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29 July 2003

Changes to the Nation: Symbols of Australia exhibition, including the addition of objects linked to Australia's longest-serving Prime Minister, Robert Menzies, will be on display from Thursday, 31 July.

Snapshots of History: Australia Since 1788, within the Nation exhibition, highlights social, economic and political milestones in our nationhood.

New displays will include one of the earliest Commonwealth ballot boxes from around 1910, a conscription campaign button from 1916, and commemorating the "Ming Dynasty" Liberal Party election material from 1949.

'These long-planned changes allow the Museum to present more of the diverse stories that make Australia the nation it is today,' says Museum director Dawn Casey.

'The changes allow the Museum to show more objects from the 19th and 20th centuries, and to highlight for the first time some recent events, such as the tragic events last year in Bali, and the Canberra bushfires.'

The Bali bombings are represented by a jersey belonging to the Coogee Dolphins football club, whose players were caught in the tragedy, and an Australian Federal Police cap, recalling the AFP's collaboration with Indonesian counterparts in the investigation of the bombings.

The introduction of the new stories is a major changeover in the Snapshots mezzanine gallery.

New objects include:

  • 1838 notes from NSW Chief Justice Sir James Dowling at the first Myall Creek massacre trial.
  • An 1898 Federal Convention certificate illustrating the growing momentum of the Federation movement.
  • 1901 bunting symbolising the achievement of Federation, as the first parliament convenes in Melbourne.

Media are invited to view changes to Snapshots on Thursday, 31 July.

For more information and to arrange interviews, please contact Sandy Forbes, Public Affairs, National Museum, on (02) 6208 5351 or 0409 916 481 or

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