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Appendix 3: Acquisitions - National Historical Collection (page 3 of 3)

Material acquired and approved by council – 1 July 2003 30 June 2004

Coogee Beach Dolphins

Commemorative rugby league jersey and photograph

This jersey, from the World Sevens tournament, summer 2003 and signed by rugby league stars and relatives of the Coogee Dolphins rugby league club lost in the Bali bombings of 12 October 2002, was worn during the tournament's three matches. There is also colour photograph of the 2002 season Coogee Dolphins 'A' team, including the six team members who were killed in the blasts.

Late on the evening of Saturday 12 October 2002, two bombs exploded in the crowded Paddy's Bar and the Sari nightclub on Jalan Legian, Kuta Beach, Bali, Indonesia. At least 202 people were killed in the first two blasts and over 300 injured. Of the 200 or more dead, at least 88 were Australians. For many, this event seemed to bring home the immediacy of global terrorism. Ceremonies commemorating the dead and injured were held throughout Australia, in particular at Sydney's Domain on 20 October 2002. The fate of football teams and players became a particular focus for national grieving. In the shock of the killings, the behaviour of all the victims, but in particular the mateship and camaraderie shown by members of sports teams, provided inspiration for those at home. The response of the Coogee Dolphins in Sydney focused on commemorative matches in the World Sevens tournament and the re-naming of the northern headland at Coogee beach as 'Dolphin's Point'. In such ways did Australian football teams become the focus for an unprecedented period of national mourning.


Shanti Sumartojo


This clothing was worn over a three-month peace monitoring tour in southern Bougainville by a female civilian peace monitor, just prior to the signing of the island's autonomy agreement with the Papua New Guinean government in 2001. Bougainville is a matrilineal society. While men are often found speaking in public and organising openly, it is the female heads of local communities who wield much of the effective power and influence. Bougainvillean women played a crucial part in the peace process, and the female peace monitors created a crucial link between the local women and the Peace Monitoring Group, otherwise inaccessible to the male dominated Australian Defence Force contingent. The operation of the Peace Monitoring Group threw up many cross-cultural issues, not only between Australians and Bougainvilleans but also between civilian and military personnel.


Reuben Gray

12 handmade models

These models of horse and dog racing starting barriers were made by Reuben Gray as prototypes of his racing inventions. Reuben also made models of the single-strand barrier invented by his father Alexander Gray.

The horse racing starting barrier was pioneered in Australia and was first used at an official race meet in 1894. Alexander Gray's single-strand barrier was among those first used. Versions of barriers designed by Alexander and Reuben Gray, were installed at race tracks in Australia and overseas between 1894 and about 1932. Barriers assured fair starts to races. Fair race starts encouraged owners to enter horses in races and punters to bet, and they contributed to changing horse racing from a social sporting event into a billion dollar industry.


William Vout

Roller skating equipment and memorabilia from the 1930s and 1940s

This collection includes a pair of early 1930s clip-on skates; a pair of men's Triumph hockey skates, hockey stick, shin pads, hockey ball, pair of Marvel speed skates and an Arena club cloth badge all belonging to Billy Vout; and a large trophy awarded to Australian speed skating champion, Jimmy Watson.

During the 1930s and 1940s roller skating in Australia was a popular sport and recreational activity. Skating enthusiasts flocked to the increasing numbers of roller rinks and in addition to enjoying general skating, participated in the three main disciplines of the sport: hockey, speed and dance skating. By 1936 rinks were experiencing record attendances and many established clubs that managed competitions, organised events and hosted social activities beyond the roller rink. Roller skating entered the lives of many young Australians during the 1930s and 1940s and is a significant aspect of Australian sporting and social history.


David Innes Watt Family

18 carat gold cup

The Tirranna Picnic Race Club Challenge Cup was first presented in 1895. Mr David Innes Watt won the cup in 1899 with his horse Loch Leven, in 1904 with Chiefswood and in 1906 with Pleasure. With his third win, he earned the right to retain the gold cup in perpetuity. Crafted by Hardy Brothers Jewellers, the Tirranna Picnic Race Club Challenge Cup was awarded for the main race. In 1895 the gold cup was valued at £150.

From the early days of colonisation, picnic races have been a feature of rural life. Country people travelled long distances to these annual gatherings, some of which continued for several days and were accompanied by wild celebrations. The Tirranna Picnic Races were established in 1855 at Tirranna, a property outside Goulburn, New South Wales. In 1872 the railway from Sydney reached Goulburn, making the Tirranna Picnic Races more accessible to Sydney racing enthusiasts and by 1875, Tirranna was thought to be one of the best race tracks in the colony. The Governor attended with due pomp and ceremony, along with other socialites and people of influence and the meeting was widely reported in the Sydney press, as were the fashionable gowns worn at the associated balls and dances.


Jon Lewis

1988 photographs

The exhibition Face to Face: 200 Portraits 1986-1988 created by Jon Lewis is a map of the face of Australia during the Bicentennial year, 1988. The striking images have become a signature piece of the Museum's permanent Eternity gallery, having been purchased in 2001.

This collection was upgraded from the Special Collections to become part of the NHC, so that the photographs and negatives can continue to be an integral part of our permanent displays and be preserved as a significant visual record of Australians in 1988.


Charles Sturt and AB Paterson

Two books

The first of these is The Animals that Noah Forgot which was written by AB Paterson and illustrated by Norman Lindsay. This book was published in 1933 by Bulletin Press, Sydney and the copy in the collection is signed by the author. The second in the collection is Charles Sturt's book, Narrative of an Expedition into Central Australia. During the years 1844, 5 and 6. This book was published in 1849 by T & W Boone, London.

Paterson's book is a collection of children's verse. The book details, with a quaint humour, the lives of some Australian animals, including the platypus. According to Paterson's biographer Clement Semmler, this book of verse is the artistic culmination of Paterson's life's work as a balladist. Sturt's book is the official account of his exploration into Central Australia. This expedition led by Sturt finally dispelled the belief that the inland of Australia contained a large body of water.


Julie Marginson

Children's book

A Tale of Mischief by Brownie Downing (1942-1995), published in 1963. The cover shows an Aboriginal child fishing from a river bank, with a koala next to the child and a koala swimming in the water.

Aboriginal themes have been a feature of Australian children's books since the first children's book, Charlotte Barton's A Mother's Offering to Her Children, was published here in 1841. The use of Aboriginality in the construction of an Australian identity is highly problematic and the subject of much debate. The 'borrowing' of Indigenous art forms, or the use of 'Aboriginal-style' motifs as a symbol of Australia in general has been seen as both exploitative and denigrating and as a means of accepting and admiring Aboriginal culture by non-Aboriginal Australians. At times the appropriation of Aboriginal culture by non-Aboriginal people has ranged from the use of Aboriginal imagery to sell particular brands of products, to the attempts of intellectuals to create a distinctively Australian identity, to popular identification of Aboriginality as an aspect of 'Australianess' through material culture and media representation. Aboriginal people have also been actors in this cross-cultural flow, at times seeking greater representation for Aboriginal people via the cultural norms of the settler society.


Barry Williams

1940s scout memorabilia

This collection records a scouting experience that is typically Australian. The 1940s marks a stage of great popularity for the scouting movement when they were a very visible presence in Australia. The Surry Hills scout troop was disbanded in the 1990s, the demise of the group was probably caused by the changing demographic and social values of the people living in Surry Hills. This collection is a record of a past urban scouting experience in Australia. It is also evocative of some of the social changes that have taken place in Australia, that have contributed to the decrease in popularity of the scouting movement.


Bruce Wright

Spears, spear throwers, shields, stone adzes, clubs and a dance belt

These objects reflect the range of items being produced for the market at this time which was still dominated by an interest in 'traditional' material culture items. They were purchased for Mr Bruce Wright, at the time a teacher at Roebourne, who had an interest in Aboriginal cultures and who had a significant Indigenous student population in the school at which he was teaching. In the early 1970s he held the position of District Superintendent of Education for the North West and Kimberley Region. He later worked at the Western Australian Museum, 19751982, as Registrar of Aboriginal Sites. He then moved to Sydney and worked as a consultant before completing a degree in Prehistory and Archaeology at the University of New England. During his time at Roebourne, Wright recorded various aspects of Aboriginal cultures, some of which he published and some of which are in report form and held by AIATSIS. He was also a grantee of AIATSIS. His grant was for a project to document rock art. With this good place and date information these items would be a valuable contribution to any study or exhibition of Kimberley material culture.

Some of the artefacts have been exhibited at Perth's Town Hall at a Western Australian Naturalist's club display. As in many states, Naturalist's clubs frequently had a section for people interested in Aboriginal cultures prior to the formation of state anthropological societies.


Rosie Cross

Amstrad 286 laptop computer

This computer was purchased by Ms Cross in London in 1990. Ms Cross returned to Australia in the same year and for the next three years spent up to 16 hours per session on her laptop, exploring the Internet.

Ms Cross was attracted to the web as a vehicle for self-expression and creative pleasure, but as a woman and a feminist, she found herself either attacked or ignored by the Internet 'boys club' that dominated cyberspace. The laptop computer significantly marks Ms Cross's introduction to the Internet, which led to the creation of her cyberzine, geekgirl - a site that has been hailed as the world's first online cyberfeminist magazine. Since the launch of geekgirl, many 'Webgrrls' have found the web a promising outlet for their work, and women's presence on the Internet continues to strengthen. The Rosie Cross collection is a significant example of Australian women's participation in, and construction of, the Internet and their greater contribution to technological development.


Joseph Lebovic

Australian advertising posters

Artists represented include Percy Tromf, James Northfield, Norman Lindsay and May Gibbs. The majority of the posters were produced as lithographs.

The poster as a form of advertising was popular in Australian throughout the 20th century, particularly before the age of radio and television. The posters in this particular collection document a number of different types of advertising campaigns including war time recruitment, public health and safety, product endorsement and railway travel.


John and Jan Wilson

Souvenir cup

Produced by John Aynsley & Sons, England as a souvenir of the opening of Parliament House, Canberra in 1927, the cup features two transfer images, a kangaroo surrounded by the Union Jack and Australian flag on one side with an image of Parliament House on the other.

The 9 May 1927 marked the opening of the Provisional Parliament. Provisional Parliament House, or Old Parliament House as it is known today, was to remain the seat of government until 1988. The cup is a good example of the types of souvenirs produced for the 1927 opening. The cup specifically mentions the Duke and Duchess of York, reflecting the prominent role the royals played in the opening.


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