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.
Image Gallery Page Navigation
Page 3 of 3
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
Eyemo motion picture camera used by Damien Parer
Filming Kokoda Front Line!
The Second World War arrived on Australia's doorstep in July 1942. Japanese forces advanced across the island of New Guinea to the north of Australia, and Australian soldiers rushed to meet them on the steep, forested slopes of the Owen Stanley Ranges.
Australian cameraman Damien Parer accompanied the 21st Brigade to New Guinea where he filmed the troops' gruelling trek along the Kokoda Trail.
His film, Kokoda Front Line!, brought the campaign home to Australian audiences. This Eyemo camera is believed to be one of several he used to make the award-winning documentary.
Toy pig won by Erin Craig
A family reunited after World War Two
In 1942, during the Second World War, Iris Adams went to a Red Cross dance in Sydney. She met Jim Craig, a master sergeant in the United States Army who was stationed in Australia. Four months later they were married.
Their daughter Erin was born in Sydney in May 1945. Jim Craig returned to the United States at the end of the war and Iris and Erin left Australia to join him.
En route to San Francisco, Erin won a prize in a competition for the child with the reddest hair on the SS Lurline. Her prize was this toy pig, treasured by Erin for 60 years and donated to the National Museum of Australia in 2007.
'Gender barung pelog' from the Gamelan orchestra
Promoting Indonesian independence
In 1926 a Javanese court musician named Pontjopangrawit was imprisoned by the colonial government of the Dutch East Indies, now Indonesia. He was held at the remote Tanah Merah camp, on the Digul River, in Irian Jaya, now West Papua.
Pontjopangrawit appropriated wood, nails and tins from camp supplies and used them to make a suite of instruments for a gamelan orchestra. It is known as the gamelan Digul, or the orchestra made on the river Digul. The gendèr barung pélog is one of the instruments from this orchestra.
When the Japanese invaded the East Indies in 1942, the Dutch government sent its Tanah Merah prisoners to a camp at Cowra, New South Wales.
Pontjopangrawit's gamelan Digul travelled with the prisoners to Australia. Two years later, the prisoners were released. Many moved to Melbourne and worked towards Indonesian independence. The gamelan's music became an integral part of their campaign.
Carmelo Mirabelli's camera and case
Capturing an Italian migrant's journey through Australia
Sicilian-born Carmelo Mirabelli arrived in Sydney on the ship Assimina in 1951, and immediately headed north to cut sugarcane.
He followed seasonal harvests across the country for five years, then settled in Brisbane because its climate reminded him of Sicily. He later moved to Melbourne in search of work.
Mirabelli used this Zeiss Ikon camera to record his experiences as an itinerant worker in Australia during the 1950s. He photographed himself, friends and workers on the sugarcane fields of Queensland and the orchards and vineyards of Victoria.
Migration did not end Mirabelli's connection to Sicily — he sent money to his mother back home and photographs that showed what life was like in Australia.
'Tales of the Souk' by Fatima Killeen
An artist's connections to Morocco
Fatima Killeen grew up in Casablanca, in Morocco. Her passion for visual arts led her overseas to study painting and photography at the prestigious Corcoran School of Art in Washington DC, in the United States. There Fatima met her Australian husband-to-be, John, and in 1994 they moved to Canberra in the Australian Capital Territory.
Killeen created Tales of the Souk, during her final year at the Canberra School of Art in 1997. She soaked the wooden pieces that make up its patterned surface with fragrant saffron, henna and black nut powder to evoke the sights and smells of the Casablanca souks, or markets.
The eight-pointed stars in the work are known in Arabic as 'khatim'. These symbols are used widely in Islamic art and patterns made up of this shape decorate mosques and homes across Morocco.