Author(s): Australian National Maritime Museum
From a small silver medallion beautifully engraved by a First Fleet convict to the 119-metre Royal Australian Navy destroyer, HMAS Vampire, in 20 years the Australian National Maritime Museum has built an incredibly diverse collection of more than 130,000 items. Here, the museum's curators reveal the fascinating stories behind many amazing objects, including a 19th-century ships surgeons kit, the fastest vessel in the world (Spirit of Australia), a boat made from 2,000 beer cans, the remarkable Saltwater Collection of bark paintings from Arnhem Land, and surfboards inspired by the Bra Boys and the 2005 Cronulla race riots. They tell of unforgettable people - both famous and lesser known - whose lives were shaped by the sea. Their stories are part of our history, and live on in our culture today.