In the reporting period 150 individual objects were added to the National Maritime Collection, in 27 acquisitions. Some of the more significant are listed below.
Bondi Surf Bathers Lifesaving Club murals
Six murals painted by David Henry Souter (1862–1935) between 1920 and 1934 that depict the birth of the Anzac legend and the surf lifesaving movement. With his military and surf lifesaving background, Souter was ideally placed to explore themes of heroism and self sacrifice to create these monumental allegorical panels – his largest surviving work – for the walls of the Bondi Surf Bathers Lifesaving Club. The oil panels depict themes that have been used to shape images of Australian identity – the diggers at Gallipoli, bush pioneers, the bronzed surf lifesaver and a fit and healthy population enjoying their leisure at the beach. ANMM Collection 20140918-1 Purchase Bondi Surf Bathers Lifesaving Club
One of the Bondi Surf Lifesaving Club murals by Frank Souter
Ghost-net coral panel
Coral panel made from ghost net by artist Marion Gaemers, who worked collaboratively with Erub Arts Centre, Erub (Darnley Island), in the Torres Strait. Ghost nets are nets discarded by fishers at sea that continue to float, often entangling turtles, dugong and other marine animals before washing up on the shore. In northern Australia, where the problem is acute, local artists are using ghost-nets as a medium to highlight this environmental problem, creating stunning works that reflect cultural stories, sea creatures and ways of life on Erub. ANMM Collection 20190221-1 Gift from Marion Gaemers
Cameo of Sir Joseph Banks
Blue jasper cameo modelled by John Flaxman and produced at the Wedgwood factory at Stoke-on-Trent about 1775–1780. Wedgwood produced large numbers of blue jasper portrait medallions during the 18th century and this example is in excellent condition. ANMM Collection 20181120-2 Purchase Shapero Rare Books
Japanned tray related to Captain Cook
Oval tea tray featuring a scene of the death of Captain Cook painted by Edward Bird (1772–1819), based on George Carter’s painting of 1781. The tray dates to the late 18th century and is an unusual example of both Asian influence on European art forms, and the many forms of public grief triggered by news of James Cook’s death in Hawaii in 1799. The tray was presented to industrialist H W F Bolckow, who owned the site where Cook was born and amassed an important collection of Cook material. ANMM Collection 20181120-2 Purchase Shapero Rare Books
Transplanting of the Bread-Fruit-Trees from Otaheite
Uncoloured engraving by Thomas Gosse, 1796. William Bligh is depicted in naval uniform standing in a ship’s boat while on the shore, gardeners tend a potted breadfruit tree under the gaze of Pomare, paramount chief of Tahiti. The engraving ranks in importance with Robert Dodd’s iconic image of Bligh set adrift by the Bounty mutineers, but is less well known. It is a highly evocative work referencing William Bligh’s successful transportation of the breadfruit plant from Tahiti to the West Indies in 1795. ANMM Collection 20181120-2 Purchase Shapero Rare Books
Sea Shepherd Delta PU781 RIB
The rigid inflatable boat (RIB) Sea Shepherd was used in most Sea Shepherd Australia operations from 2007 to the present, including Operation Migaloo, when it was deployed from MY Steve Irwin and used to board the Japanese whaling vessel Yushin Maru No on 15 January 2008. Benjamin Potts and Giles Lane attempted to board the vessel from this inflatable. They were captured by the whalers who held them hostage until they were picked up by the Australian Customs vessel Oceanic Viking and returned to the Steve Irwin. This incident was widely covered in national and international media. Sea Shepherd was charged with international piracy by the Japanese Institute of Cetacean Research (ICR). Sea Shepherd continued its pursuit of Japanese whaling vessels in Antarctic waters, refusing to accept that the ICR conducts whaling activities for research purposes. ANMM Collection 20190115-1 Purchase Sea Shepherd
Linocut of Badu Harbour by Joseph Au
The artist records both personal and historical narratives of his home on Badu Island in Torres Strait. He offers an insight into the maritime history of pearling at Badu Island at the height of the industry, based on oral histories told to him by his uncles and other men who had worked on the boats. Pearling at Badu Island was so active at one point in time that the island was nicknamed ‘Pearl Harbour’. The artist tells of his own experience of working on an industry vessel harvesting trochus shells. He expresses the privilege he feels in working on the Yancy Taum (A82), now known as Triton, which his uncles and older men had also worked on. Triton was the last pearling lugger in 3C survey, and worked until 2016. ANMM Collection 20180815-1 Purchase Badhulgaw Kuthinaw Mudh – Badu Art Centre
Model lakatoi canoe from Papua New Guinea
The lakatoi is the main cargo carrying canoe on Papua New Guinea’s Port Moresby coastline, and is one of a number of specialised trading canoes from different regions. This model, made from local materials including wood and fibre, is a very accurate representation of the three-hulled canoes used by the Motu and related communities to trade their clay pots for sago with the Erema people further west. Known as the Hiri trading voyage, this is one of several cultural exchanges that helps to maintain peaceful and fruitful relationships between communities in the region. ANMM Collection 20181030-1 Gift from Peter Williamson
Linocut Kazi Laig by David Bosun
‘Kazi Laig’ means ‘pregnant’ in the artist David Bosun’s language, Kala Lagaw Ya. In this work the artist recounts the cultural lessons and hunting practices taught to him by his late father. He shares a story of a hunting trip with his father when he was 10 years old when they unfortunately speared a pregnant dugong. David’s father told him that spearing a female should be avoided due to the dugong’s low reproduction rate. ANMM Collection 20180717-1 Purchase Moa Arts
Folding canoe Mk1** c 1945
This World War II-era British MK 1** variant military folding canoe comprises the complete wooden frame, as well as the original canvas ‘skin’ and associated copper-alloy and rope fittings. The canvas has been painted with a camouflage pattern that was added after the canoe came into the possession of the donor’s father in the early 1960s. This variant of folding canoe is understood to be similar to the type used during Operation Jaywick. ANMM Collection 20180803-1 Gift from Robyn Hammond
Popo canoe model from Yap, Caroline Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, 1996
The popo canoe was one of the first proa or single outrigger canoes documented by the early European explorers in the Pacific. The model represents the popo type very accurately and was made by local men as a personal gift to the donor. Models of this quality were not made for sale to the public and tourists. It features a wooded hull, bamboo mast, coconut fibre sail and natural fibre rope/string for rigging. ANMM Collection 20181012-1 Gift from Dr John Lea
Backpack made from a rubber asylum seeker boat, 2015–2017
Backpack made entirely from rubber boat, hand-collected on Chios, Greece, in 2015–2017, with straps made from seat belts. It was produced by mimycri, a non-profit organisation in Germany that fosters collaboration between German designers and newcomers to Berlin to upcycle the scraps of history and turn broken rubber refugee boats into bags and backpacks.
The notion of a backpack made from a former refugee boat adds an entirely different dimension to this iconic symbol of migration. The mimycri backpack carries a unique, personal story of hope and courage, representing positive collaborations between socially engaged designers and refugees. ANMM Collection 20180802-1 Purchase mimycri
Aboriginal art and artefacts
This selection of 17 artefacts and artworks represents diverse salt and freshwater communities from across Australia. They include historic fighting and parrying weapons, implements, ceremonial artefacts and artworks that show Aboriginal lore and practices in defending country and hunting. They also include shells, sawfish and artworks that show artists translating important cultural information to different media. ANMM Collection 20190619-2 Purchase Bonhams
Photographic album of Allied operations at Gallipoli, 1914–16
The album contains multiple views of the Allied assault on the Gallipoli Peninsula during the First World War. Most of the photographs are accompanied by handwritten annotations in ink, and several depict activities associated with operations at Gaba Tepe. The photographs include the landing of Australian troops, shore-based infrastructure, and various Allied naval vessels involved in the Gallipoli invasion. ANMM Collection 20180214-3 Gift from Robert Murphy
The Sikorsky S-70B-2 Seahawk replaces the Westland Wessex Mk 31B helicopter that has been on exhibit since 1991 and was recently transferred to the collection of the Australian War Memorial in Canberra.
A derivative of the US Navy’s SH-60F Seahawk, the S-70B-2 was designed by Sikorsky to meet RAN specifications for anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and anti-surface surveillance and targeting (ASST) operations. It officially commenced service with the Fleet Air Arm’s 816 Squadron in July 1992 and was given the call sign ‘Tiger 75’.
Over the course of its 29-year career, Tiger 75 was deployed numerous times to the Middle East and other international trouble spots, and was involved in the rescue of three crew aboard a Yemeni dhow held hostage by Somali pirates off the Horn of Africa in 2011. Most notably, it was one of two Seahawks that participated in search-and-rescue operations during the ill-fated 1998 Sydney to Hobart yacht race. ANMM Collection NC703273 Donated by Department of Defence for display purposes
Machete and truncheon
Machete and telescopic spring truncheon, part of the equipment issued to Able Seaman Mostyn (Moss) Berryman during Operation Jaywick, the 1943 Z Special Unit raid on Singapore Harbour. The objects have a strong association with MV Krait and relate to the clandestine nature of Operation Jaywick and the need to be equipped to operate in jungle and other environments without raising attention. The machete has a wooden handle and is secured in a leather sheath. The truncheon is a telescopic spring in two parts with weighted end. ANMM Collection 20181206-1 Gift from Moss Berryman
Antarctic and service medals, photos, documents and memorabilia related to Sir Lionel Hooke, SY Aurora and Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition
Sir Lionel Hooke (1895–1974) was the wireless operator on SY Aurora, Sir Ernest Shackleton’s Ross Sea Party supply ship for his Imperial Trans–Antarctic Expedition of 1914–17. Hooke was widely praised for his persistence and inventiveness in establishing wireless contact during the ship’s drift in 1915–16.
After World War I Hooke returned to Australia to a lifelong career at Amalgamated Wireless Australasia (AWA), where his achievements included overseeing direct wireless telegraphy between Australia and the UK, improvements in the Australian coastal radio network and the design of an automatic distress transmitter in 1929. ANMM Collection 20190218-1 Gift from Maria Teresa Savio Hooke OAM and her sons John Max and Paolo in memory of John Hooke CBE and Sir Lionel Hooke
SY Aurora commemorative silver tray
This tray was presented to chief officer Frederick ‘Frank’ Douglas Fletcher after he left Douglas Mawson’s Australasian Antarctic Expedition vessel SY Aurora in Hobart on 18 March 1913 to get married. Fletcher had sailed with master John King Davis to pick up the western party in February 1913, after being unable to reach Mawson at main base. Mawson spent the winter of 1913 in the huts with a small shore party until Davis returned in Aurora on Christmas Eve 1914. ANMM Collection 20190208-1 Gift from Alan Fletcher
On board ship Thomas Stephens off Cape Horn, 1873, by artist Edward Roper, with his passenger ticket
A unique view of shipboard life by Edward Roper (1830–1909), an accomplished artist, illustrator, author and publisher who lived in Australia and promoted its appeal to audiences in Australia, Britain, New Zealand and Canada. The watercolour and the ticket are from his 1873 voyage from Melbourne to London with his wife Annie and daughter Edith as first-class passengers.
The relaxed scene of children angling over the ship’s stern for Cape pigeons records its date and location as Cape Horn on 17 May. It is a rare view of children on the long voyage between Australia and the UK. ANMM Collection 20190401-1 Purchase Day Gallery
Sculpture Swimming by Zou Liang, 2014
Zou Liang’s sculpture represents a white shark whose entire body is made of different marine organisms – part of the shark’s food chain – while two children play on its tail. The children create a sense of relaxation and harmony in contrast to the negative prejudice against sharks. They symbolise the fact that humans and sharks can co-exist in balance.
This artwork was commissioned for an exhibition program that asked artists in China and around the world to create work to raise awareness of the threat to shark populations from overfishing and the practice of shark finning. Between 2014 and 2019, the exhibition On Sharks & Humanity, from Parkview Arts Action in China, was exhibited in Asia, Europe and here at the museum. ANMM Collection 20190328-1 Gift from Parkview Arts Action as a legacy of the On Sharks & Humanity art and conservation program 2019