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Our stories

On a bright red background, the words 'Object stories' and a child's rollerskate held close to the camera by a woman

Syringe used in myxomatosis trials

This syringe is a weapon, used in the war against rabbits. Kirsten Wehner explains her fascination with this disturbing object, which points to a big story in Australian history.

The syringe is on display in our Old New Land gallery – see the collection record.

Bealiba gold nugget

Stephen Munro tells the amazing story of this 400-million-year-old object's discovery – a full century after the Victorian gold rush.

Learn more about the gold nugget

Dan tre – Vietnamese bamboo musical instrument

As Jennifer Wilson explains, Vietnamese music teacher Minh Tran Nguyen handcrafted this 23-stringed dan tre in 1982 in a refugee camp. For the next decade it connected Minh with the country and family he left behind, and when he was reunited with his family in 1990 he donated the instrument to the National Museum.

Learn more about the dan tre.

Tram conductor's bag

For Jeni White this Melbourne tram conductor's bag represents the end of a job and the end of an era. Until the introduction of automated ticketing machines in the 1990s, the 'connies' were always there to help passengers.

The tram conductor's bag is in our Education handling collection.

Reconciliation jacket

Lorna Schmider-Woodcock describes the personal and historical value of a bright yellow jacket worn by her godmother, Jackie Huggins, in her activist work for reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.

Learn about all the items in the Jackie Huggins collection.

Convict punishment shoe

For curator Michelle Hetherington, a shoe designed to harm its wearer invokes the cruelty of Australia's history as Britain's dumping ground.

The convict punishment shoe is on display in our Landmarks gallery. Read the collection record.