A Hawaiian Friendship Ceremony: Marking 75 years of War and Peace in the Pacific

Formal surrender ceremonies on the USS MISSOURI in Tokyo Bay. Image: Naval History and Heritage Command.

Formal surrender ceremonies on the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay. Images: Naval History and Heritage Command.

This year the formal learning team, funded through the USA Bicentennial Gift Fund, embarked on a new and very different project, reflecting on the cumulative 75th anniversaries relating to World War II in the Pacific. We invited schools from the USA, Japan and Australia to research and reflect on significant battles from the conflict in the Pacific.

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Support for Maritime Heritage across Australia: MMAPSS grants 2017-2018

Sailing off Coal Point, c.1935. Photographer unknown. Image: Lake Macquarie Community Heritage Photography collection.

Sailing off Coal Point, c.1935. Photographer unknown. Image: Lake Macquarie Community Heritage Photography collection.

The museum is very pleased to announce the 2017-2018 awards made of grants and internships through the Maritime Museums of Australia Project Support Scheme (MMAPSS), supporting not-for-profit organisations to care for Australia’s maritime heritage. MMAPSS has been offering support since 1995, awarding over $1.6M to support over 395 projects. Internships have been awarded since 2000, with over 50 internships awarded since that time.

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War and Peace in the Pacific 75 education project

USS Lexington during the Battle of the Coral Sea, May 1942. Image: Naval History and Heritage Command.

USS Lexington during the Battle of the Coral Sea, May 1942. Image: Naval History and Heritage Command.

Three years ago the museum’s education team and the NSW Department of Education began to investigate how to run a student-centred research program to engage high school students with stories from World War II (WWII). This program would mark the significant anniversaries of the WWII battles in the Pacific. Eight high schools from Australia and the USA joined the scheme this year to research ‘War and Peace in the Pacific 75 years’, a project funded by the Australian National Maritime Museum, Sydney Australia, the New South Wales Department of Education – Learning Systems Directorate and supported by the USA Bicentennial Gift Fund.

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Cook and Banks: Charting the rumoured great Southern Land


The Australian National Maritime Museum and Royal Botanical Gardens Sydney will offering a joint video conference for year 3 and 4 students History and Science.

Cook and Banks: Charting the rumoured great Southern Land is a free video conference which will outline Cook and Banks voyage on the HMB Endeavour. It will be presented by our curator Kieran Hosty and Mary Bell from Royal Botantical Gardens Sydney.

The video conference will investigate the story behind Cook and Banks’ voyage to the rumoured great Southern Land and include topics such as:

  • The reason behind the momentous voyage.
  • The voyage and conditions on board the HMB Endeavour.
  • Cook’s role as a cartographer and navigator.
  • Banks’ scientific contribution to the voyage and how his legacy began the Royal Botanic Gardens’ Herbarium collection.
  • Learn how scientists classify plants and try your hand at botanic illustration.
  • The enduring outcome of the voyage and how it changed Australian history.
  • What happened the HMB Endeavour?

We will be offering six sessions of the Cook and Banks virtual excursion. The sessions will be offered on DART connections 3rd and 4th May at 10.00am, 11.30am and 2.00pm

— Anne Doran, Education Officer. 

Find out more about our education programs on our website.

Using Twitter to provide virtual tours

Rough Medicine

Rough Medicine was used to experiment with virtual tours via social media.

The Australian National Maritime Museum Learning team and the NSW Department of Education have embraced the use of social media to communicate and share exhibition content with teachers.

ANMM Education logoLearning Systems logo

The Rough Medicine – Life and Death in the Age of Sail exhibition at the ANMM was shared online via Twitter through a series of live tweets containing photos, website links, video and 360° footage of the key objects on display. This content was then collated through Storify creating a long term re-usable resource for teachers to use in the classroom.

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Twitter tour of Rough Medicine for school students

Rough Medicine
The Australian National Maritime Museum in partnership with the NSW Department of Education will share the Rough Medicine – Life and Death in the Age of Sail exhibition with teachers and students in a #TwitterTour.

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Using Twitter to Explore Our Museum

Tour the museum via tweets. Images: ANMM.

Tour the museum via tweets. Images: ANMM.

The Australian National Maritime Museum site on the waterfront here at Darling Harbour is not your usual museum. We have exhibition galleries inside the museum as well as historic vessels which you can come aboard such as the HMB Endeavour Replica, navy destroyer HMAS Vampire and submarine HMAS Onslow.

There is a lot to explore, especially if you are a teacher visiting with a busload of school students. To help teachers become familiar with our site and prepare for school excursions we created an Orientation Tour For Visiting Teachers.

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workshop 1Yesterday and today we are meeting with a bunch of interesting folks to look at what curriculum material we could develop for our massive new program – the Warships Pavilion. This ambitious project to develop an amazing new visitor facility on our wharf between HMAS Onslow and HMAS Vampire will feature highly interactive experiences that will reinvigorate our visitors’ relationships with our vessels, the waterfront and the broader museum precinct.

The warships experience is comprised of two interrelating components – the construction of a building (referred to as the pavilion) and the development of new interpretation for the vessels (referred to as the experience). The experience development seeks to bring the stories of our vessels to life and significantly enliven the visitors’ experience of our Royal Australian Navy (RAN) vessels. The experience seeks to be BOLD, UNIQUE and CONFRONTING.

Interesting and thoughtful presentation from Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) staff about the history and technology national curriculum were followed by Jack Ludden from the J Paul Getty Institute taking us on a journey through cool online resources and the New Media Consortium Horizon reports, with an emphasison the K-12 report; the 2014 Library Edition and the 2013 Museum Edition.

We started a Twitter hashtag #warshipbootcamp where we are posting thoughts, images, resources links so follow us and join the conversation!

More to follow…

The man who lived underwater

What do you say to someone who has lived underwater?

Or has propelled himself through the Greek islands in a human-powered submarine, visited Antarctica and even holds a Guinness World Record for the most electricity generated by pedalling underwater?

Strangely enough meeting underwater pioneer Lloyd Godson led to one of the most interesting and fascinating conversations of my life.

Lloyd Godson

Image courtesy Lloyd Godson

Lloyd Godson

Image courtesy Lloyd Godson

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An epic Antarctic inspiration

I have always been an avid reader, the type of kid that disappeared at Christmas to read the books left by Santa or being told turn off the light and sneaking a torch under the covers just to read just a little bit more.

Photo of

Tim Jarvis (middle) at the museum with our director Kevin Sumpton (L) and Michael Harvey, head Audience, Outreach and Exhibitions (R).

As I have gotten older my love of a good story hasn’t waned, just adjusted to my busier life so it takes an extraordinary tale to keep me turning the pages late into the night. It really doesn’t surprise anyone who knows me that I work in a museum surrounded by thousands of stories.

One adventure that has recently kept me up to the wee small hours is Shackleton’s boat journey written by a New Zealand ship’s captain FA Worsley, originally published in 1940. The most incredible thing about this book was that it was a factual account of the Ernest Shackleton’s expedition to Antarctica, and the journey undertaken to save the lives of his men after the ship Endurance became stuck and crushed in the ice in the Wendell Sea on his way to Antarctica.

If I had been given the narrative without knowing a little of the background, I would have thought it was an amazing story full of heroism, determination and leadership. However, as part of my research the book provided a compelling and valuable insight as to conditions the men endured. Written today, editors would have labelled it not believable and a work of fantasy, nobody could survive in the conditions they endured (certainly not me, give me a tropical island any day). But of course, just to prove my thinking wrong, Australian environmental scientist and adventurer Tim Jarvis and his team have just recreated the sea and land crossing Shackleton undertook in his traditional gear.

I came across the Ernest Shackleton expedition and polar explorers late last year when I was asked to write some educational resources to support Tim’s re-creation of  Shackleton’s expedition. You could say that was a fascinating process for me to explore the history of the original expedition, collaborate with Tim’s Shackleton Epic team and to have access to some of their amazing images of Antarctica. (Antarctica is now moving up on my list of places to travel to one day if I can just get around the, it’s freezing issue).

I’m conscious of not spoiling the whole story to those uninitiated with the tale and to always leave your audience wanting more, I will finish here with a link to Shackleton Epic webpage. For teachers interested in the education resources they can be found on the museum’s teacher resources webpage.

Education officer

Meet Kieran Hosty, manager of maritime archaeology

Our education team recently caught up with Kieran Hosty, the museum’s manager of maritime archaeology, to find out more about his job and upcoming expedition to Ferguson Reef, off the coast Queensland.

Kieran wearing scuba gear sitting on boat at sea

Kieran Hosty, manager of maritime archaeology

What does your role at the museum involve?

Over the last 12 months my position at the museum has changed from that of a curator with a primary responsibility of managing a collection to that of full time manager of the museum’s expanding maritime archaeology program. When I was a curator I was responsible for immigration, ship technologies and marine archaeology. My work includes research, documentation, site survey and assessment of underwater cultural heritage, along with museum exhibition concept, design and installation. Continue reading

Adventures of an education officer

Photo of Anne the education officer

Anne is the Education Officer at the museum.

A wise person once told me that the day you stop learning is the day you stop breathing. Never a truer statement could be made since I joined the museum as an education officer nearly eight months ago.

I have learnt a variety of amazing things from the small incidental knowledge such as wearing a skirt when visiting the submarine is not really advised, to the difference between a boat and a ship (when in doubt you can call them a vessel). The lee-side is not next to Lee, but a quieter area of the ocean out of the wind. I think I have nearly nailed port and starboard. I have also had training to plan and program lessons for schools also the many timetables and rosters for the on-site school visits as well as dressing up as a pirate. You could say my day is as interesting as it is educational.

Scuba diver searching the ocean floor during a reconnaissance trip to Frederick Reef October 2009

Photo from a reconnaissance trip to Frederick Reef October 2009. Copyright: Xanthe Rivett

This brings me to my next lesson. The education team is entering the world of video conferencing, which is a huge and exciting undertaking in its self. Imagine being able to share the museum with kids from all over Australia and potentially even the world. Our first video conference into schools has an extra degree of difficulty – we will be broadcasting from our maritime archaeology expedition at Ferguson Reef, off the coast of far north Queensland. So suddenly my learning curve has tilted to a near 90 angle.

However, all is not lost!

The best part of working in an organisation like this is that I have access to professional and generous people to help me on my learning journey. So over the next few weeks in particular I will be documenting my journey from learning about maritime archaeology, blogging and social media, and of course, understanding and working the video conferencing equipment.

Oh, the most exciting part – I will be going on the expedition as well so I will be on the scene to tell you what is happening up there.

Education Officer

Endeavour welcomes ten thousandth school visitor!

Congratulations to Trevor, who was the ten thousandth school student visitor to board HMB Endeavour on her circumnavigation of Australia. Trevor and his classmates, from Lake Wangary School, enjoyed exploring the ship while she was berthed in Port Lincoln today. As an acknowledgement, the school was presented with a framed certificate and a book for the school library.

Trevor the ten thousandth school visitor

Captain Ross welcomes Trevor, the ten thousandth school visitor onboard Endeavour

Students from Crossways Lutheran School, Ceduna, SA, made the long bus trip to Port Lincoln to visit Endeavour. I’m sure many of them will be asleep on the bus for the trip home! Well done for making the effort!

Crossways Lutheran School

Crossways Lutheran School with Captain Ross

Endeavour sails for Adelaide this Friday. If you are in the area, please feel free to come bid us farewell!

If there are any teachers out there who are keen to make a school booking during our upcoming port visits, please find more details on our website. Check out our Teacher Resources while you’re there too.

Judithe Hall
HMB Endeavour Circumnavigation Project Officer, Programs

Insights from an Education Intern

Debbie ANMM Education Intern

Debbie, ANMM Education Intern

Hi, I’m Debbie Rogers, Education Officer at the National Maritime Museum Cornwall (NMMC). I’ve just completed a two week internship at ANMM where I have been shadowing the education department. It has been fascinating to compare and contrast the two museums. For example, a good week for ANMM is 1,500 children through the door, with the NMMC, that’s approx 450 more than we get in a month at our busiest time of year! We are a much smaller museum and simply cannot cater for that many students.

I have been kept busy by Jeff and Lauris (Education Officers) and Judithe (Endeavour Circumnavigation Project Officer). The tasks they have set me have been extremely interesting as I have tackled projects which I haven’t had experience in at the NMMC. For example, I have designed two interactive games for the Endeavour website for primary school age. I manage the Early Years programme at NMMC so this was a project I was very comfortable with and I will probably design something similar for the NMMC website on my return. I have also assisted Jeff with re-modelling the existing ‘Splash!’ workshop based on the ‘Under the Sea’ programme I run at home where I regularly dress up as a mischievous Seasprite called Oceana, dressed in a 1970’s sparkly frock and tactile ‘magic’ coat, with sea horses and turtles painted on my face. I spend a magical few hours with Kindergarten and Year 1 and I’m basically paid to play, a tough job but someone has to do it! Through an engaging mix of hands-on discovery, imagination, story-telling, puppets, music and role-play, the aim of these workshops is to empower children with the wonder, confidence and critical skills to begin a life-long love of learning in museums.

Another fun project for me has been researching some handling objects from the education collection for the new ‘touch trolley’ resource. The touch trolley enables the visitors to look more closely at this material, to have a sensory experience and a museum perspective. There are a number of themes the education department are planning to do with items relating to the exhibitions. One already exists on ‘Navigation’ and I have been working on the one for the ‘Passengers’ gallery. So, if you would like a wonderful insight into life on-board a cruise liner in the 1950’s and 60’s then be sure to find a touch trolley manned by one of the Museums’ informative ‘Kids on Deck’ staff or Teacher Guides and take a step back in time!