January 26: One day, many meanings

Worimi man Steve Brereton paddles a nawi in Darling Harbour in 2012.

Worimi man Steve Brereton paddles a nawi in Darling Harbour in 2012. Image: Andrew Frolows/ANMM.

On 26 January the museum has often sailed the HMB Endeavour replica in the Tall Ships Race on Sydney Harbour. This year, Endeavour will not be out, but another important vessel linked to the museum will be involved in the 26 January events.

At 7.30am on Thursday at Barangaroo Reserve a bark canoe – or nawi in the Sydney Aboriginal language – will bring ashore a small fire from the Tribal Warrior vessel. The fire will be lit as part of the WugulOra (One Mob) ceremony that will begin Australia Day events in Sydney by ‘recognising our shared history’. Previously held at the Opera House, WugulOra will be at the new Barangaroo parkland site for the first time this year.

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The many meanings of Australia Day – celebration, commemoration and contestation

The Founding of Australia by Captn Phillip R N 26th January 1788. Algernon Talmadge, 1937. Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales

The Founding of Australia by Captn Phillip R N 26th January 1788. Algernon Talmadge, 1937. Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales

The 26th of January – Australia Day – has long been associated with boats on Sydney Harbour. In 1838, to mark 50 years after the arrival of the First Fleet, a regatta was held, watched from the foreshores by ‘crowds of gaily attired people … bearing the supplies for the day’s refreshments…’ and from the crowded decks of steamers ‘decked out in their gayest colours’.

In the early 1800s, in the colony of New South Wales, 26 January was referred to as First Landing Day or Foundation Day. In a very short time, however, the day had shifted from official toasts to the king at the governor’s table to a people’s celebration.

But the history of Australia Day has taken many more twists and turns along the way. In 1938 it wasn’t thought proper to include convicts in a parade of history through the streets of Sydney. And this same parade was met with a silent group of protesters who called Australia Day a National Day of Mourning.

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Commemoration and contestation at Kurnell

1930 poster - the landing of Captain Cook at Botany Bay 1770 Australia

1930 poster – the landing of Captain Cook at Botany Bay 1770 Australia. ANMM Collection.

Last week was the 245th anniversary of the arrival of Captain James Cook and HMB Endeavour at Botany Bay, just south of Sydney. Cook and his crew spent 8 days here from 29 April 1770, their first landfall on the Australian coast.

The moment of Cook’s landing took on a great consequence for Australians ever since. For non-Indigenous Australians, from the 1820s Cook was seen as a far better set of origins than Captain Phillip and his boatloads of convicts in the First Fleet. Indeed it was Cook’s landing at Kurnell on the southern headland of Botany Bay that was the preferred moment of commemoration right through the 19th and well into the 20th century.

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Waves of migration returns on Australia Day

The museum’s award-winning digital projection Waves of migration returns this Sunday, Australia Day, to once again illuminate the museum’s iconic roofline with a rich tapestry of migration stories drawn from our collection.

Waves of migration illuminates the roof of the museum in Darling Harbour

Waves of migration illuminates the roof of the museum in Darling Harbour

Waves of migration explores the history of migration to Australia and the compelling stories of those who’ve come across the seas – from British convicts and early settlers, to Jewish refugees and displaced persons; from post-war European migrants and Ten Pound Poms, to Indochinese boat people and seaborne asylum seekers from Afghanistan. Continue reading

Testing, testing … a sneak preview of our rooftop lightshow

Last Friday night the museum’s designer, Hamish, and I braved the record heat, blustery winds and rain in Sydney to attend a test run of the museum’s dynamic new lightshow, Waves of migration.This thirteen-minute animated show explores immigration to Australia and the compelling stories of those who’ve come across the seas to this nation of migrants. It premieres at 8.30 pm this Saturday night, Australia Day, on the roof of the museum – marking the first time the façade of our building has been used as an extension of the exhibition space.

Lightshow projection on museum roof

The museum’s roof becomes a canvas for the Waves of migration lightshow

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Setting sail for 2011: Planet Shark inhabits ANMM

Happy new year!

We’re currently experiencing one of our busiest visiting periods here at the Australian National Maritime Museum. It’s a great time to consider visiting us as the atmosphere at the museum and surrounding Darling Harbour is buzzing!

Planet Shark – Predator or Prey is the highlight of our summer program, with kids and adults alike enjoying learning about the 350 different species of shark living in our oceans today.

Planet Shark - Predator or Prey - The Exhibition

Planet Shark - Predator or Prey - The Exhibition

Is our fear of sharks rational? There is no question that the fear of sharks is real and can be a serious affliction for some, but where has it come from? Explore this exhibition’s recreated 3D images of prehistoric sharks, significant pieces of memorabilia from the movie JAWS! and realistic life-size shark models on display.

You’ll also be able to join a fun and fact-filled tour with our Planet Shark character – Finn the Diver – who will lead you into the underwater domain of sharks and help debunk the myths.

Mary-Louise Williams, director of the Australian National Maritime Museum and Tim Winton, novelist and conservationist introduced Planet Shark – Predator or Prey at the ANMM late last year and we’ve been busy with plenty of visitors since.
Click here to see video from the event.
 

* The Exhibition has been made available by Grande Exhibitions of Australia.

Great White Shark - Planet Shark

Great White Shark - Planet Shark

There’s plenty more happening around the museum this summer!

  • To keep the older kids out of mischief, check out our youth programs - photography, drama and TV presenting, presented in collaboration with NIDA that focus on our key exhibitions.
  • Australia Day will be upon us soon, and where better to celebrate than at the ANMM? This will be the very last chance to see the HMB Endeavour before she commences preparation for her year long circumnavigation of Australia. Bring your picnics and enjoy the day on the foreshore with us.
  • Our under-5’s Mini Mariners programs recommence in February and March, and the excitement is building for Playgroups NSW ‘The Worlds’ Biggest Playgroup Day’, to be held at the ANMM.
  • On their own – Britain’s child migrants is still showing, and will be with us until mid-May.
Youth photography workshops

Youth photography workshops

We’d love you to join us here at the Australian National Maritime Museum this summer. If you’re unable to make it, do join us online at facebook.com/anmmuseum or twitter.com/anmmuseum.