Discover stories behind the latest exhibitions, fascinating explorations into maritime science and archaeology, and the surprising details of what happens inside (and outside) a modern working museum.

Goy Galdeano (centre, in white striped top) with the first group of female Spanish assisted migrants to Australia, 1960 [reproduced courtesy Melissa Zabalegui]

Mutiny on the Montserrat: The 60th anniversary of Operation Eucalyptus

02 Sep 2019

An archive of newspaper clippings in the museum’s collection documents a dramatic episode in assisted migration from Spain and Greece to Australia 60 years ago, writes curator Kim Tao. The nightmare 54-day voyage of the Montserrat was marred by engine trouble, fighting between passengers and crew, and even allegations of a mutiny by passengers in the middle of the Indian Ocean.

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Johanna Goggins is one of the Irish famine orphans who is inscribed on the Welcome Wall.  Image: Kim Tao/ANMM.

Remembering the Irish famine orphans

17 Mar 2019

Today some 80 million people worldwide claim Irish ancestry, including an estimated seven million Australians. For St Patrick’s Day, we take a look at the story of the destitute Irish orphans who arrived in Australia 170 years ago at the height of the Great Famine.

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Threads of migration roof projection in 2019. Image: ANMM.

Threads of migration

26 Jan 2019

Textiles are an evocative symbol of migration, memory and cultural identity. Our new roof projection, Threads of migration, illuminates the museum’s rooftop with a rich patchwork of immigrant stories.

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Şükran and Halit Adasal signing their marriage documents, with Şükran’s mother Sultan Salman at far right, Adana, Turkey, 1966. Reproduced courtesy Hale Adasal.

Anatolia to Australia

23 Jan 2019

Turkish migrant¸ Sükran Adasal was just 19 years old when she and her husband Halit embarked on a belated honeymoon to an island continent on the other side of the world. Travelling under the Australia–Turkey Migration Agreement, the young couple’s thoughts were filled with hope for a new future.

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The O’Keefe family at Bonbeach, Victoria, 1956. Left to right: Annie O’Keefe, Geraldine, John O’Keefe, Peter and Mary. Photographer Neil Murray. Reproduced courtesy National Archives of Australia: A1501, A429/5.

The case of Mrs O’Keefe

22 Jan 2019

In the 1940s, a Dutch East Indies family who had been evacuated to Australia during World War II found themselves under threat of deportation. The infamous court case that ensued was an important step towards overturning controversial legislation banning non-European immigrants.

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Paul Gock Quay in Sydney, c 1910. Reproduced courtesy Paul Kwok.

The Gocks of Middle Mountain

21 Jan 2019

Paul Kwok belongs to the 25th generation of a family that can trace its ancestry back to the early 13th century, before the Mongolian leader Kublai Khan founded the Yuan dynasty and conquered China. Paul registered his grandfather, Gock Quay, on the Welcome Wall to honour the first member of his family to set foot in Australia in 1890.

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