About the National Museum of Australia
The National Museum of Australia, located in Canberra, is an invaluable institution that aims to preserve and interpret Australia's social history. Established in 1980 by the National Museum of Australia Act, the museum didn't have a permanent home until 2001, when its purpose-built building was officially opened. Focusing on key issues, people and events that have shaped the nation, the museum offers an extensive profile of Indigenous heritage dating back 50,000 years, settlements since 1788, and pivotal moments such as the Federation and the Sydney 2000 Olympics. The museum houses an impressive collection of Aboriginal bark paintings, stone tools, and iconic objects such as the heart of champion racehorse Phar Lap and the Holden prototype No. 1 car. The National Museum of Australia is an essential destination for those interested in the country's rich history and cultural heritage.
The National Museum of Australia is an excellent resource for historians, scholars, and enthusiasts. The museum offers a variety of exhibitions on a vast range of subjects that go beyond the typical collection of artefacts. From stories of bushrangers to the art of surf lifesaving, there is something for everyone. In addition to exhibitions, the museum also publishes many books, catalogues, and journals through its press, which is a valuable resource for anyone interested in Australian history. The research centre takes a cross-disciplinary approach, allowing for various conversations and debates about Australia's past, present, and future. The museum's outreach programming is also noteworthy, utilising new technologies and fostering conversations within regional communities. Finally, the museum's location on Acton Peninsula is beautiful and tragic, being the site of the former Royal Canberra Hospital, which suffered a tragic demolition on 13 July 1997. Overall, the National Museum of Australia is an exemplary institution that continues to push the boundaries of knowledge and understanding of Australian history.
What to do at the National Museum of Australia
The National Museum of Australia holds a collection of over 210,000 objects that highlight Australia's social and cultural history. The National Historical Collection is a treasure trove of artefacts that detail the experiences of the Indigenous Australians, the Australian society after colonialism, and its interactions with the environment. The collection is diverse and includes various objects of significant historical and cultural significance. For example, one can admire the navigational instruments used by Captain James Cook, the first Holey Dollar minted in Australia, and the medical equipment used by Fred Hollows, an ophthalmologist who revolutionized eye care in Australia. Other notable items in the collection include bicycles owned by Cadel Evans, the first Australian cyclist to win the Tour de France, and netball memorabilia of Liz Ellis, considered one of the best netball players ever. The collection also holds various items related to the Azaria Chamberlain incident, including a Yellow Holden Torana, later donated to the museum by Dr Michael Chamberlain. The National Museum of Australia's National Historical Collection is a testament to the richness and diversity of Australian history and culture. It offers visitors an opportunity to connect with the past.
The National Museum of Australia serves a unique purpose in addition to showcasing the country's rich history and diverse culture. As a temporary repository for the repatriation of ancestral remains, the institution has played a significant role in returning the remains of indigenous Australians to their rightful homes. This project has been instrumental in correcting the historical wrongs committed against the Aboriginal communities and has successfully repatriated over 1400 remains as of March 2019. Through this initiative, the museum has demonstrated its commitment to promoting social justice and reconciliation, making it a commendable institution in cultural preservation.
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