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Lower gallery

WARNING: Visitors should be aware that this website includes images and names of deceased people that may cause sadness or distress to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.


Lower gallery

The lower level of the gallery focuses on aspects of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history since 1788.

Goolarri: The sounds of Broome

Two young visitors seated at the radio control panels of the recording studio

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.

Aboriginal breastplates

A display of breastplates and photographs

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.

Children's drawings

A child's drawing of contact with Macassan fishermen

This display features a display of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children's drawings of contact with Macassan fishermen.

Resistance

A bunch of white feathers tied together with red wool

This display presents four stories of Indigenous resistance to British occupation of Australia since 1770.

Read more on the stories of resistance

Albert Clark

A display featuring Alby Clark's red, yellow and black bicyle outfit

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

A display profiling some of the achievements of Edward 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.

Link-Up: Bringing them home

A photograph of the Link up display

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

A recreated bark mission 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

A surf board made by Doolagahs Indigenous Designs Pty Ltd

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

A display showcasing message sticks and the Sea of Hands

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)

A display showcasing a drum and drum sticks from the Mer region together with an image of Mabo plaintiff, Father Dave Passi (2000).

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

The Fighting for our rights: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander incarceration display

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.

More

Go to a summary of the upper gallery stories

Take a virtual tour of the displays and read more information about the stories found in the First Australians gallery.