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Joy, delight and glee – sheer fun – cheers the heart. To live fully, we should be free to follow our own ideas of joyful existence. The simplest pleasures, shared joys or extreme gladness, can transport us into other worlds. There, hearts thump, happiness reigns, ecstasy is contagious and laughter is free. What a lark!

Featured stories

A man kneels beside a raised garden bed.
Peter Cundall. Photographer unknown. Courtesy: Peter Cundall.

Peter Cundall – joys of gardening

Peter Cundall (born 1927) has provided joy to countless Australians. A pioneer of gardening radio programs and the long-standing host of the very successful and long-running ABC television series Gardening Australia, Peter is one of Australia's most successful and well-known media personalities.

Peter is also a prolific writer, a tireless campaigner for environmental issues and a passionate advocate for people growing vegetables in their own backyards. The former British army paratrooper also worked as a weapons instructor and ran as a politican.

Peter's Eternity story explored his childhood and other aspects of his life through the sheer joy of gardening. A pair of his gardening gloves were on display.

Eternity series 03 Apr 2009

Conversation with Peter Cundall

Horticulturalist and television personality Peter Cundall shares his life story, his passion for gardening and his thoughts on life, love and the environment with curator Stephen Munro.
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Presenters: Peter Cundall with Stephen Munro

Mary Card – joys of crocheting

Victorian-born Mary Card (18611940) spent her early life as a writer and teacher until increasing deafness forced a change of career. She is best remembered for her crochet designs, widely published between 1909 and the 1930s.

Mary submitted her patterns first to America's Ladies Home Journal and later to Australian women's journals. Through these and other publications, she reached a global audience, enjoying great popularity.

Her patterns varied considerably: from ambitious peacock bedspreads to simpler fruit-themed doyleys, from the Statue of Liberty to gum leaf patterns. They connected her to women in distant places and she spoke about how rewarding it was to have such an impact on women's lives.

A tea cosy made to one of Mary Card's patterns was on display.

In our collection

Mary Card's new book of filet CROCHET DESIGNSBook of crochet patterns. Contains black and white printed articles and examples of crochet patterns, the cover has green rectangles and black print. Center left is a image of a dressed table that contains doyleys. On the bottom right corner is a large print "2/6".

Nova Peris – joys of being a Hockeyroo

Nova Peris (born 1971) was the first Aboriginal Australian to win an Olympic gold medal, as a member of the Hockeyroos team at Atlanta in 1996. She is also one of only a few athletes who have represented their country in two different sports and separate Olympic Games, having reached the semi-final of the 400m track event at Sydney in 2000.

The Eternity story focused on the joy Nova derived from participating in a team sport, and her joy and satisfaction at winning an Olympic gold medal. It featured the hockey shoes she wore when the Hockeyroos won gold at the Atlanta Olympics.

Nova Peris blog article

In our collection

Nova Peris' shoes worn with the Australian Hockey Team Uniform from the Atlanta 1996 Olympic GamesShoes worn by Nova Peris, part of her Australian Hockey Team uniform from the Atlanta 1996 Olympic Games.

More Nova Peris material in our collection

Junius W Schomberg – joy of missionary life

The Reverend Junius W Schomberg (1891–1936) was an Anglican missionary based at St Paul's on Moa Island in the Torres Strait in the 1920s and 1930s. Passionate and committed to his work and family, he was also a resourceful and talented carpenter and gardener. His son donated the gramophone Junius made from silky oak in 1934. A large shell was used for the amplifier, making this a unique object.

Using Junius' extensive writings and photographs, his Eternity story explored the delight he took in his work, his broader interests and his family's life as part of a remote community.

The Wiggles – joys of performing

The joy experienced by children ... Toot toot chugga chugga big red car! Children's entertainers the Wiggles (formed 1991) donated four of their iconic colourful T-shirts for inclusion in the National Museum's collection.

These shirts were on display, providing delight and recognition for young visitors and the nostalgia for a generation of older children who grew up to the sound of the Wiggles.

Explore more Eternity themes and stories

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