PRIMARY EDUCATION KIT - Australian Museum ... FREE WIFI The Museum offers free Wi-fi for onsite...

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Transcript of PRIMARY EDUCATION KIT - Australian Museum ... FREE WIFI The Museum offers free Wi-fi for onsite...


    Model of a funerary boat, Middle Kingdom c. 2055–1650 BCE. Treasure supported by Jennifer Crivelli



    VISITING THE AUSTRALIAN MUSEUM BRIEFING A Museum staff member will be on hand to greet your group when you arrive. They will brief your groups about how to move around the Museum and direct you to areas of the Museum you intend to visit.

    BAG STORAGE There is limited bag storage available on site. It is recommended that students just bring a small carry bag with the essentials for the day, however if required, storage can be provided depending on availability.

    EXHIBITIONS In addition to any booked educator-led sessions, students and teachers may explore the Museum’s exhibitions in their own time. Some special exhibitions may incur an additional charge. It is suggested that students visit the galleries in small groups to prevent overcrowding.

    LUNCH AND BREAKS It is recommended that students bring their recess and lunch and eat in Hyde Park or Cook & Phillip Park, both of which are across the road from the Museum. Alternative arrangements will be provided in the case of wet weather.

    BYOD AND PHOTOGRAPHY Students are encouraged to bring their own devices to take photos, video and/or audio to record their excursion. Some temporary exhibitions do not allow photography but you will be advised of this on arrival.

    FREE WIFI The Museum offers free Wi-fi for onsite visitors. It is available in 30 minute sessions. Students and teachers can log on for more than one session.

    PHOTOCOPYING Please photocopy the following materials for students and accompanying adults prior to your visit.

    SUPERVISION Teachers and supervising adults are required to stay with their groups at all times. Disciplining of students remains the responsibility of teachers and supervising adults accompanying the group.



    200 TREASURES OF THE AUSTRALIAN MUSEUM EXHIBITION GUIDE Spread over two floors of the resplendent Westpac Long Gallery, 200 treasures await your discovery. One hundred are objects carefully selected from the Museum’s 18 million collection items, another hundred are people chosen for the way they shaped Australia. Through these treasures, fascinating stories are revealed not only about our Museum but our nation – its people, history and role on the world’s stage.

    WHAT IS A TREASURE? What do you treasure? An object, a person, a memory? We define our precious things with words like ‘rare’, ‘loved’, ‘beautiful’ and ‘priceless’. These values can be personal, communal or objective. The 100 object treasures displayed, reflect the varying significance we attach to the things that touch our lives. A treasure’s value also lies in its context. A further 100 objects from the Museum’s collections are displayed with the treasures to provide context and depth, revealing untold stories and powerful connections. Every object in the exhibition is part of an entangled relationship with people, nature and culture. Discover these complex connections through a series of displays – each a means to frame a time, or a place or a tale.

    AUSTRALIA’S FIRST MUSEUM Australia’s first public museum was established in Sydney in 1827 with the aim of procuring ‘many rare and curious specimens of Natural History’. In 1829, William Holmes was appointed the first custodian of the fledgling collection, then located in the old post office building in Macquarie Place. Initially known as the Sydney or Colonial Museum, it was formally named the Australian Museum in 1836. Ten years later, construction began on its permanent home.

    THE WESTPAC LONG GALLERY The first gallery in Australia’s first museum, The Westpac Long Gallery encompasses three levels in the original William Street wing of the museum. Officially opened to the public in 1857, this architectural marvel has remained a continuously evolving showcase of exhibits. The top floor, with its impressive curved ceiling, was added in the early 1890s.



    100 OBJECTS GROUND FLOOR Each showcase starts with a key treasure and unravels entanglements with other objects, people and places. Treasures are detailed in the following pages.

    AUSTRALIA’S FIRST BANK NOTE This bank note, printed in 1817, was integral to establishing the foundations of the Australian economy. Until the Bank of New South Wales was established in 1817, there were no local bank notes in circulation in the colony. The issue of currency (guaranteed legal tender) was one of the foundation purposes of the Bank of New South Wales. The note represents stability, uniformity and trust. Only a limited number of these notes were produced; the exact number is unclear as records did not survive. This note was retrieved from Scotland. It is believed the Governor at the time, Lachlan Macquarie, sent it to his homeland as a souvenir for his family.

    MAITLAND BAR GOLD NUGGET The Maitland Bar gold nugget, originally discovered in 1887 at Meroo Creek near Gulgong, New South Wales, is a priceless historical specimen with value far beyond its gold content. It is the only surviving example of a large gold nugget (10.7 kilograms) from the early gold mining years of New South Wales. This state treasure was initially used by the fledgling colony as a display of its wealth at international expositions in London and Chicago. It was also known as the Jubilee Nugget as the NSW Department of Mines purchased it during Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee (1887). Lost in the 1930s, it resurfaced in 1956 in a box that Treasury officers had unwittingly used as cricket stumps.

    KREFFT’S CHAIR | CASE 1 The chair of Gerard Krefft, Australian Museum curator from 1864 to 1874, is centre stage along with his loyal pet piglet and surrounded by many specimens he described. Krefft’s tenure 1860-74 marked a transition in the role of museum collections in science, debates on Darwinian evolution and the first collections of Indigenous Australian culture.

    PLATYPUS RUG | CASE 2 Against a backdrop of Platypus skins stands an Australian menagerie with a difference. We humans have collected, named, trained, shot, feared and loved our native animals. In return, they have scavenged from, befriend and injured us. Relationships with our unique and often quirky wildlife are complex and deep.



    SIR HERCULES SKELETON | CASE 3 Affectionately dubbed ‘The Bone Ranger’ by Australian Museum staff and visitors, this horse and rider have been together since 1983. Sir Hercules was bred in 1843, and although he never raced, he sired the winner of the 1866 Melbourne Cup and has been on display since 1873.

    RAINFOREST SHIELDS | CASE 4 The vibrant Indigenous shields from the rainforests of far north Queensland were created as tools for survival. These and other objects demonstrated how we humans mould and use elements of the environment to find food and water, defend our lives and preserve our homes.

    MORNING STAR POLE | CASE 5 The Morning Star is Venus, called Banumbirr by Yolngu, rising in the east to renew creation. Aboriginal knowledge of country is science, systematically recorded and passed on through art, performance and memory – the entanglements of all things sky, sea and land.

    CROCODILE TURTLE MASK | CASE 6 This incredibly striking and rare mask was collected by AM biologists during their stay on Mer Island in 1907. Part turtle, crocodile, bird, plant, human – this mask says much about entanglements in Torres Strait Islands.

    MOTU FEATHER HEADDRESS | CASE 7 Made by the Motu people, this striking headdress hails from the highlands of Papua New Guinea. Papua New Guinea abounds with cultural and biological diversity and, as our closest neighbour, has long attracted Australian Museum researchers.

    STONE BIRD PESTLE | CASE 8 This ancient stone bird witnessed the birth of agriculture. A tool for pounding plants, it reminds us that for most early farmers producing food was as much about survival as it was about ritual and religion. New Guinea has one of the oldest histories of food production in the world.

    UPE HATS | CASE 9 These sacred hats hold many secrets of Buka youth, elders’ knowledge and the Buka forests – an area of Papua New Guinea now lost to mining.

    MALAGAN FIGURES | CASE 10 The Museum has a large and remarkable collection of Malagan ceremonial carvings. The artefacts reveal rich stories of the New Ireland people of Papua New Guinea – their connection with the environment and later with a world of traders, collectors and missionaries.



    MOTHER AND CHILD | CASE 11 This enigmatic figure of mother and child from the Solomon Islands seems to represent the world in profound transition. These objects come from the Solomon Islands, New Caledonia and Vanuatu.

    KIRIBATI ARMOUR | CASE 12 Kiribati armour, when part of a fully-decked warrior, was once a fearsome sight. As well as its cultural significance, today it is being used to reveal the evidence of past ecosystems.

    KALUNI OPU’U’S CAPE | CASE 13 Alli’i (chief) Kaluni opu’u presented this superb feathered cape to Captain Cook on his final voyage to Hawaii. Surrounding the cape are other objects of power and prestige and those that reflect a sense of identity, many collected by Cook.