Gallery highlights archive
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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'Ningkushum' (Freshwater shark), by Lesley Walmbeng, wooden sculpture from Cape Kerweer, Western Cape York Peninsula
Taking Indigenous art to the world
In 1962 men and women of the Wik people — the Aboriginal peoples of western Cape York Peninsula in northern Queensland — organised a series of important totemic ceremonies.
Lesley Walmbeng created this shark sculpture for dances held at the Aurukun Mission station. The sculpture, now part of the National Museum collection, was originally collected by anthropologist Frederick McCarthy.
In 1988 curator Peter Sutton of the South Australian Museum selected the sculpture to appear in Dreamings, a large exhibition of Australian Aboriginal art that travelled to the United States. The sculptures first went on international display at the Asia Society Galleries on Park Avenue, New York.
Medal awarded to Francis Zavier Conaci
Two Aboriginal boys journey to Italy
A small group of Benedictine monks founded the mission of New Norcia on the Victoria Plains of Western Australia in 1846.
Their aim was to 'civilise' the Yuat — the local Aboriginal people — through education, religious instruction and agricultural work.
In 1849 two Yuat boys, John Baptist Dirimera and Francis Xavier Conaci, travelled to Europe with monk Dom Rosendo Salvado.
The boys joined the monastery at Cava, in Italy, to train as monks. There, for distinction in his examinations, Conaci won this medal.
Lent by New Norcia Monastery and Art Gallery.
Greek amphora given to Charmian Cliff and George Johnston
Two Australian writers in Greece
In 1954 Australian authors Charmian Clift and George Johnston moved from London to the Greek islands — first to Kalymnos and then Hydra.
They stayed in Greece for a decade, recording their discovery of island life in novels, travel books, short stories and essays.
A Kalymnian sponge diver presented this ancient amphora to Clift and Johnston. The 7th century BC - 7th century AD vessel was displayed in their homes in Greece. Clift and Johnston carried it with them when they returned to Australia.
The Haritos family's brass diving helmet
Greek divers in Darwin
Efstratios Haritos emigrated to Australia from the Greek island of Lesbos in 1915 and four years later married Eleni Harmanis from the island of Kastellorizo.
The Haritos family went into business, beginning with a saltworks supplying the northern Australian meat industry. They then expanded into pearl shell harvesting, barramundi fishing, crocodile hunting and carting cargo to northern coastal communities.
In 1954 the Haritos family employed some of the first Kalymnian sponge divers to migrate to Australia. Haritos divers used this brass helmet to fish for pearl off the coast of Darwin.
Lent by Helen Haritos.