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Stories of Australia's land, nation, people

A rich collection of rare historical artefacts and compelling personal stories at the National Museum of Australia help visitors discover what it means to be Australian.

The National Museum is devoted to the preservation and interpretation of Australia's social history, exploring the key issues, people and events that have shaped the nation.

The National Museum explores Australia's past, illuminates the present and imagines the future.

Bringing together the richly diverse stories of Australia's land, nation and people, the National Museum has developed an international reputation for innovative exhibitions and events.

More than five million people have visited the Museum since it opened in 2001 and it has twice won the nation's top award for best major tourist attraction, in 2005 and 2006.

Five galleries and a range of temporary exhibitions profile 50,000 years of Indigenous heritage, settlement since 1788 and key events including Federation and the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games.

The Museum's National Historical Collection includes the world's largest collection of Aboriginal bark paintings, the heart of Australian racehorse Phar Lap and the Holden prototype no.1 car.

The Museum's exhibitions and collections are underpinned by world class research. National Museum of Australia Press publishes a wide range of books, catalogues and journals and the Centre for Historical Research, through its cross-disciplinary approach to history, ensures the Museum is an even livelier forum for ideas and debate about the past, present and future.

The National Museum also develops travelling exhibitions on subjects ranging from bushrangers to surf lifesaving to reach out to visitors across Australia.

Excitement and innovation are not just limited to the exhibits. The striking building is an architectural landmark which complements the beautiful surroundings of Canberra's Acton Peninsula. The jigsaw-like building wraps around the central Garden of Australian Dreams, a symbolic landscape and remarkable cultural arena.

The National Museum is open 9am to 5pm daily, except Christmas Day. Entry is free.

For images, interviews or more information please contact the National Museum's Public Affairs office on (02) 6208 5351, 0409 916 481, or media@nma.gov.au or visit www.nma.gov.au/media