wool of the type grown on Springfield.