Coffee and bushrangers in gold country

Anyone unlucky enough to have encountered me sans my morning coffee knows that this is when I’m at my most desperate, perhaps my most murderous.  I feel deprived, entitled to what I believe is my just deserts, and I’ll stop at nothing to get it.  By ‘it’ I mean coffee and I know I’m not alone out there.

So it was no surprise to learn that the popularisation of coffee drinking in Australia, way back in colonial days, closely aligned with the proliferation of that other breed of Continue reading

Bennelong had a Point

‘Time flies’, the proverb proclaims, and indeed it seems a year could not possibly have passed since the Sydney Opera House celebrated its 40th birthday and we commemorated the occasion with a blog post highlighting the landmark and the Museum’s purchase of two very rare protest posters associated with Jørn Utzon’s dismissal from its construction.  Yet today, the iconic cultural centre yet again marks its birthday – this time with significantly less fanfare than last year’s milestone warranted – and we, with unexpectedly impeccable timing, are again able to announce an exciting development to mark the occasion. Continue reading

A Botanical life – a new chapter

It’s truly serendipitous how the fabrics of our lives sometimes manage to weave themselves into fortuitous little knots of connection, and it seems that just such a knot led to this guest blog post – exploring two women’s contemporary lives in the bush – by Pappinbarra River valley resident Chay Khamsone and her neighbour-come-colleague Bryony Anderson.

You see, not long ago, I wrote an article titled “A botanical life”, which explored the life of a young girl named Annabella Innes. In the 1840s, Annabella lived at Lake Innes Estate, about 11km west of Port Macquarie, and was fascinated with the surrounding natural environment, carefully recording it in her diaries and botanical watercolours. She was an Continue reading

Head of a horse-shaped children's tricycle

A horse tricycle and SO much more…!

The Museum recently acquired a single family’s impressive collection of nearly 350 toys and we are marking the arrival with the display of one of the most beautiful pieces in its number – a 1920s horse tricycle. The trike, like the rest of the toys in the Susan and Andrew Gibson collection, belonged to a single generation of children in whose memory the collection was donated and named – the enviable sibling duo, Susan and Andrew Gibson. Continue reading

The Chinese in Bendigo – processioning towards acceptance

A spectacular Chinese ceremonial costume was recently installed in the Museum’s Landmarks: People and Places across Australia gallery and it got me thinking about the lives of all those who for over a century wore this intricate creation – proudly and somewhat defiantly – as part of the annual Bendigo Easter Fair. You see, before this costume and many like it joined the extensive regalia collection at the Golden Dragon Museum, they played a functional and public role in the life of Bendigo’s prominent Chinese community and, by extension, the town’s general population. Yet the costume’s most important role, I suspect, was as a powerful emblem of cultural identity for the Chinese residents, who faced prejudice and discrimination both on and off the goldfields.

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Happy 40th Sydney Opera House!

The Opera House will have something the pyramids never had – it will have life. They were built as tombs, but this building is built to give happiness and refreshment to millions.”   – Queen Elizabeth II speaking at the opening of the Sydney Opera House, 20 October 1973

The Sydney Opera House turned 40 this month and observing its jubilant birthday celebrations, it is hard to imagine a time when it was not Australia’s favourite building, an international icon of our nation and the architectural envy of the world.

When it first opened to the public in October 1973, however, this extraordinary structure had been widely regarded as a proverbial thorn in the side of the New South Wales Continue reading

Mr Briney of Pialliway

Are you a ‘Briney’?

Perhaps you know someone with that last name?

Maybe your family traces its roots back to the Tamworth area of the Liverpool Plains?

Or perhaps you are a budding detective and would relish the opportunity to solve an old mystery?

If so, you may be able to assist us in our search for information about an Aboriginal breastplate from our collection that was recently installed in the Museum’s Landmarks gallery.  The information available for individual breastplates varies significantly and unfortunately, in this case, we are certain of little more about its origins than what is inscribed on the plate.

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