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Behind the scenes

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Behind the scenes

Theresa in Canberra

Theresa Ross giving a presentation
Theresa Ross talks about the Coniston Massacre. Photo: George Serras.

In January 2008 Theresa Ross travelled to Canberra to take part in the Australian Government Summer School for Teachers of Australian History. It was Theresa's second visit to the National Museum, having come to Canberra in December 2007 to work with curatorial staff of the Museum on the Coniston story in the First Australians gallery.

At the summer school Theresa gave presentations on her research and met with teachers from across Australia, many of whom had not heard of the Coniston Massacre.

While in Canberra, Theresa took the opportunity to visit some of its local attractions. This included a visit to Old Parliament House, where she saw a painting of its opening in 1927, around the time of the Coniston Massacre.

The painting depicts the celebration and nationalistic fervour surrounding the event, but for Theresa, and many other people from central Australia, this was a time when the nation failed to protect her people from settler violence.

Theresa Ross with two Museum staff members examining a rifle.
Former Museum Registration Assistant Loans Officer, Sally Patfield, Theresa Ross and Museum curator Peter Thorley with a Lee Enfield rifle typical of the model used by central Australian police in 1928. Photo: George Serras.
Theresa Ross at Old Parliament House in front of a painting of its opening in 1927.
Theresa Ross at Old Parliament House. Photo: George Serras.