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An exciting new audio tour is expanding the Defining Moments in Australian History project.

Defining Moments was initially conceived as a digital-only project to provide information for all Australians, no matter where they are located, on the key moments in our country’s history.

Group of people facing a large, digital screen covered with images and text.
Discovery Wall in the Gandel Atrium

In 2014, the Museum, together with a group of seven eminent historians, compiled a list of 100 defining moments in Australian history. That list was presented to the nation in August 2014 at the project’s launch, and the public was invited to propose additional defining moments. Since then Australians have added 300 moments to the original list.

We have now published 170 moments which include essays, images, videos and interviews. They have proven to be incredibly popular, with up to 125,000 people accessing them every month.

Audio tour

Screen shot of Defining Moments in Australian History splash screen.

Many of the Defining Moments featured online are also on show within the Museum. Given the popularity of the online project, we have now created an audio tour through the Museum’s exhibition galleries highlighting 22 objects that connect with particular defining moments in Australian history. They include:

  • Indigenous objects, 65,000 years ago: Arrival of humans in Australia. A suite of contemporary Indigenous artworks tell the story of Indigenous Australia’s resilience and continuity over many millennia.
  • Gold license, 1854: Rebellion of goldminers at Eureka Stockade, Ballarat, Victoria. A 19th-century gold license relates the story of the Eureka Stockade uprising and the beginning of colonial liberalism in Australia.
  • First Melbourne Cup, 1861: The oldest intact Melbourne Cup, from 1866, highlights the controversies and legends that still characterise the race today.
  • Powder compact, 1943: First women in parliament. Dame Enid Lyons and Dorothy Tangney were the first women elected to Federal Parliament. Dame Enid Lyons’s powder compact offers a preface to her maiden speech in parliament.
  • Map of Mer, 1992: High Court decision in Mabo case recognises native title. A map drawn by Eddie Koiki Mabo as evidence in the High Court of Australia case, introduces us to an interview with Eddie Mabo talking about the nation-defining court case.

Download the free tour

Each stop on the audio tour features a description of the object and the defining moment, followed by a story or interview that connects the two. They create a deeper connection between the visitor, the story and the object.

The Museum is excited to offer the public a new way to view our permanent exhibition galleries. So the next time you visit, please download the new audio tour. It’s free and available through the App Store or Google Play via The Loop app.

Available on the App Store Android available on Google Play

Classroom resources

Gandel Philanthropy has made a significant donation to further expand the project and produce classroom resources through the Defining Moments Digital Classroom. These will include lesson plans, online games, professional development programs and a national history competition.

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