The lower level of the gallery focuses on aspects of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history since 1788.
Goolarri: The sounds of Broome
This display looks at the work of Goolarri Media Enterprises of Broome, Western Australia. It features an interactive recording studio that lets you audition as a volunteer announcer and, at the end of your session, hear your broadcast played back to you.
This display showcases some of these breastplates in the Museum's collection. Breastplates are cross-cultural historical items and illustrate dimensions of Aboriginal-settler relations, from colonial times until well into the twentieth century.
This display features a display of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children's drawings of contact with Macassan fishermen.
This display presents four stories of Indigenous resistance to British occupation of Australia since 1770.
In 2002, at the age of 67, Albert 'Alby' Clark completed a bicycle ride from Perth to Warrnambool, Victoria – a distance of more than 3000 kilometres – to promote reconciliation, sport and fitness. This display features a bicyle outfit worn during the journey.
Mayor Edward 'Ted' Simpson
This display profiles some of the achievements of Edward Simpson (1944–2007). In 2004 Simpson became the mayor of Brewarrina, New South Wales, and was the first Aboriginal person to be elected mayor in New South Wales.
This display features an outfit worn by Jackie Huggins at three national reconciliation events - Conference Reconciliation Convention, Melbourne (1997), Corroboree 2000 and Walk for Reconciliation, Sydney (2000) and Reconciliation Workshop, Canberra (2005).
Read more on the Jackie Huggins collection
Link-Up: Bringing them home
The Link-Up display introduces the stories of three people taken from their families as young children. Link-up works to reconnect people with their culture and support them in this vulnerable time.
The Framlingham bark hut
This recreated bark mission hut was constructed from materials brought from the Framlingham Mission near Warrnambool in south-west Victoria.
Fighting for our rights: Wreck Bay
This display showcases some of the surfing gear made by Doolagahs Indigenous Designs Pty Ltd, a business which was first established at the Wreck Bay community in New South Wales.
Fighting for our rights: Wik
This display showcases the Sea of Hands, first displayed at the Australian Parliament House in Canberra in October 1997. The other key objects are message sticks, part of a national campaign in 1997 for Native title.
Fighting for our rights: Murray Island (Mer)
The people of Mer (Murray Island), through the High Court of Australia's Mabo decision, were recognised as traditional owners. This display showcases a drum and drum sticks from the Mer region together with an image of Mabo plaintiff, Father Dave Passi (2000).
Fighting for our rights: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander incarceration
John Johnson, an Aboriginal artist now living in Canberra, was jailed in Darwin when he was 15 years old for stealing a packet of cigarettes and a can of drink. His artwork, The Last Wave, is his personal response to the over-representation of Aboriginal people in gaols.
Bipotaim: Stories from the Torres Strait is an exhibition of striking photographs, stories and objects about the lives, culture and identity of Torres Strait Islanders.