Behind the scenes
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.
Sharing inspirational stories
The National Museum of Australia has worked with many people to create the exhibition From Little Things Big Things Grow. Join the Museum's curators and conservators at work. Meet the inspirational people who feature in the exhibition and share some of the experiences which have helped to shape the show.
Memories of mission life
Keeping memories of Hollywood Mission alive with Eric Bell in Yass, New South Wales
Ngunnawal elder Eric Bell shares his recollections of growing up on an Aboriginal mission. Eric met National Museum curator Karolina Kilian at the former mission site and donated a sheet of corrugated, or ripple, iron to the National Museum, to help tell his story.
Recording real life stories for a museum exhibition
The exhibition includes film displays where Indigenous Australians share their experiences of discrimination. Learn about the complexities encountered during the research and production of this project. Read Indigenous woman Dr Linda Payi Ford's reflections on sharing her story with the Museum.
Programmed to be White
Mary Terszak's story of surviving assimilation
The National Museum's search for a rare object led curators to Mary Terszak, a Nyoongah woman, who shares her Certificate of Exemption in the exhibition and recounts her incredible life after being forcibly removed from her family.
Seats of segregation
Uncovering the history of Bowraville's Raymond-Theatre seats
Museum staff travelled to Bowraville to meet Martin Ballangarry, a Gumbayngirr elder and one of many Indigenous Australians who used to frequent the local segregated movie theatre.
New life for old seats
Museum conservators restore the Bowraville theatre seats
Conservators brought new life to some long-forgotten seats from Bowraville's Ray-Mond Theatre. The seats were stored under the theatre for 40 years before being prepared for display in the exhibition. Here, conservators share details of the process through notes, photographs and interviews.
Celebrating the official opening of the exhibition
From Little Things Big Things Grow: Fighting for Indigenous Rights 1920-1970 was officially opened by Rachel Perkins, leading Indigenous filmmaker and daughter of activitist Charles Perkins, on 9 September 2009. The event began with a Welcome to Country by Ngambri Indigenous elder Matilda House, followed by John Maynard, grandson of activist Fred Maynard and Director of Wollotuka Institute at University of Newcastle.
Brothablack, a pioneer of Australian Indigenous hip-hop, wrapped up proceedings with a performance that energized the exhibition space and brought Indigenous protest to life.