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Behind the scenes

Visit by the United States Ambassador to Australia

A colour photograph of Matthew Higgins (left) and Ambassador Bleich viewing one of the displays in the Water exhibition.

New United States Ambassador to Australia, Jeffrey Bleich, visited Water: H2O=Life on 7 December 2009. Ambassador Bleich showed strong interest in the exhibition and its several themes, including better water stewardship and the impact of climate change. The visit coincided with the opening of the world climate change conference in Copenhagen.

In the exhibition, the ambassador met and talked with students from Canberra's Melrose High School. He was escorted through the exhibition by senior curator Matthew Higgins after being welcomed by Museum Director Craddock Morton.

Right: Matthew Higgins, left, and Ambassador Bleich. Photo: George Serras.

See photos of the Ambassador's visit

Daniel Gilbert and Alan Draeger standing in front of the fog screen at the entry to the Water exhibition.

Exhibition opening

Water: H2O=Life was officially opened by Daniel Gilbert AM, Chair of the Council of the National Museum of Australia, on 2 December.

Alan Draeger, Assistant Director for Travelling Programs at the American Museum of Natural History also spoke at the opening held in the National Museum's Hall.

Right: Daniel Gilbert AM, left, and Alan Draeger. Photo: George Serras.

View exhibition launch photos on Facebook

Installing a taxidermy mount.

Gallery install

For several weeks leading up to the opening of the Water exhibition, the National Museum's Temporary Gallery was a hive of activity. Staff from the American Museum of Natural History in New York and from ADS Solutions in Melbourne, together with the Museum's Exhibitions team and contractors, worked hard behind the scenes.

Right: Installing a taxidermy mount.
Photo: Lannon Harley.

View more gallery install shots on Facebook

A staff member from the National Zoo and Aquarium about to place Murray in a tank of water.

Murray Cod makes a splash

'Murray' a 4kg Murray Cod is one of several live specimens on show in the Water exhibition. Murray comes to the Museum with thanks to the National Zoo and Aquarium.

Murray helps visitors understand the importance of rivers and highlights a 90% decrease in native fish population in the Murray-Darling Basin since European settlement.

Right: Murray is transferred to his new home. Photo: Lannon Harley.

View photos of Murray's arrival at the Museum on Facebook

Water: H2O=Life is organised by the American Museum of Natural History, New York (, and the Science Museum of Minnesota, St. Paul (, in collaboration with the National Museum of Australia, Canberra; Great Lakes Science Center, Cleveland; The Field Museum, Chicago; Instituto Sangari, São Paulo, Brazil; Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, Canada; San Diego Natural History Museum; and Science Centre Singapore with PUB Singapore.

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