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Symbols of Australia

Symbols of Australia

Symbols of Australia

1956 TV
1956 TV

From the humble Hills hoist to the legend of the ANZAC, Nation takes a new approach to Australian history by examining national identity through Australian symbols.

Humorous, entertaining and information-rich, this exhibition peels the lid off 200 years of Australian culture, providing a forum for you to discuss it.

Nation explores how the objects and events that we identify as being 'Australian' have come to be. It also examines the values and ideas that our symbols represent. And how history has cemented the position of these symbols into the Australian imagination.

Bringing the past to the present

Bean Car
Bean Car

More than 700 collection props and objects are used to explore the multiplicity of Australian history and culture.

Stroll into a 1950s kitchen and peek into the cupboards. Or imagine the pride inspired by Federation in 1901 by walking under a replica of the Citizens' Arch (erected to celebrate a royal visit to Melbourne, marking the opening of the first Federal Parliament).

Learn about the Macarthur wool dynasty, and whet your appetite with a culinary tour of the Australian diet from meagre
colonial rations to sophisticated modern
cuisine.

Events and objects that changed us forever

Read tragic obituaries from the Vietnam War, and celebrate our weird and wonderful obsession with the kangaroo. Take a trip down memory lane to the days when the wireless radio played a central role in many Australians' lives. Tune into original broadcasts of test cricket, election news and the announcement of the end of the Second World War.

Fun and cheeky but also deeply profound, this exhibition provides us with windows to review the way we see our nation and its people. It's also a great reminder that Australian identity is made up of many diverse and contested visions. What's yours?

Related links

Explore the Symbols of Australia exhibition website

Symbols of Australia: Uncovering the stories behind the myths offers an entertaining, provocative and often surprising look at 26 of Australia's best-loved symbols. Some are quirky and frivolous and others get taken for granted, but these symbols have the power to make a nation.
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