The 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 highlights from the 750 objects 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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Wolseley shearing machine
A new shearing machine demonstrated to the citizens of Melbourne in 1885 by Frederick Wolseley of Euroka station, Walgett, New South Wales, was quickly adopted and soon replaced traditional hand shears.
Powered by a steam engine and incorporating a revolutionary handpiece and overhead mechanism, pastoralists hoped the mechanical shearing machine would enable even an inexperienced shearer to remove wool quickly and cleanly.
Wolseley established factories in Sydney and Birmingham, England. His machines were installed in shearing sheds across Australia and the world.
In England the Wolseley company began building engines, cars and agricultural equipment, as well as shearing machines.
The two-stand machine pictured here was manufactured in Birmingham in about 1930 and used on a sheep station in New South Wales.
Sandpiper specimen collected by Robert Hall and Ernie Trebilcock
Tracking migratory birds from Australia to Siberia
In 1903 Australian ornithologist Robert Hall and his assistant, Ernie Trebilcock, travelled to Russia to research the migratory patterns of birds.
They collected this sandpiper specimen at the mouth of the Lena River in Siberia. This was tangible proof that, each year, shorebirds such as the sandpiper travel 26,000 kilometres from southern Australia to their breeding grounds in the wetlands of Siberia and back.
This specimen was among more than 200 sold to English naturalist Walter Rothschild.
Today, the Australian Wader Study Group continues Hall and Trebilcock's work, tracking birds migrating along the East Asian–Australasian Flyway from Australia to Siberia.
Lent by the American Museum of Natural History.
Sir Joseph Carruthers' uniform
A statesman's journey to Britain
In 1908, Australian politician Joseph Carruthers travelled to England for the first time, where he received a prestigious knighthood from King Edward VII. During his career in the New South Wales government, Carruthers contributed to the shaping of the new Australian Constitution and, along with many others, celebrated the Federation of the nation in 1901.
Carruthers attended the spectacular program of inauguration celebrations in Sydney, and the grand opening of the first provisional Federal Parliament at Melbourne’s Royal Exhibition Building. For Carruthers, wearing this uniform at Buckingham Palace was the pinnacle of a career dedicated to imperial loyalty and the ideals of a federated Australia.
The National Museum's collection also includes a dress worn by Lady Alice Carruthers at Buckingham Palace.
Photo: Mitchell Library, State Library of NSW - Call no PXE 1104 /1/ 7.
Debrie 'Le Parvo' motion picture camera used by Frank Hurley
Filming the Antarctic
In 1929 Australian photographer Frank Hurley boarded the steam yacht Discovery at London's East India Dock and embarked on his third voyage to Antarctica.
Hurley was official cinematographer to the British, Australian and New Zealand Antarctic Research Expedition (BANZARE).
He spent the next two years recording life on board the Discovery, the Antarctic scenery and wildlife, and the scientific work of the expedition.
Hurley purchased the Debrie camera especially for the expedition. He used it to make a 'talkie' called Siege of the South. This film premiered in Brisbane in 1931, bringing the alien world of the Antarctic home to Australian audiences.
Canvas swag used by Thomas Rutledge
Travels of a World War One soldier
In November 1914, as Australia followed Great Britain into war with Germany, grazier Thomas Rutledge joined the Australian Imperial Force. In four years, he travelled and fought at Gallipoli, and in Egypt, Malta, Italy, England, France and Belgium.
Rutledge used this 'swag' during service with the 2nd Australian Pioneers on the Western Front in Belgium in 1917. At the end of the war, he carried the swag home to Gidleigh, near Canberra, and later used it during camping trips in the Snowy Mountains.
A swag is a portable shelter that is rolled, often with blankets or other belongings inside, for transport.
Cotton nightdress made by Muriel McPhee
Preparing for a soldier's return
Between 1916 and 1918, Muriel McPhee sewed, embroidered and crocheted over 100 items of table linen, nightwear and underwear.
She was creating her trousseau — the clothes and drapery she would need in married life. But McPhee never wed and, after she died, her family found her trousseau, unused and stored in calico bags hidden around her house.
It seems that in about 1916, 18-year-old McPhee became engaged. It was the First World War and while McPhee stayed and worked on Arulbin, her family farm near Grafton in New South Wales, her fiancé went off to fight in Europe. Like 60,000 other young Australians, he never returned home.
Listen to 'Stories of sadness and loss' audio
Curator Susannah Helman detailed her research on the trousseau in a presentation at the National Museum on 13 June 2009. The talk also covered the Alexander Mussen ambrotype and convict tokens