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.


Stephen Gapps

Stephen is a Curator at the Australian National Maritime Museum. In 2014 he developed the War at Sea - The Navy in WWI exhibition. He was previously responsible for the collection areas of Environment and Industry. In 2015 Stephen developed a display showcasing Australian and Indonesian maritime connections. He has research interests in early colonial Australian history, Pirates and Vikings.

Commemoration and contestation at Kurnell

11 May 2015

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.

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Before Gallipoli – Turkey's other great victory

17 Mar 2015

On 18 March 2015, Turkey will commemorate the 100th anniversary of a victory over Allied forces just prior to the Gallipoli land campaign on 25 April 1915. The defeat of an Allied fleet attempting to force the Dardanelles Strait is a little-known story in the tale of the Anzacs, but one that changed the whole nature of the ill-fated campaign.

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Voyaging vakas

13 Nov 2014

This week I was privileged to be on board one of the vakas visiting the museum as they sailed into Sydney Harbour at the end of a 2 month, 6,000 kilometre voyage across the Pacific Ocean.

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Surviving Emden

07 Nov 2014

For the anniversary of the Battle of Cocos 100 years ago, the museum is displaying a collection of material associated with the World War I German raider SMS Emden that was destroyed by HMAS Sydney on 9 November 1914.

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Dazzle ship models

04 Nov 2014

Towards the end of World War I large numbers of merchant ships were brightly painted in bizarre geometrical patterns known as ‘Dazzle Painting’ later known as dazzle camouflage. The aim was to thwart German U-boat captains who had been destroying large amounts of shipping.

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A dazzling connection with WWI

17 Sep 2014

On a visit to the Maritime Museum you will undoubtedly walk past the modelmakers’ bench on the way to the main displays. Many people stop and admire the painstakingly slow and intricate work of the museum’s volunteer model making crew.

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