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Number 86 March–May 2009


A special place to tie the knot

The museum’s unique venues, sweeping city skyline, water views and fine catering will make your wedding day one to remember! Drinks on destroyer Vampire … dinner for 150 in the elegant Terrace Room ... harbourside Yots Café … or up to 300 in our North Wharf marquee (mid-November to mid-December). Award-winning Bayleaf Catering is renowned for innovation, quality menus and fine service delivery.

02 9298 3649 email venues@anmm.gov.au www.anmm.gov.au/venues


Signals

Australian National Maritime Museum’s quarterly magazine Number 86 March–May 2009

Contents COVER: Detail from an unsigned watercolour attributed to Lieutenant Phillip Parker King rn, showing His Majesty’s Cutter Mermaid in northern Australian waters in 1818, passing a visiting Makassan prahu from the Dutch East Indies. The wreck of Mermaid has been located this summer on the Great Barrier Reef, by an archaeological team led by the Australian National Maritime Museum and sponsored by the Silentworld Foundation. View of Copeland Island in Mount [N]orris Bay, Interview with Malay Fleet, 1818, from the Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales. Reproduced courtesy of the library ABOVE: The museum’s popular summer exhibition Vaka Moana – Voyages of the Ancestors, which told the amazing story of the discovery and settlement of the Pacific islands, was opened by the Governor-General of Australia, Her Excellency Ms Quentin Bryce AC. The exhibition, from New Zealand’s Auckland Museum, was here making its first stop in Australian during its international tour. Photographer A Frolows/ANMM

2 Charles Darwin – Voyages and ideas Two centuries after his birth; 150 years after his great book

10 MMAPSS awards promote heritage There’s more money for our annual national grants scheme

14 We find the missing Mermaid Research and teamwork uncover the lost wreck site of this historic craft

21 Members’ message, events and activities Talks, tours, previews, cruises, seminars … Members’ autumn calendar

26 What’s on at the museum Autumn exhibitions, events and activities for visitors, school programs

32 Accessible programs – an inside view Enabling access for visitors with disability brings its own rewards

36 Into the Endeavour archives Preserving the research that makes the replica so authentic

42 Research at the ANMM The lifeblood of organisations like ours is the research they do

44 Tales from the Welcome Wall In someone else’s shoes – Joseph Assaf’s perspective

46 Currents Sign on for Endeavour replica voyages

47 Sponsors Silentworld Foundation helps locate Mermaid

48 From the director

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We all know travel broadens our vision and stimulates our thinking … but what sort of voyage was it that inspired Charles Darwin to construct his far-reaching theory of evolution and shake 19th-century beliefs to their very core? ANMM curator of exploration Dr Nigel Erskine reflects on Darwin and the HMS Beagle voyage, and reveals the long-term planning, research and behind-the-scenes negotiations needed to bring our latest exhibition to life. THIS YEAR marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin, and 150 years since the publication of his most famous work On the Origin of Species. In recognition of the importance of this anniversary year, the museum has spent the last 18 months researching and producing the fascinating new exhibition Charles Darwin – Voyages and ideas that shook the world, which opens on 20 March for a period of six months. Charles Darwin was born on 12 February 1809 into a world preoccupied by the changing fortunes of the Napoleonic wars. Just four years after Nelson’s victory at Trafalgar, Napoleon’s armies were firmly entrenched in Spain and the young general Arthur Wellesley was yet to lead a grindingly slow campaign across the Iberian Peninsula and on to final victory in 1815 at the Battle of Waterloo. It would mark the end of more than 20 years of almost continuous warfare across Europe. When the fighting finally stopped, Britain was the undisputed superpower of the world. Page 2

The world in which Darwin received his early education and training was a world in transition. The monarchy of King George III was coming to an end and Britain was ruled by his son, first as Prince Regent and then in his own right as King George IV (1820–30). It was also a period of enormous population

Born into a wealthy and well-connected family, Charles Darwin was an unexceptional student at Edinburgh and Cambridge universities and appeared destined to become a country clergyman, when an opportunity to join HMS Beagle on a surveying expedition around the world in 1831 changed everything. The

Darwin appeared destined to become a country clergyman, when an opportunity to join HMS Beagle changed everything movement as England’s rural populace was drawn to work opportunities in the new industrial centres of Manchester, Liverpool and Birmingham. The post-Napoleonic peace also heralded a new era of opportunity to consolidate on the late 18th-century voyages of discovery, to continue exploration beyond the established sea routes, to penetrate the polar regions, and to push beyond the existing fringes of European settlement.

voyage exposed the young Darwin to the wonders of nature on a world scale and proved a seminal experience that would profoundly influence his later research and career. Darwin’s Beagle voyage is an important focus of the museum’s major new exhibition. In fact, HMS Beagle has several connections to Australia. The Australianborn surveyor Phillip Parker King (son of the third governor of New South Wales, SIGNALS 86 March–May 2009


Charles Darwin by George Richmond, 1840. Chalk and watercolour, Darwin Heirlooms Trust SIGNALS 86 March–May 2009

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Philip Gidley King) led a hydrographic expedition to South America commanding HMS Adventure in company with the Beagle from 1826 to 1830, and King’s son, midshipman Philip Gidley King, later shared a cabin with Darwin

But the exhibition is not just about Darwin’s five-year voyage aboard the Beagle. Darwin’s return to England in 1836 marked the beginning of a personal and intellectual journey that was even more profound.

Darwin realised that in a world of extreme competition, small mutations could provide an advantage aboard the Beagle during its second South American survey expedition (1831–36). Although the Beagle spent only three months in Australia during Darwin’s voyage, it returned to these shores in 1837 and was involved in surveys and exploration around the coast until 1843. It was during this later expedition that the officers named a promising harbour in northern Australia ‘Darwin’ after their old shipmate.

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The predominant view of the natural world at the time Darwin was a student was that the complex diversity of nature was tangible proof of an intelligent creator who had made all life in its present form over a period of seven days, as recorded in the Bible in the book of Genesis. According to the best estimates of the biblical scholars, this had occurred about 4000 BC. But new evidence was

beginning to emerge that could not easily be reconciled with this view. Geologists were increasingly finding evidence of a far longer chronology of the earth, measured in millions rather than thousands of years. Some were unearthing the fossil remains of animals never seen before, and a small number of naturalists were proposing alternative ideas. Darwin’s experiences aboard the Beagle provided him with an expansive ‘big picture’ view of the natural world, and his discoveries in South America and the Galapagos Islands made it clear to him that species were not fixed, but rather could be changed over time and by their environment. The question was how? The answer came in a ‘Eureka!’ moment when Darwin read Thomas Malthus’s Essay on the Principle of Population in 1838. As Malthus argued, mankind’s ability to reproduce far outstripped the rate of agricultural production and yet

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despite this, the population appeared to remain in balance with the means of subsistence. Combining Malthus’s ideas with his own observations of divergence in species, Darwin realised that in a world of extreme competition, small mutations could provide an advantage to particular individuals, which increased their chances of survival and reproduction. The offspring of such individuals were thus better adapted to their environment, and over time the species was changed through a process of natural selection. This discovery was a profound scientific breakthrough. What set Darwin apart as a great scientist, however, was his meticulous assembling of supporting evidence gained from his studies of plants and animals, and from his correspondence above left, TOP PAGES 6 & 8: Topographical

seaward views of the Galapagos Islands, made as aids to navigation during the voyage of HMS Tagus in 1814. Views in the Galapagos Islands, watercolour. Australian National Maritime Museum collection Below left: Portrait Cove, Beagle Channel,

Tierra del Fuego, watercolour by Conrad Martens, 1834. Reproduced courtesy of the National Maritime Museum, London Below: The Beagle in Beagle Channel, Tierra

del Fuego, 1833, watercolour by Conrad Martens. Reproduced courtesy of the National Maritime Museum, London

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with specialists all over the world. Such evidence supported his thinking over a diverse range of scientific areas – from biogeography to human evolution – and today Darwin’s research is recognised as the basis of all modern biology. Darwin’s account of the Beagle voyage inspired other naturalists to join survey expeditions exploring the world. Two of these, Joseph Hooker and Thomas Huxley, were strongly influenced by their experiences in Australia and went on to become Darwin’s staunchest supporters during the evolution debate. They became pivotal figures in the world of 19thcentury science in their own right. The exhibition Charles Darwin – Voyages and ideas that shook the world invites visitors to explore the world of Darwin and his colleagues, and to see the continuation of their work on new scientific frontiers today.

Creating the Charles Darwin exhibition An enormous amount of work goes into developing and producing a major exhibition, and it requires institutional collaboration, a team of skilled museum specialists – and of course adequate funding! The initial concept to develop a Darwin exhibition was proposed in early 2007 and progressed further during a

short secondment that I then undertook to the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, UK. This famous institution at Greenwich on the Thames holds an important collection of material associated with the Beagle’s last commander, John Lort Stokes, ranging from navigation instruments and original hand-drawn charts to letters and sketches. Stokes had a long association with the Beagle, joining the vessel as a midshipman in 1826 and leaving as captain in 1843. In addition, the museum’s ship plans section holds plans of the 10-gun brig class from which the Beagle was built at Woolwich between 1818 and 1820, as well as a large number of watercolours painted by Conrad Martens while artist aboard the Beagle during the second South American voyage (the one in which Darwin participated). The secondment also allowed me to visit, view material at first-hand and make contacts at Down House, Darwin’s home in Kent; the Sedgwick Museum and the Museum of Zoology, Cambridge; the British Museum; the Natural History Museum; and Oxford University Museum of Natural History. Of course there are a great many steps between finding an object you would dearly like to use in an exhibition, and actually seeing a signed

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loan agreement, but the benefits of making institutional contacts and developing professional relationships cannot be overstated. Once back in Sydney, the potential international loan objects were added to the exhibition content list of material from our own and other Australian collections, and formal requests to borrow objects were sent off to the various institutions. For a curator, this is an anxious time of waiting to see which objects will be approved. Exhibitions are a bit like theatre, with objects playing the parts of actors in conveying the narrative. Once you have seen particular objects and visualised how they will be employed in delivering the exhibition story, any changes to the ‘cast’ of objects can affect the overall shape of the exhibition. Conrad Martens’ pencil sketch of HMS Beagle anchored at Valparaiso, Chile, 1 September 1834. Reproduced courtesy Dixson Library, State Library of New South Wales

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Apart from objects, an exhibition is dependent on the skills of the museum exhibition team. Drawn from all sections of the museum, the team consists of designers, conservators, curators, registrars and staff from temporary exhibitions, marketing and education, all under the control of an exhibition team

from conservators regarding the mix of materials represented in the exhibition objects. Once the list of objects for the exhibition has been established, the designers work with the curator to decide how to present the exhibition stories in a coherent and stimulating way, drawing on the full toolbox of design possibilities and

A major exhibition requires institutional collaboration, a team of skilled specialists, and of course adequate funding! leader responsible for overseeing the budget and coordinating the efforts of the team within a tight planning schedule. Formal loan negotiations are carried out through the museum’s registration section, where details of the museum’s exhibition environment parameters, security, transport and costs are discussed. The process is one of continuous refinement with frequent input

the potential of the existing exhibition space. Ideas about the exhibition entrance, colour scheme, graphics, interactives, projections and exhibition structures are developed at this time prior to review by the museum’s executive management group. As the exhibition takes shape, the marketing and education members of the team are working out how and where to

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clockwise from below:

Aquatic microscope by Robert Bancks, c. 1830. Reproduced courtesy of the Powerhouse Museum, Sydney Following publication of On the Origin of Species Darwin turned to botanical studies focussing on the fertilisation of orchids, climbing and insectivorous plants. Phalaenopsis orchid. A Frolows/ANMM Two images from the crustacea collection in the Darwin collection at Oxford University Museum of Natural History. Photographer Sammy De Grave, N Erskine/ANMM Glasshouse at Down House, Charles Darwin’s home in Kent. Photographer N Erskine/ANMM

ANMM curator Nigel Erskine viewing some of the Darwin collection at Oxford University Museum of Natural History, and detail of the crustacean collection. Photographer Sammy De Grave, N Erskine/ANMM Down House, Charles Darwin’s home in Kent, and Darwin’s glasshouse. Photographer N Erskine/ANMM Following publication of Origin of Species Darwin turned to botanical studies focussing on the fertilisation of orchids, climbing and insectivorous plants. Phalaenopsis orchid. Photographer A Frolows/ANMM

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best promote the exhibition, and how to develop educational resources for school groups making actual or virtual visits. This exhibition has been planned to deliver learning outcomes to a diverse range of audiences through direct visitation, a research symposium, a major publication and a collaborative digital learning website, as well as tours, lectures and blogs. With the passing of each week the momentum builds, punctuated by discussions of light levels, label placement, sponsorship arrangements, couriers and the guest list for the opening night. In lending institutions across the country and overseas, objects are undergoing condition reports and being packed for transport to Sydney for installation in the exhibition space. It’s an exciting time as the many months of planning are finally bringing together objects associated with Darwin and the Beagle, Robert FitzRoy, Joseph Hooker, Thomas Huxley and others – bringing them together in Australia for the very first time.

workshops around the city, contractors have been working frantically to finish the exhibition structures on schedule for installation in the weeks running up to the opening. At the museum, the final edits of film footage are being tested, new lighting checked and media releases drafted. And then – almost surprisingly – the crates and their couriers have landed and we are finalising customs and quarantine formalities before transporting the precious objects to the museum for installation. The exhibition structures are in place and in just over a week the objects take their places for the performance in cases, on walls and under glass. The orchids are ready in the glasshouse and as the final label is fixed in place and the cleaning completed, the gallery falls quiet, and all is finally ready for the opening speeches, the suits and the wine – and of course the visitors whom we all hope will come! Happy 200th birthday, Mr Darwin. 

ANMM curator Nigel Erskine viewing some of the Darwin collection at Oxford University Museum of Natural History. Photographer Sammy De Grave BELOW: The Beagle with Mount Sarmiento in the background, Tierra del Fuego. Watercolour, Conrad Martens. Reproduced courtesy of the National Maritime Museum, London

With the arrival of the objects imminent, the pressure moves up another gear. In

2-DAY SEMINAR In the wake of the Beagle Friday 20–Saturday 21 March 2009 ANMM Theatre ‘For a small 10-gun brig belonging to what sailors wryly called the ‘coffin class’, HMS Beagle has created the largest wake of any ship in history.’ Professor Iain McCalman University of Sydney

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The long wake of HMS Beagle stretches from the 19th century into the future of our globe. Australasia and the Pacific contributed to Charles Darwin’s evolutionary thinking, and 150 years after he published On the Origin of Species we are proud to present this symposium of internationally acclaimed speakers. It provides new insights into collecting, surveying and

cross-cultural exchange in the Antipodes in the age of Darwin. Exploring the groundbreaking work of Darwin and his contemporaries Joseph Hooker, Thomas Huxley and Alfred Wallace, and their influence on scientific research in the past, present and future, are speakers from Australian and UK museums, universities, libraries, scientific organisations and the media. Presented by the Australian Research Council and Australian National Maritime Museum. For details of speakers and schedule see www.anmm.gov.au/charlesdarwin 2-day registration $50 (Member or student $30) 1-day registration $25 (Member or student $15)

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Completed model of one of history’s most famous ships of scientific discovery, HMS Beagle, by Mike Bass of Cutting Edge Models. Launched in 1820 as a brig, Beagle was later refitted for survey. A mizzen mast was added, and for Darwin’s voyage a poop cabin and forecastle were built. Photographer A Frolows/ANMM

Beagle by Bass Visitors to the museum’s website have been able to follow the painstaking progress of professional modelmaker Mike Bass as he created this model of HMS Beagle for our Darwin anniversary exhibition. Here’s the final instalment of Mike’s online blog tracking the meticulous work from start to finish, providing audiences with rare insights into the ship modeller’s art. HAPPY NEW YEAR to you all! This is the last update for this project, as HMS Beagle is now complete! The model-making part of the project was finished just before Christmas, leaving only the base and the brass plinths to be completed. The base is made of a piece of dark teak with an ornate edging which I routered in keeping with the design of the brass plinths. I used a teak oil finish, giving the wood a burnished look by using three layers of wax after the oil had dried. The plinths themselves were turned by a good friend of mine, as my poor lathe could not cope with 40 mm brass rod! I decided against the traditional glossy brass finish, as the brushed metal blends better with the rest of the display. Once it was all stuck and bolted together it was time to step back, critically examining the overall look of the model – how all the pieces work together, how the shading fits in with the rest of the ship, whether colours blend in, and whether there is anything that really stands out. Having a Christmas SIGNALS 86 March–May 2009

break allowed me to forget the model for a time and fresh eyes picked out many small problems which careful airbrushing helped to remove. I thought the main flag looked rather stiff and unnatural, so I made a few alterations. The flag and the pennant are made out of shim brass sheet, a very thin brass ideal for the job, with a wire soldered to the edge for the rope. This was painted white, and transfers were added for the artwork. The metal was twisted to look like a flowing piece of material, and, using my trusty airbrush, I added shading to the folds, allowing it texture and definition. The main problem was cleaning the deck. Imagine the deck, carrying cannon, rigging, winches and numerous other apparatus, as well as bits and pieces of materials left over from the production of the model! Firstly I thought I’d blow the pieces out. I blew … and all the bits went to the other side of the deck. I did it again … and they went back to the opposite side once more! I eventually spent a very long two hours picking out the bits using tweezers!

It certainly has been a journey, but as we draw to the end of the making of the Beagle, I hope it has been as enjoyable for you as it has for me. This has been my first model of a sailing ship, and I called upon many sources of information and excellent books in the making and understanding of such. In particular, I would like to credit Karl Heinz Marquardt’s work HMS Beagle Survey Ship Extraordinary, from the ‘Anatomy of the Ship’ series. This book is designed for model makers and was a huge help in getting the project to completion. I have always said that one of the major problems facing model makers is finding information, and was pleased to note that this was not the case at all in making Darwin’s Beagle! I would like to thank the following people for their help and support throughout this project: curator Nigel Erskine, ship modeller Richard Keyes, web editor Myfanwy Appleton, ANMM online services manager Richella King, artillerist Peter Webster, marine archaeologists Tim Smith and Mike Rikard-Bell, plinth turner Ben Joseph, advisor Richard Taylor, and retailers Glen Andrews and Rhonda Brewer.  See Mike Bass’s entire blog at http:// anmm.wordpress.com/category/makinghms-beagle/ or hear him speak about the project in an ABC Radio interview at http:// blogs.abc.net.au/nsw/2009/01/mike-basssuper.html Page 9


MMAPSS awards promote our maritime heritage

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opposite: Bridget Ledwith was the only female survivor of the Admella sinking. The ship carried some 25 women and children. Collection of the Port MacDonnell and District Maritime Museum left: Clarence River Historical Society’s treasured 19th-century embroidery showing the City of Grafton entering the Clarence River.

The Australian National Maritime Museum’s annual MMAPSS awards program continues to expand and diversify. Clare Power, who administers the scheme at the museum, profiles two of the fascinating maritime heritage projects that have been selected to receive support in the latest round of grants. THE MARITIME Museums of Australia Project Support Scheme – MMAPSS – is an annual program devoted to preserving and promoting our national maritime heritage. Under the scheme, support and training are provided to a diverse crosssection of applicants, including regional museums, community groups and volunteers caring for maritime heritage across Australia. The grants are administered and funded by the Australian National Maritime Museum, jointly with the Australian Government through the Distributed National Collections Program of the Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts. They are assessed by senior management of this museum and the manager of collections development in the Commonwealth arts portfolio, together with an independent assessor – this year a colleague from the Sydney Heritage Fleet. Last year we saw a new phase in the development of MMAPSS as the overall funding was increased to $100,000, allowing individual grants of up to $10,000 to be awarded for the first time. We were also pleased to see an increase in both the total number of applicants and the number of first-time applicants, confirming that awareness of MMAPSS and its reputation is steadily growing. There has also been an increase in the number of internships offered this year, with recipients coming from Western Australia, Norfolk Island and regional SIGNALS 86 March–May 2009

NSW. Internships allow staff or volunteers from smaller organisations to come to Sydney and study museum practices and techniques at first hand in a major cultural centre, i.e. this museum. In another new development for the MMAPSS program, we will be hosting a Skills Development Workshop in the coming year to assist volunteers from sailing clubs that hold objects of significant maritime heritage within their club archives. This workshop will provide staff from this museum to instruct volunteers on conservation, cataloguing, archiving and object handling techniques.

assistance to Arts Northern Rivers and to the Port MacDonnell and District Maritime Museum, both of which made successful applications for collaborative projects with regional museums and widespread community involvement. More details of their projects follow.

Northern Rivers Regional Exhibition Trail The first applicant to be awarded $10,000 – the largest single amount awarded by MMAPSS since its inception in 1995 – is Arts Northern Rivers for its Regional Exhibition Trail Audio-visual Project.

MMAPSS funding increased to $100,000, allowing grants of up to $10,000 to be awarded for the first time The 19 successful MMAPSS applicants this year epitomise the dedication, skill and diversity of those in the community who foster and care for our maritime heritage. We wish them all great success with their projects. And as MMAPSS continues to develop as an outreach program, we look forward with excitement to continuing and expanding our support. Since its inception, MMAPSS has actively supported, and indeed encouraged, joint applications and applications for collaborative projects. This year we are delighted to offer

The Northern Rivers region is diverse in heritage and culture and is located in a remarkable area dominated by three major river systems: the Tweed, the Richmond and the Clarence. This setting has significantly influenced the development of the region and there is a wealth of maritime history embedded there. Arts Northern Rivers is the peak arts and cultural organisation for the region, and is supported by seven local governments in partnership with the state government organisation Arts NSW. It supports a large number of regional museums, Page 11


left: Reclaimed timber from Port MacDonnell groin and Beachport Jetty will be used by Rotary Club Mount Gambier West to make heritage trail markers. Rotarians Bob Chapman and Barry Whennan, with Anna Mitchell of Relish Design Studio. right: Australia Post’s commemorative maxicard and stamp marking the Admella disaster. Reproduced courtesy of Australia Post

as well as other arts and cultural organisations throughout the district. Regional museum development officer Joan Kelly is currently working with 20 district museums to create a regional exhibition trail – so rather than assembling objects in a touring exhibition, each individual museum will have its own display under the

material. Each museum group will record up to six interviews with significant people on the topic central to its display. Audio-visuals from neighbouring museums will be available at each district museum in the form of an interactive exhibit. This will encourage visitor movement between museums and their displays. The project will also provide

Brave rescuers risked their lives battling the wild winter sea to reach the survivors, cruelly stranded in sight of land overarching theme of riverine maritime industries. Shared thematic exhibition graphics, a regional brochure and an audio-visual program at each location will help to unify the exhibition. Museums participating in the trail include: Ballina Naval and Maritime Museum with an exhibition called Pilots and Sugarcane, Byron Bay Historical Society (The Lighthouse), Evans Head Living Museum (Richmond River Wharves during WWII), Lawrence Museum (Ferries), Mid-Richmond Historical Society and Clarence River Historical Society’s Schaeffer House (River Boats), Richmond River Historical Society (Sawmilling vs. Shipping Innovations) and Yamba Museum (Safe Passage: Pilots and Signals). There are numerous other museums along the trail, representing key stories of the settlement, development and industries of this colourful region. The MMAPSS grant has been awarded to support the audio-visual component of this extensive undertaking. The project will involve a series of short digital films consisting of oral histories, objects included in the individual displays, related photographs and other historical Page 12

training for a broader, ongoing oralhistory program throughout the region. Three teams of filmmakers (including volunteers) will be working on the audiovisual presentations to have them ready by Heritage Week (April 2009) for the first round of openings.

The Admella Discovery Trail A $9,790 MMAPSS grant was also awarded to Port MacDonnell and District Maritime Museum of South Australia for an exciting and meaningful commemorative project that will encompass an entire region of the state’s Limestone Coast. In partnership with the Admella Commemoration Advisory Committee, the museum is creating an Admella Discovery Trail to commemorate the sesquicentenary of the wreck of this ill-fated vessel. The story of SS Admella is one of the most heroic and tragic in Australia’s maritime history. On 6 August 1859, while sailing from Adelaide to Melbourne, the ship struck Carpenter Reef and within 15 minutes had broken up into three pieces. Brave rescuers risked their lives battling the wild winter sea to reach the survivors, who were cruelly

stranded in sight of land. It took eight days and many attempts before the 24 survivors could finally be brought ashore. Sadly 89 people, including 14 children, were lost during that time. One positive outcome arising from this tragedy was a new-found cooperation between many local lifesaving groups along the South Australian and Victorian coast, who continue to work together to this day to prevent a repeat of the terrible events of 1859. Port MacDonnell and District Maritime Museum holds an extensive collection of artefacts from 30 ships wrecked off this treacherous stretch of coast. They house a number of significant items from SS Admella, including a bronze signal cannon, a bell and a porthole. The Admella Commemoration Advisory Committee was formed to oversee the development of the Admella 150 Festival (6–16 August 2009). It has already received over 250 registrations from people keen to ensure this milestone is observed, including 160 descendants of those directly involved in the Admella story, from around the globe. Community groups, businesses, schools and government associations from townships in the Limestone Coast region of South Australia and the western districts of Victoria will host events coordinated by the committee to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the wreck and to celebrate rescuers and volunteers – past and present. To date, the committee has developed an Australia Post pictorial post-marker, a community art exhibition and workshop, a schools resource kit, a set of multimedia vignettes about SS Admella for display at local maritime museums and visitor information centres, and an exhibition titled Catastrophe, courage and SIGNALS 86 March–May 2009


Can you help? The Admella 150 Festival (6–16 August 2009, Limestone Coast, South Australia) is looking for descendants of the shipwreck’s survivors and rescuers. The festival will feature food, music, art, theatre, displays, parades and history appealing to a variety of ages and interests. Visit www.admella.or.au or phone 08 8721 0444

commitment: the story of the wreck of the Admella, 6 August 1859, featuring art and artefacts from public institutions and private collections, that will be held at the Riddoch Art Gallery in Mount Gambier. The Admella Discovery Trail is a selfdriving tour that takes in 22 heritage and maritime sites designated with interpretive markers and signage telling the story of the wreck and the dramatic rescue attempts. A detailed interpretive brochure will be available online and in print form to accompany the trail. Some of the sites included are: • ‘Sailors Trek’ from Cape Banks lighthouse to Cape Northumberland lighthouse, representing the 20-mile trek that two sailors – who had survived the wreck – made over two days to raise the alarm • ‘Spread the News Path’ from Cape Northumberland to Mount Gambier, representing the relaying of the message from the lighthouse to Mount Gambier

Successful 2008 MMAPSS applicants Arts Northern Rivers, NSW, $10,000 for the Regional Exhibition Trail – Audio Visual Project. Ballina Shire Council, NSW, $4,812.50 to create a vessel management plan for the conservation and interpretation of MV Florrie. Balmoral Beach Club, VIC, $3,100 for development and preservation of the club archives. Busselton Historical Society Inc, WA, $5,128.40 towards the restoration of PS Jumna. Clarence River Historical Society, NSW, $3,500 to clean and stabilise a large embroidery circa 1880 depicting the City of Grafton entering the Clarence River. Davey’s Bay Yacht Club, VIC, $4,500 towards the digitisation component of its 100 Years of Davey’s Bay project.

• ‘Rescuers Track’, taking in sites related to the coordinated rescue attempts

King Island Museum, TAS, $2,000 for the relocation of the Brahmin artefacts to the museum.

• ‘Survivors Journey’, encompassing the various sites to which the survivors (and horses) were taken to recuperate

Lake Boga Flying Boat Museum, VIC, $3,000 for restoration of the eight recovered PBY5A wheel struts.

• ‘Artefacts Drive’, including local and regional museums that house related objects

Maritime Museum of Tasmania, $4,200 for frame construction, image printing and the exhibition opening of the Wooden Boat Photographic Exhibition for the Australian Wooden Boat Festival.

The trail has many potential positive outcomes for the community and the region, including: building on the region’s fishing and trading port heritage, creating excursion opportunities for local schools, raising the profile of the Limestone Coast’s cultural and maritime heritage and contributing to its interpretation.  SIGNALS 86 March–May 2009

Norfolk Island Museum, $6,000 to conduct a significance assessment and upgrade the catalogue to reflect the findings of the assessment.

Port Fairy Historic Lifeboat Station, VIC, $5,000 to support the refit of the whaleboat, including a centre case, centreboard, rudder and replica sails. Port MacDonnell and District Maritime Museum Association Inc in partnership with the Admella Commemoration Advisory Committee, SA, $9,790 towards signage and brochures for the Admella Discovery Trail. Port of Yamba Historical Society, NSW, $4,000 for the repair and conservation of a 100-year-old, 13-foot clinker skiff. Royal Melbourne Yacht Squadron, VIC, $3,000 for the digitisation of photographs and oral histories of the squadron. Shoalhaven Historical Society, NSW, $4,090 to conserve the original frame and oil portrait of Captain Craig. Sydney Flying Squadron, NSW, $2,500 to design and create a new trophy cabinet. The Friends of Dingley Dell, SA, $6,000 to design and construct two models of SS Admella and the Portland lifeboat, for public display. Uralla Historical Society, NSW, $8,000 towards the new exhibition Trickett’s Triumph. Williamstown Historical Society Inc, VIC, $6,000 to make and install custom-built glass cabinets to house model ships.

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We find the missing

Mermaid

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In January a team led by this museum, and sponsored by the Silentworld Foundation, solved a 180-year-old mystery by locating the wreck site of HMCS Mermaid, lost on a coral reef off the Queensland coast in 1829. Team leader, curator and maritime archaeologist, Kieran Hosty, describes this significant find and its place in our nation’s history.

ON NEW YEAR’S DAY 2009, a team of maritime archaeologists, divers, scientists, technicians – plus two high-school students and their teacher – set out from Cairns on board two charter dive boats, Spoilsport and Nimrod Silentworld, and sailed into the maze of the Great Barrier Reef in search of a mermaid. The one we were seeking was the little ship Mermaid commanded by Lieutenant Phillip Parker King RN during a series of important surveys of uncharted stretches of the Australian coast that took him right around the continent in the years 1817–22. King’s outstanding hydrographical achievements included charting a passage inside the Great Barrier Reef, a route that has proved vital to the safety and efficiency of Australian shipping ever since. By an intriguing irony at the end of the same decade, the little ex-survey vessel Mermaid – refitted and under a new command – was shipwrecked on an uncharted reef south of Cairns in June 1829, when her master ignored instructions to take the safer inshore passage through the Great Barrier Reef that King had discovered on board Mermaid.

above: Maritime Archaeological Association

of Queensland diver Warren Delaney with the kedge anchor from HMCS Mermaid. Expedition photography by Xanthe Rivett left: Mermaid (far left) in northern Australia,

commanded by Phillip Parker King, encounters the annual Makassan fishing fleet from the Dutch East Indies. View of Copeland Island in Mount [N]orris Bay, Interview with Malay Fleet, 1818, watercolour attributed to Phillip Parker King. State Library of New South Wales

Benefiting from further research work in archives in Australia and overseas, with a well-equipped, well-staffed expedition thanks to our generous project sponsor the Silentworld Foundation – and with a little bit of good fortune thrown in – the Australian National Maritime Museum’s HMCS Mermaid 1829 Project located the wreck site that we were seeking in just four days!

Phillip Parker King and the cutter Mermaid Phillip Parker King (1791–1856) is considered one of Australia’s greatest maritime surveyors, although his achievements have been overshadowed by the fame of earlier navigators such as James Cook and Matthew Flinders. Born

King undertook a series of remarkable voyages around Australia in Mermaid and charted vast areas of the coast A number of sightings of the wreck were reported in the 19th century, leading to more recent attempts to locate the remains of this significant early colonial survey vessel. They were unsuccessful, but their findings helped us to define our own search locations when our expedition set out in January. SIGNALS 86 March–May 2009

on Norfolk Island in December 1791, he was the son of its commandant Philip Gidley King. The family returned to England in 1796, where young Phillip Parker King continued his education after his father sailed back to the colony of New South Wales to take up the position of Governor from 1800 to 1806. Page 15


above: Sketch by Phillip Parker King of the cutter Mermaid’s accommodation and distribution of stores dated 1817, early in his command. Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales. With the two other views of Mermaid reproduced here, Mermaid is one of the better-documented ships of Australian exploration.

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opposite: Mermaid at anchor, Endeavour River 1819, watercolour by Phillip Parker King. Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales. The little survey vessel’s tall, large cutter rig would call for prudent seamanship, and her conversion to schooner rig (just before she was lost) may well have been to make her more easily managed.

SIGNALS 86 March–May 2009


settlement of Fort Wellington at Port Raffles on the Cobourg Peninsula (Northern Territory), and thence for Albany in King George Sound, Western Australia. Disregarding his strict instructions to follow the safer, but longer, inshore passage to the Torres Strait that had been discovered by Phillip Parker King during one of the earlier Mermaid voyages, Captain Nolbrow decided to risk the Great Barrier Reef which was – and still is – incompletely surveyed.

King the younger entered the Portsmouth Naval Academy as a child in 1802, and later the Royal Navy, rising from midshipman to master’s mate and to lieutenant in 1814. By this time his skills as a surveyor had been noted by Captain Thomas Hurd, Hydrographer to the Admiralty, from whom he received training in cartography and surveying. After the Napoleonic Wars, the British government proclaimed that ‘consequent upon the restoration of Peace … it [is]

copper-sheathed, iron-fastened cutter was a tiny craft for such an undertaking at just 18 metres long, with a beam 5.48 metres wide and measuring 84 gross register tons. When King returned from his third expedition in 1820, Mermaid’s strained and worm-riddled timbers were considered too weak to support another surveying voyage and he completed his fourth expedition in the much larger Bathurst, of 170 tons. In 1821 Mermaid

The survivors were transferred to the wooden brig Swiftsure – and were promptly wrecked again, just 18 hours later! most important to explore, with as little delay as possible, that part of the coast of New Holland … not surveyed or examined by the late Captain Flinders’. Lieutenant King was ordered to return to the Australian colonies to complete this task. From 1817 to 1822, King undertook a series of remarkable voyages and charted vast areas of the coast stretching from Arnhem Land to Cape Leeuwin, King George Sound to the Great Barrier Reef, and Van Diemen’s Land to the Torres Strait.

was taken over by the colonial government of New South Wales and after a refit was commanded by explorer John Oxley on surveys of Moreton Bay, Brisbane and the Tweed Rivers. The cutter was used to supply penal colonies at Port Macquarie, Norfolk Island and Moreton Bay, and made voyages to Van Diemen’s Land, New Zealand, Tahiti and Hawaii. In March or April 1829 Mermaid was refitted at the government dockyard in Sydney and converted into an armed, two-masted schooner.

To undertake these hydrographical surveys King had two vessels specially modified: HMS Mermaid in 1817 and Bathurst in 1820. Mermaid was to prove the mainstay of the first three expeditions. Built of Indian teak in Calcutta in 1816 and purchased by Governor Lachlan Macquarie in 1817, this single-masted,

The wreck of the Mermaid

SIGNALS 86 March–May 2009

His Majesty’s Colonial Schooner Mermaid sailed from Sydney on 10 May 1829 under Captain Samuel Nolbrow, carrying despatches and stores that included munitions, wine and tobacco. He was bound first for the isolated

During the evening of 12 June 1829, when Mermaid was at least eight nautical miles offshore from Double Point, southeast of present-day Innisfail, chief officer John Hastings suggested to the captain that, given their proximity to the reef, they should heave to (helm and sails trimmed to make no headway) until daylight. Nolbrow disagreed and instructed the watch to keep the fore topsail full so that the vessel made between two and three knots. At about 0545 hours the vessel struck a low-lying coral reef. The crew attempted to drive her over into deeper water, but after going forward only a short distance the Mermaid held fast and began to strike the ground heavily. Daylight found Mermaid on the weather side of a reef extending for miles, with shoal water on most sides but some six fathoms (12 metres) astern. Despite attempts to kedge the vessel off using one of the anchors, Mermaid held fast and the crew began jettisoning cargo to lighten the schooner. At this stage Captain Nolbrow – possibly under the influence of alcohol – drew a pistol on chief officer Hastings and some of the crew and threatened to shoot them if anything else was discharged. That afternoon at 1730, during another attempt to drive the vessel over the reef, Mermaid rolled over onto her beam ends and within a few minutes the hull was breeched. At 2000 hours the crew abandoned ship and took to the boats. On 24 June 1829, after 11 days in the open boats, the crew were rescued by the small schooner Admiral Gifford. On account of overcrowding, the survivors were transferred to the much larger wooden brig Swiftsure on 3 July – and on board this vessel they were promptly wrecked again off Cape Sidmouth, just 18 hours later! According to The Sydney Gazette of 26 November 1829, the crew of the Mermaid was to endure two further shipwrecks (on Governor Ready and Page 17


Comet) before being landed at Port Raffles. Here they embarked on the government brig Amity which sailed westwards for King George Sound, before finally returning some of the crew to Sydney five months later. Captain Nolbrow never appeared before a board of inquiry to answer for his actions. Instead, the only known eyewitness account of the disaster – and the position of the wreck – is the statement of chief officer John Hastings in The Report of the Board … to enquire into the loss of the … Schooner Mermaid on the 13th June 1829 near Torres Strait (New South Wales State Records). Hastings declared that ‘… at 10.30 the greater part of the reef to the northwards of us was dry, from the after part of the main chains we had at low six feet and under the bows not three feet …

Advertiser on 20 February 1830, which stated that the wreck lay on a reef at latitude 17 degrees 7 minutes south and longitude 146 degrees 10 minutes east. This same information was used in the 20th century to protect the as-yetunlocated wreck under the Australian Government’s Historic Shipwrecks Act 1976, which gave its tentative location as Scott Reef, approximately 20 nautical miles south of Cairns and slightly east of Cape Grafton.

Looking for Mermaid As one of the most significant early colonial surveying vessels lost in Australian waters, there have been a number of attempts to locate the wreck of the Mermaid based on this estimated position.

High seas and swells build up on all but the most sheltered reefs, making diving conditions extremely difficult from an altitude taken at noon the latitude of the vessel was 17.7 degrees South, distant of the mainland at least six or seven leagues [18–21 nautical miles], and Cape Grafton to the northward and westward of us distance about 25 or 30 miles …’. This information was used in the government auction notice for the remains of the Mermaid that appeared in the Sydney Gazette and New South Wales

In 2004, Oceania Maritime, a Townsvillebased diving company, mounted an archaeological expedition to locate the vessel in conjunction with the Museum of Tropical Queensland. Although unsuccessful, it ruled out Scott Reef as the wreck site. The expedition also reported that Flora Reef, some10 nautical miles from Scott, contained several magnetic anomalies on the south-eastern reef edge that could represent buried iron work associated with the initial

grounding-place of the Mermaid. An archaeologist from that expedition, Stirling Smith, wrote in a report to this museum: A diver with a handheld metal detector was sent in to investigate. Two pieces of iron were found concreted into the coral … There appeared to be further iron pieces underneath but excavation would have been required to fully reveal them … It is hypothesised that these areas may be the striking area of a ship where cargo has been jettisoned in an effort to float it off the reef, as the crew of the Mermaid were reported to have done. In early 2008, the Australian National Maritime Museum entered discussions with the Silentworld Foundation, part of Silentworld Ltd, an Australian-based shipping company, regarding possible collaborative maritime archaeological projects in Australia. The decision was taken to carry out additional archival research into the loss of Mermaid, and if feasible, to conduct a search for the vessel’s remains. A search of both Australian and overseas archives and collections turned up additional information that would help us. In July 1830, HMS Crocodile, while escorting a convoy of ships through the inner route of the Great Barrier Reef, reported sighting the remains of HMCS Mermaid on a reef east of Frankland Reef (present-day Franklin Islands). A further sighting was reported by Charles James

anticlockwise from right:

Precise measurements of the underwater site are an essential part of documenting the team’s archaeological work. Experienced snorkellers surveying the reef use GPS and line to record the area covered, undistracted by marine life. Australian National Maritime Museum curator and maritime archaeologist Kieran Hosty (right), leader of the museum’s HMCS Mermaid project, briefs the team. Spoilsport, one of two dive vessels supplied by the Silentworld Foundation.

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SIGNALS 86 March–May 2009


Card, who landed on No. 4 Frankland Island with the crew of HMS Rattlesnake in June 1848. In his journal, Card stated that he observed the fore part of a wreck, reported to be from the Mermaid, on one of the island’s beaches. Dr Nigel Erskine, curator at this museum, located an 1845 chart during research at Britain’s National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, annotated with the remark ‘supposed position of the wreck of Mermaid, south of Lat. 17s and 8–9 nautical miles east of the Frankland Islands near the location of present-day Flora Reef’. A copy of an 1847 chart, Detailed Map of Dr Ludwig Leichhardt’s Route in Australia … by John Arrowsmith (State Library of New South Wales), showed the position of Mermaid in a similar location 8–9 miles east of the Frankland Islands. Ongoing archival research, including an examination of the original logbooks of HMS Crocodile held in Mitchell Library, NSW, further strengthened the hypothesis that when Mermaid was wrecked on 13 June 1829 the vessel became stranded on one of a series of large coral reefs, possibly Flora or Maori Reef, offshore from the Frankland Islands. Crocodile’s Remarks Book states: ‘On the morning of the 18 July … we observed the wreck of the Colonial Schooner Mermaid on a reef nearly dry 6½ to 7 miles eastward of Frankland Reef … The weather was hazy and the land obscured so it was impossible to … satisfactorily position other than by the log account …’

SIGNALS 86 March–May 2009

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The HMCS Mermaid 1829 Project (1–16 January 2009) In mid-2008 the Australian National Maritime Museum began assembling a team of maritime archaeologists, technical officers, scientists and volunteer divers to search for the remains of HMCS Mermaid in January 2009. They were drawn from ANMM staff, the Museum of Tropical Queensland, James Cook University, Oceania Maritime, the Silentworld Foundation, the Department

first pioneered by Phillip Parker King on the Mermaid in 1817–18. Passing Scott Reef they sailed a further 10 nautical miles south before rounding the western side of Flora Reef and anchoring off its south-eastern side. Conditions were perfect – the seas were calm, the skies clear and the weather forecasts predicted perfect weather for the coming week. Flora Reef covers an area of more than eight square kilometres. It would be almost impossible for snorkellers and

The Australian National Maritime Museum’s HMCS Mermaid 1829 Project located the wreck site in just four days! of Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts, and the Maritime Archaeological Association of Queensland. Searching for a shipwreck in tropical northern Australia during the cyclone season may appear at first glance to be sheer lunacy, but there is a method in our apparent madness! HMCS Mermaid was reported lost on the southern or weather side of a reef during the annual south-easterly trades. As these strong winds blow for almost eight months of the year, high seas and swells build up on the southern side of all but the most sheltered reefs, making diving conditions extremely difficult. During the northern wet or cyclone season the winds swing around to the north and moderate, the swell and seas drop, and diving conditions improve radically, providing almost ideal conditions to work the southern edge of the reef. Sailing east from Cairns, our two expedition vessels headed south along the Queensland coast, taking the inner route

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scuba-divers to visually scan each square metre of it, looking for archaeological clues. To help us search this huge area we had brought along several magnetometers – towed submersible electronic devices that measure changes in the earth’s magnetic fields caused by the presence of iron-based objects, such as the tons of iron kentledge (ballast) carried by Mermaid, or one of its iron cannon. Although highly sensitive instruments, magnetometers only provide a general geographical position for a magnetic anomaly or ‘hit’. To pinpoint these more accurately, snorkellers and divers equipped with hand-held underwater metal detectors are then deployed to ‘ground truth’ any anomalies detected by the magnetometer. After only an hour or so, the magnetometer teams were reporting a run of magnetic hits from the south-eastern edge of Flora Reef towards its centre. Within minutes, small dive boats were being sent off to investigate the shallow

left: This pulley sheave bearing the broad arrow on its upper edge, found on Flora Reef, helped archaeologists to identify the shipwreck as HMCS Mermaid. right: Compass gimbal ring from HMCS Mermaid.

reef. Among the rush were Megan Blacker, Alice Lafferty and Megan Cozens – two students and a teacher from Bega High School who had won first prize in a national competition to spend a week on board Spoilsport participating in the Mermaid Project. They would post regular blogs about their experience on the museum website (www.anmm. wordpress.com). Joining them was expedition medical officer Lloyd Fletcher (borrowed from the Australian Antarctic Division), John and Jacqui Mullen from the Silentworld Foundation, Peter Illidge from Ocean Maritime, Warren Delaney from the Maritime Archaeology Association of Queensland, and a host of other divers from many different countries. As unlikely as it sounds to those familiar with the painstaking nature of archaeology, within minutes of the first divers entering the water, shipwreck finds were being reported. Divers had located what appeared to be a shipwreck smear – a scattering of loose copper-alloy artefacts across the shallow reef platform. Although no iron artefacts had been sighted on the surface, it was obvious from the magnetometer signal that a scattering of iron lay buried underneath the coral growth and sand pockets. As Flora Reef is part of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, our permit only allowed us to recover surface artefacts. continued on page 30

SIGNALS 86 March–May 2009


Message to Members From Members manager Liz Tompkinson

A memorable moment for Members as the 2009 Sydney-Hobart yacht race fleet came charging down the harbour towards their ferry. Second-fastest yacht to Hobart, Grant Wharington’s Skandia, snaps at the heels of Stephen Ainsworth’s Loki – although on handicap the two maxi-yachts would come in 8th and 17th respectively. Photographer David Tomkinson

AUTUMN brings a variety of colours and our forthcoming program has a collection of events to embrace the season. From Charles Darwin to pearling in Western Australia, from trips on the harbour to the history of speedboat racing, there truly is something for everyone. March sees the opening of our long-awaited, major new exhibition Charles Darwin – Voyages and ideas that shook the world, and we have jumped at the chance to broaden our knowledge of its content. With a focus on Darwin’s five-year journey on HMS Beagle, the exhibition coincides with the bicentenary of the birth of Charles Darwin and the 150th anniversary of his publication of On the Origin of Species. To complement the exhibition the museum is hosting a two-day symposium, holding a Members exhibition preview and a day trip to the Mt Annan seedbank. Look out for more Darwinthemed events in the winter edition of Signals too. We are lucky to have two captivating books being discussed by their authors this autumn. Former CEO of State Rail and chairman the ABC, and author of the intriguing book 1788 – The Brutal Truth of the First Fleet, David Hill, talks to Members about this fascinating and timeless topic. The authors of the exquisite A Pearling Master’s Journey, John and Verity Norman, will bring us the story of John’s father and his life and times in Broome. This event includes a rare opportunity to inspect the museum’s own Broome pearling lugger John Louis. On the water this month don’t miss the opportunity to get up close and see the memorable Fleet entry of up to 21 RAN ships, large and small, into Sydney Harbour. This many RAN warships SIGNALS 86 March–May 2009

have not been seen in Sydney Harbour since the Bicentenary celebrations in 1988, so book your tickets early before the word gets out! We are also holding the ever-popular, annual Autumn Leaves Ferry Cruise down Lane Cove River. Along with expert gardening and botanical commentary on board, you’ll get a rare waterside view of the seasons’ spectacular change. Please peruse the rest of the program of Member events. They include the chance to meet that extraordinary friend of the museum and irrepressible vintage speedboat collector, Dave Pagano, and the staff archaeologist who led our recent, headlinemaking discovery of the wreck of Phillip Parker King’s little ship of exploration, HMCS Mermaid. We look forward to seeing you there! Having looked after the Members office these last few months during Adrian Adam’s absence, I’d like to say what a delight and pleasure it’s been working with you and meeting so many Members. My own personal highlights from the last quarter include the breathtaking day out on the harbour that was the Boxing Day cruise to watch the Sydney to Hobart Race start. Australia Day was another magic event with around 600 Members and their guests choosing to celebrate with us – and endure the unpredictable weather! Even the rain-compromised fireworks display from the deck of Vampire was a joy due to the great family spirit of the evening. Enjoy the program of events and this issue of Signals. Don’t forget to drop into the Members lounge when you are in to catch up on what’s happening and remember your discounts in The Store and YOTS Café (bring along your Members card).  Page 21


Events for Members

The Australia Day family ferry cruise for Members made the most of the good weather before the rain poured down on the fireworks that evening. Members are seen here leaving the museum in high spirits, bound for the harbour on MV Cadman II before getting stirred up in the wash of the famous Ferrython as the well-disguised First Fleet ferries battled it out. Photographer Bryan Heywood, Member

How to book It’s easy to book for the Members events on the next pages … it only takes a phone call and if you have a credit card ready we can take care of payments on the spot. • To reserve tickets for events call the Members office on 02 9298 3644 (business hours) or email members@anmm.gov.au. Bookings strictly in order of receipt. • If paying by phone, have credit card details at hand. • If paying by mail after making a reservation, please include a completed booking form with a cheque made out to the Australian National Maritime Museum. • The booking form is on reverse of the address sheet with your Signals mailout.

Members Events Calendar March Wed 4

Special: Movies by moonlight on Vampire

Thu 5

Special: Movies by moonlight on Vampire

Fri 6

Lunchtime curator tour: Great White Fleet

Thu 12

Lecture: Phil Renouf Memorial Lecture

Fri 13

On water: RAN fleet entry harbour cruise

Fri 20

Symposium: In the wake of the Beagle

Sat 21

Symposium: In the wake of the Beagle

Wed 25 Talk & viewing: Darwin exhibition Sun 29

Lecture: 1788 – The First Fleet

• If payment for an event is not received seven (7) days before the function your booking may be cancelled.

April Sun 5

Talk & tour: Pearling Master & John Louis

Booked out?

Thu 16

Tour: Garden Island heritage

We always try to repeat the event in another program.

Fri 17

Tour: Wharf 7 Heritage Centre behind scenes

Sun 19

Talk: At sea to the Antarctic

Cancellations

Thur 23 Talk: Mermaid found!

If you can’t attend a booked event, please notify us at least five (5) days before the function for a refund. Otherwise, we regret a refund cannot be made. Events and dates are correct at the time of printing but these may vary … if so, we’ll be sure to inform you.

May

Parking near museum

Wed 13 For kids: After-dark pirate tour of museum

Wilson Parking offers Members discount parking at nearby Harbourside Carpark, Murray Street, Darling Harbour. To obtain a discount, you must have your ticket validated at the museum ticket desk.

Sun 17

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Sun 3

Special: HMB Endeavour farewell breakfast

Sat 9

On water: Autumn leaves ferry cruise Day tour: Mount Annan & NSW Seedbank

Tues 26 Talk: My speedboat collection

SIGNALS 86 March–May 2009


Lectures and talks 7th Phil Renouf Memorial Lecture: Salt water in his veins – tall stories and other ships 6.15–8.30 pm Thursday 12 March at the museum The museum and Sydney Heritage Fleet join forces again to present this annual lecture in honour of the late president of SHF, Phil Renouf. This year’s speaker is editor of Australian Sea Heritage, Alan Edenborough. His lavishly-illustrated lecture ranges widely from the epic story of saving James Craig, to the magic of sailing in tall ship races in Europe, and memorable stories of his forebears who came to Australia in the 1830s, their tales featuring wool, wine and convicts. ANMM and SHF members $20, guests $25. Followed by Coral Sea wine, cheese and James Squire beer Two-day symposium: In the wake of the Beagle – Science in the southern oceans from the age of Darwin 9.30 am–5.00 pm Friday 20 and Saturday 21 March

1788 – The Brutal Truth of the First Fleet 2–4 pm Sunday 29 March at the museum The story of the First Fleet is one of courage, shortsightedness, and tragedy, but above all extraordinary resilience and adventure. In his book 1788, David Hill uses diaries, letters and official records to artfully reconstruct the experiences of these men and women of history. Hear the former ABC chairman discuss his findings. Members $20, guests $25. Followed by Coral Sea wine, James Squire beer and light refreshments

Darwin’s home, Down House. Photo N Erskine/ANMM

At sea to the Antarctic 2.00–4.30 pm Sunday 19 April at the museum Aurora Australis is a research and supply vessel that makes a number of voyages each summer to reprovision the Australian Antarctic bases at Davis, Casey, Mawson and Macquarie Island, as well as engaging in vital marine science work. Gary Wilson, deck officer for the past 5 seasons and previous master of replicas Duyfken and Endeavour, describes the operation of the vessel – a typical voyage, weather conditions, sea ice and icebergs, cargo operations, and encounters with wildlife in Antarctic waters. Members $15, guests $20. Includes Coral Sea wine, cheese and James Squire beer In the 150th anniversary year of the publication of On the Origin of Species and the bicentenary of Charles Darwin’s birth, this major international symposium will explore the development of Charles Darwin’s evolutionary theory and examine the influence of his work on modern scientific research. For the full program and list of speakers contact the Members office or visit our website: www.anmm.gov.au/charlesdarwin Two days: Members $30, guests $50. One day: Members $15, guests $25. Includes light refreshments in morning and afternoon breaks Members viewing: Charles Darwin – Voyages and ideas that shook the world 6.15–8 pm Wednesday 25 March at the museum Join the museum’s curator of exploration, Dr Nigel Erskine, for this special talk and preview of our new exhibition focusing on Charles Darwin’s five-year voyage aboard HMS Beagle and the scientific specimens he collected along the way. This voyage of discovery laid the groundwork for Darwin’s 1859 publication of On the Origin of Species and set an example to other aspiring naturalists. Members $15, guests $20. Includes light lunch, Coral Sea wine, cheese and James Squire beer

SIGNALS 86 March–May 2009

Mermaid found! 6.15–8.00 pm Thursday 23 April at the museum HM Colonial Schooner Mermaid ran aground and broke up on an unidentified reef on 13 June 1829. The captain and crew were rescued but the location of the wreck remained a mystery. On New Year’s Day this year, a team of scientists, maritime archaeologists and divers from the Australian National Maritime Museum, James Cook University and the Museum of Tropical Queensland set out from Cairns to search for the wreck site. Four days later on a site of interest near Flora Reef, the team found the elusive Mermaid wreck! Members of the team will present information on this exciting find, their experiences and where to from here. Members $15, guests $20. Includes Coral Sea wine, cheese and James Squire beer

BOOKINGS AND ENQUIRIES Booking form on reverse of mailing address sheet. Phone 02 9298 3644 or fax 02 9298 3660, unless otherwise indicated. All details are correct at time of publication but subject to change.

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Events for Members My speedboat collection 6.15–8.00 pm Tuesday 26 May at the museum

A Pearling Master’s Journey and tour of John Louis 10–11.30 am Sunday 5 April at the museum

Collectors can be motivated by many things. For David Pagano, it’s the desire to preserve a facet of our past for future generations. His realisation 15 years ago that a fascinating aspect of our maritime history was rapidly being lost led him to assemble one of the largest collections of power boating history in Australia. It includes over 20 speedboats from the early 20th century to the 1970s, complemented by an extensive database of power boat history, models, toys and trophies. A collector par excellence, David personally seeks out, restores and even races the objects in his collection. Members $15, guests $20. Includes Coral Sea wine, cheese and James Squire beer

Authors of the exquisite book A Pearling Master’s Journey present a richly illustrated talk detailing the history of the pearling industry in Western Australia (1886–1942) and two generations of master pearlers. The presentation draws on an extensive family archive of photographs, documents and original material. Afterwards ANMM Fleet Manager Steven Adams will lead an inspection of the museum’s pearling lugger John Louis. Members $20 guests $25. Includes refreshments, Coral Sea wine, cheese and James Squire beer

Tours and walks

Enjoy a behind-the-scenes guided tour of Garden Island Heritage precinct with The Naval Historical Society of Australia. Includes the Kuttabul Memorial, the Chapel, heritage buildings including the original boatshed, Captain Cook Dock and self-guided tour of the RAN Heritage Centre. Members $25 guests $30 (ages 12 years or older). Includes guided tour, entry to RAN Heritage Centre, morning tea. Some walking and stair climbing. Catch 10.10 am Watsons Bay ferry from Circular Quay to Garden Island

Great White Fleet: US sea power on parade 1908 12–1.15 pm Friday 6 March at the museum

Garden Island heritage tour 10 am–1.30 pm Thursday 16 April at Garden Island

Wharf 7 Heritage Centre behind the scenes 11 am–12.30 pm Friday 17 April at Wharf 7 August 2008 marked the 100th anniversary of the arrival of America’s Great White Fleet, despatched by President Roosevelt to demonstrate US naval capability to the world. Australians greeted the 16 white-painted battleships and their escorts – the largest fleet ever to circumnavigate the globe – with huge fanfare. Join exhibition curator Paul Hundley for his talk about the impact of the visit on Australia, followed by a curator-led tour of the exhibition. Members $15, guests $20. Includes light lunch, Coral Sea wine, cheese and James Squire beer BOOKINGS AND ENQUIRIES Booking form on reverse of mailing address sheet. Phone 02 9298 3644 or fax 02 9298 3660, unless otherwise indicated. All details are correct at time of publication but subject to change.

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View storage areas normally closed to the public, objects from the museum’s vast collection., and our conservation laboratory where manager Jonathan London will explain how artefacts are preserved and prepared for exhibition. Members only, $15, limited places. Includes light lunch. Meet in Wharf 7 foyer Mount Annan Botanic Garden and NSW Seedbank 8 am–2 pm Sunday 17 May at Mount Annan To complement our exhibition Charles Darwin – Voyages and ideas that shook the world, travel to Mount Annan to explore the beautiful botanic gardens set in 410 hectares of hills and lakes, and displaying over 4000 native plants. Tour the NSW Seedbank, a facility established in 1986 for storing wild seed collected from plants throughout Australia, with a special focus on NSW native and threatened species. Members $60, guests $70. Includes coach, lunch, garden entry.

SIGNALS 86 March–May 2009


On the water

Special events

Royal Australian Navy fleet entry harbour cruise 8 am–12 noon Friday 13 March on the harbour

Movies by moonlight on HMAS Vampire 6.15–8 pm Wednesday 4 and Thursday 5 March on Vampire

Following major fleet exercises off the coast, there will be a major fleet entry of up to 21 RAN ships, large and small, into Sydney Harbour. It’s the most RAN warships in Sydney Harbour since the 1988 Bicentenary celebrations. Flag-ranked officers will later inspect their ships, escorted by a spectacular parade of private and commercial vessels. The ships will anchor from Kirribili to Bradleys Head before moving to Garden Island, and there’ll be on-water activities and Navy helicopter flyovers. Speakers will be on board to talk about the ships and the events on the harbour. (Note: On the following day, for the first time in over 20 years, the RAN will request to exercise their right to the Freedom of Entry and march through the streets of Sydney.) Members: adult $30, child $20, family $80. Guests: adult $40, child $25, family $105. Guests must be accompanied by a Member. Morning tea provided on board. BYO other food and refreshments. Meet at Heritage Pontoon.

The helideck of destroyer HMAS Vampire will be transformed into an alfresco movie theatre as we screen these two films against the X-gun turret:

Autumn leaves annual garden and history cruise 10am–1.30 pm Saturday 9 May on the Lane Cove River The autumn garden holds many delights and what better way to see and hear about them than aboard the MV Sydney Princess. Adam Woodhams, award winning gardener and assistant editor of the popular Better Homes and Garden magazine, will provide expert commentary on this leisurely cruise up the Lane Cove River. See the gardens from the water at this mellow time of year and pick up some great gardening tips. Members $50, guests $60. Morning tea provided on board. Meet at the museum’s Heritage Pontoon.

Wednesday 4 – We Dive at Dawn (1943) All leave is cancelled on British submarine Sea Tiger as the crew are ordered to find and destroy Nazi battleship the Brandenburg. Starring Sir John Mills and Eric Portman, this is a classic of its genre. Includes a pre-screening tour of submarine HMAS Onslow. Thursday 5 – They’re a Weird Mob (1966) Journalist Nino Culotta (Walter Chiari) arrives in Australia, becomes a builder’s labourer, learns to talk and drink like an Aussie, and falls in love with an Australian girl (Clare Dunne). Descibed as one of the funniest films ever made in Australia, it features memorable scenes of 1960s Sydney and its docks. Strictly limited places per screening. Members $20, guests $25 per film. Includes refreshments, Jaffas and pop-corn HM Bark Endeavour guided tour and farewell breakfast 8–10 am Sunday 3 May alongside and aboard Endeavour

For kids After-dark pirate tour of the museum 5–7 pm Wednesday 13 May in the museum Bring your torches for a night of pirate adventure at the museum. Meet our resident pirate, who wanders the halls of the museum after dark to find the lost treasure hidden by his troublesome crew. Arghhhh! Follow the treasure map, find the clues and join in some songs and activities along the way …mums and dads can enjoy a glass of Coral Sea wine and view our Charles Darwin – Voyages and ideas that shook the world exhibition. Member Child, $8, guest, $12. Includes refreshments, light supper and a rollicking good time. Suitable for children 3-8.

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Join us as we farewell the Endeavour replica before the vessel sets sail on its 2009 voyaging program. Tuck into a freshly cooked barbecue breakfast on the north wharf and then enjoy a small-group guided tour of the Endeavour replica. You’ll see areas not normally open to the public and hear what life was really like sailing the oceans of the world in the 18th century. Members only. Adults $25, children $15. Includes breakfast. Meet in the museum foyer.

EMAIL BULLETINS Have you subscribed to our email bulletins yet? Email your address to members@anmm.gov.au to ensure that you’ll always be advised of activities organised at short notice in response to special opportunities.

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What’s on at the museum Autumn school holidays 12–26 April 2009 Face painting 11 am–2 pm Sunday 19 and 26 April Darwin encountered some amazing animals on his voyage. Have your face painted and become one of the animals he saw and studied. FREE SCHOOL HOLIDAY ACTIVITIES Roaming character 11 am, 12 pm and 1 pm weekdays

Discover Mr Darwin Hourly sessions 10 am–4 pm daily

Strange happenings on the other side of the world – the crabs are looking sideways, the tortoises aren’t so slow and the orchids are out of control. Join our intrepid explorer and his pet beagle on a journey of exploration and discovery to sniff out the source of the mystery!

In conjunction with our new exhibition Charles Darwin – Voyages and ideas that shook the world, find out about his amazing voyage of discovery on the Beagle. Learn what it takes to be a junior naturalist – sort, collect, investigate and discover! For children 5–12 years. $7 per child or FREE with any purchased ticket. Adults/Members FREE

Free family movies 1.30 pm daily during school holidays A FREE movie to complement our exhibition program. Check www.anmm.gov.au for our full film program.

Charles Darwin’s glasshouse. Photographer N Erskine/ANMM

Kids on Deck online competition: name our ship’s cat Meet our new Kids on Deck mascot. He or she needs a name! Enter our online competition and you could win a great prize. To enter go to www.anmm.gov.au/kidsondeck/competition

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SPECIAL GROUP RATES For groups of 10 children or more. $7 per child for a fully organised program of activities that includes: • all museum exhibitions • all children’s holiday activities • entry to HMB Endeavour replica, destroyer Vampire, submarine Onslow • FREE entry for 2 adults per 10 children • FREE bus parking NB $4 extra per child for the 1874 tall ship James Craig. Bookings essential. Book early to ensure your place! Phone 02 9298 3655 fax 02 9298 3660 email: bookings@anmm.gov.au

SIGNALS 86 March–May 2009


Autumn 2009 program During school term

Special events

Family fun Sundays 11 am–3 pm every Sunday during term

Sydney Harbour week: Family Endeavour adventure 6–8 pm Saturday 7 March

Find out about Charles Darwin’s amazing voyage of discovery on the Beagle. Learn what it takes to be a junior naturalist – sort, collect, investigate and discover! For children 5–12 years. $7 per child or FREE with any purchased ticket. Adults/Members FREE

Experience a family evening aboard HMB Endeavour. Have a frolicking adventure for the whole family aboard this beautiful replica of Captain Cook’s ship of discovery with our 18th-century sailor. A sausage sizzle on the museum’s wharf is included. (Children 7 years and over) $25 per person/ $50 family (2 adults, 2 children), $20 per Member/ $40 Member family. Bookings essential 02 9298 3655

Pirate treasure hunts Sunday 22 March 11 am–12.30 pm (5–8 year olds); 1–2.30 pm (7–10 year olds)

Happy Birthday Mr Darwin 10 am–12.30 pm Thursday 26 March Help us celebrate the bicentenary of Charles Darwin’s birth. Curator Dr Nigel Erskine will describe the voyage of the Beagle and its significance for Darwin’s later work. Richard Neville (Mitchell Library) and Dr Brett Summerell (Royal Botanic Gardens) will talk about Darwin’s collaborators. Adults $39. Bookings essential from WEA 02 9264 2781 Heritage Week lecture: Celestial navigation past and present 10.30 am–12 noon Monday 6 April

Young castaways will be led by a pirate guide on a hunt through the galleries. Use the clues on the map to find the hidden treasure and make a pirate bandanna to take home. $10 per child/$5 per Member child. Bookings essential 9298 3655 FREE family movies Every Sunday during term A FREE movie to complement our temporary exhibition program. Visit www.anmm.gov.au for our full program. Mini Mariners Two sessions per week starting in 2009! 10–10.45 am and 11–11.45am every Tuesday during term March – Boats in the Harbour Join the crew as we row, row, row through stormy seas, singing songs as we go merrily along. April – Under the Sea Let’s sing a song about wibbly wobbly jellyfish and learn all about what lives under the sea. Then make your own jellyfish to take home. Come dressed as your favourite sea creature or mermaid. May – Captain’s Crew Let’s unfurl the sails on a rollicking high-seas adventure. We will work hard and learn all the duties of a sailor aboard a tall ship. You can even paint your own tall ship to take home. For children 2–5 years + carers. $7 per child, Members/adults FREE. Booked playgroups welcome. Call 02 9298 3655. Please note this program is not offered during the school holidays and for safety reasons is held inside the museum. For more information please visit our website at www.anmm.gov.au

SIGNALS 86 March–May 2009

Learn about the early navigation techniques and instruments that enabled explorers to find and map Australia, when the captain of the museum’s HMB Endeavour replica, Ross Matson, reveals some of the arcane mysteries of celestial navigation. FREE. Includes morning tea. Bookings 02 9298 3655 2009 Cruise Forum 2: Farewell working harbour – the end of an era 10 am–2 pm Thursday 7 May View photographs of the final roll-on/roll-off car and truck carriers at Glebe Island – the end of Sydney as a working harbour. Featuring ANMM photographer Andrew Frolows, Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority historian Wayne Johnson, and author Gregory Blaxell. Board a heritage ferry to view these sites and picnic on the foreshore. Cost $60/concession $55. Includes morning tea and lunch. Bookings essential WEA 02 9264 2781

Program times and venues are correct at time of going to press. To check programs before your museum visit call 02 9298 3777.

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Autumn 2009 exhibitions It’s 100 years since the USA’s ‘Great White Fleet’ visited Australia, despatched by President Roosevelt to demonstrate American naval capability to the world. Australians greeted its 16 whitepainted battleships and their escorts with huge enthusiasm.

Trash or Treasure? Souvenirs of travel Until 17 May 2009 South Gallery Discover a diverse array of souvenirs collected by pilgrims, sailors, soldiers, cruise passengers and tourists. It’s a ritual travellers have performed for centuries. Quaint, cheap, stylish or precious, a souvenir embodies just a little of our irreplaceable travel experiences. The last RoRos into the Port of Sydney Until 28 June 2009 Tasman Light Gallery

Tall ship adventure: a young man’s journey New York to Fremantle 1905 USA Gallery This is the story of 19-year-old Fred Taylor’s adventure under sail aboard the barque Queen Margaret from New York to Fremantle, told through his journal and photographs. The collection comes from the Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of American History.

On the water Replica of James Cook’s Endeavour Open daily 10 am–4 pm Until 17 May Visit the magnificent Australian-built replica of Captain James Cook’s ship, in which he circumnavigated the world (1768–71), charted Australia’s east coast and claimed it for Britain. Members FREE. Adults $15, child/concession $8, family $30. Other ticket combinations available. Enquiries 02 9298 3777 Barque James Craig (1874) Daily Wharf 7 (except when sailing)

Rockies Highway. A Frolows/ANMM

Sydney Heritage Fleet’s magnificent iron-hulled ship is the result of an award-winning 30-year restoration. Tour the ship with various museum ticket packages (discount for Members). The ship sails alternate Saturdays and Sundays. Check www.shf.org.au for details.

ANMM travelling exhibitions For more than 30 years motor vehicles have come into Sydney on roll-on/roll-off car and truck carriers. On 15 November 2008 the last shipment was unloaded at Glebe Island and the vehicle trade was moved to Port Kembla, 100 km south of Sydney. ANMM photographs celebrate the work of these distinctive vessels and capture the end of an era for Sydney harbour.

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Great White Fleet – US sea power on parade 1908 13 February–28 June 2009 Western Australian Museum, Fremantle Joseph Banks and the flora of the Australian east coast 1 April–31 May 2009 Albury LibraryMuseum, Victoria SIGNALS 86 March–May 2009

Watercolour by Ross Shardlow

On the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin’s birth and 150 years after the publication of his famous evolutionary theory On the Origin of Species, join Darwin aboard HMS Beagle on the voyage of a lifetime. Explore the world of Darwin and his colleagues and see how their work continues on new scientific frontiers today.

Orient Line fan from France

Great White Fleet – US sea power on parade 1908 USA Gallery

Charles Darwin – Voyages and ideas that shook the world 20 March–23 August 2009 Gallery One and North Gallery Norman Carter, The Sydney Mail

Portrait Cove, Beagle Channel, Tierra del Fuego, Conrad Martens, 1834. National Maritime Museum, UK

In our galleries


For schools Over 30 programs are available for students K–12, across a range of syllabus areas. Options include extension workshops, hands-on sessions, theatre, tours with museum teacherguides and harbour cruises. Programs link to both core museum and special temporary exhibitions. Bookings essential: telephone 02 9298 3655 fax 02 9298 3660 email bookings@anmm.gov.au or visit our website: www.anmm.gov.au

Charles Darwin – Voyages and ideas that shook the world Years 3–12 HSIE, Science, History, Geography

Trash or Treasure? – Souvenirs of travel Years 1–10 HSIE

In the 200th anniversary year of Charles Darwin’s birth and 150 years after the publication of his famous evolutionary theory On the Origin of Species, join Charles Darwin aboard HMS Beagle for the voyage of a lifetime. Discover the world of Darwin and his colleagues and see how their work continues on new scientific frontiers today. Visiting school groups can explore the exhibition through special guided tours and workshops across several curriculum areas. For a full list of programs visit the Education section of our website: www.anmm.gov.au

As this fascinating exhibition explains, souvenirs serve as tangible reminders of destinations we have visited. They can evoke memories and encourage travellers to pass on personal stories to friends and family. Discover how Australian places, people and culture have been represented in kitsch, unique and beautiful souvenirs from the 1890s until today. Guided tours – $6 per student

Transport Years K–2 HSIE, Science Students tour the museum identifying various forms of transport connected with water – sailing ships, row-boats, ferries, tugs, a Navy destroyer, water traffic and even a helicopter! An optional cruise by heritage ferry takes in industrial, commercial and passenger transport systems on the harbour. $6 per student (cruise extra) Navigators Years 3–6 HSIE This program investigates early contact with the Australian continent. Students encounter non-European traders, traditional navigation techniques and early European explorers. They view constellations in the night sky used for navigation, and look at the influence of European explorers in the Age of Sail. Items on display include artefacts from ships such as Endeavour and Batavia, and material from Dutch, English, French, Torres Strait Islander and Makassan explorers. $6 per student

SIGNALS 86 March–May 2009

Pyrmont walk Years 9–12 History, Geography Explore this inner-city suburb from the perspective of changing demographics, construction, planning and development. Led by a teacher-guide, students walk the streets of Pyrmont and examine changes. The program is suitable as a site study for History and Geography. A harbour cruise examining change and development along the waterfront is also available. From $12 per student. Cruise extra Pirate school Years K–4 English, Maths, HSIE, Creative Arts Join the pirate school for lessons in treasure counting, speaking like a pirate, map reading and more! Then join a treasure hunt through the museum and board the tall ship James Craig. $10 per student (James Craig $2 extra per student) Splash! Years K–2 HSIE, PD, PE and Health, Creative Arts Splash! is a hands-on program where younger visitors explore leisure in, on, under and near the water through movement, dress-ups, games and stories. The program includes a guided tour of the Watermarks exhibition and students make their own themed craftwork to take home. $8 per student Science and the sea Years 6–8 Science This program demonstrates key scientific principles that relate to a maritime environment. Working through a series of activity stations, students cover areas such as buoyancy, corrosion, navigation and communication. A tour of the museum allows students to see these scientific principles in action. $12 per student, includes submarine tour

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We find the missing Mermaid! continued from page 20

So after the artefacts had been recorded and photographed in situ, two compass gimbals and a small viewing port (possibly from a binnacle) were brought back to the main expedition vessel for a more careful examination. Other items that would have required excavation – including a small bilge pump, a rigging turnbuckle and some copper tubing – were left in place. To say that the mood on board was elated would be an understatement! Here we were on the very first day of a 14-day expedition with a shipwreck site – but was it our Mermaid? A more careful examination of the viewing port revealed a rubber gasket sealing the glass to the copper alloy frame. Vulcanisation of rubber (hardening it with sulphur to make it durable for industrial products) was not patented by

line was a floating, waterproof global positioning system (GPS), and their track logs were downloaded at the end of each search day. This system proved highly successful. Over the course of the expedition each snorkeller covered over 10 kilometres, allowing our team to search the entire site. On day four, a magnetometer team reported a significant hit in two to three metres of water on the extreme southwestern edge of Flora Reef. Team leaders arrived to find an empty boat and lots of excited snorkellers duck-diving down to examine lumps on the seabed. It didn’t take long for us to join in the enthusiastic investigation of the expedition’s second shipwreck! The site was quite different to the first. The snorkellers’ metal detectors indicated that a number of what looked like coral

Searching for a shipwreck during the cyclone season may appear at first glance to be sheer lunacy Charles Goodyear until 1851, and was not in common production until after 1860. A closer examination of the bilge pump by Trevor Jackson (well-known Queensland diver and skipper of Spoilsport) detected the name Esbe – an early 20th-century pump manufacturer. Together, these observations confirmed that although we had found the wreck of a small wooden ship, it was far too late to be Mermaid. Although this was a disappointment, finding a small wreck so quickly confirmed that our survey methods were working well and would give us the best chance of success. So over the next three days the magnetometer surveys of the southern edge of Flora Reef continued. With over 40 divers in the expedition, we also took the opportunity to send out large groups of snorkellers led by certified archaeological divers Paul Hundley, a senior ANMM curator, and Lee Graham from ANMM fleet services, to visually search areas of the reef top which were too shallow for towing magnetometers. To record the area covered by the snorkellers, they were spaced out along a rope swim-line between 20 and 50 metres long. Attached to each end of the swimPage 30

lumps were in fact iron. One was a mound of anchor chain, while others were found to be canister shot. Scattered around were several copper-alloy keel staples, together with fastenings, sheathing tacks, pulley sheaves, another compass gimbal and copper sheathing. Work continued on the new site as the weather conditions took a turn for the worse. A centre line was established. ANMM diver Nigel Erskine and divers from Silentworld Foundation began plotting all the surface artefacts that had been located so far. Expedition photographer Xanthe Rivett and Warren Delaney started work on a complete photo-mosaic of the wreck. Although the new shipwreck was the right size to be Mermaid, we had found nothing on the site to confirm its identity at this stage. This, however, was to change over the next few days. According to the statement of chief officer John Hastings to the inquiry into the loss of the schooner, a kedge anchor and hemp cable were deployed to the south-east of the wreck in an attempt to warp Mermaid off the reef. This attempt failed and the anchor was left in the sea when the vessel was abandoned.

above: A diver surveys the HMCS Mermaid shipwreck site on Flora Reef using a hand-held metal detector. right: The expedition dive team on board Spoilsport, mother ship of the HMCS Mermaid 1829 Project on the Great Barrier Reef in January 2009.

Based on this information, we started searching the reef to the south-east of the wreck using a magnetometer backed up by scuba divers with hand-held metal detectors. On the fourth run, a substantial anomaly was recorded in 8–10 metres of water about 130 metres from the wreck site. Divers located an iron anchor, lying palms-down and almost completely covered with plate coral. The absence of chain cable (the reported hemp cable having long since rotted away), the positioning of the anchor in relationship to the wreck, and the size of the anchor – Mermaid’s kedge anchor weighed two hundredweight or 106 kilograms – all seemed to point to our wreck being the Mermaid! Additional confirmation came over the next few days, with divers locating additional pulley sheaves and some copper alloy fastenings, all stamped with the broad-arrow symbol. This Board of Ordnance mark was used from at least the 1540s in England to mark government property. It was a criminal offence to reproduce it without permission. It was highly unlikely that such a large number of items carrying the mark would be found on anything but a government vessel or one carrying government supplies, such as HMCS Mermaid. Although confidence that we had found Mermaid was growing, there were still some questions that remained to be SIGNALS 86 March–May 2009


close down the site for the time being. With the permission of Ed Slaughter from the Museum of Tropical Queensland (the state authority delegated with managing shipwrecks in Commonwealth waters off the Queensland coast), the team raised a series of artefacts for diagnostic purposes. These include some of the ship’s fastenings marked with the broad-arrow symbol, copper sheathing, the remains of the ship’s bilge pump and some pulley sheaves that are being conserved in the Australian National Maritime Museum’s laboratory before being returned to the Museum of Tropical Queensland.

answered. Where were the ship’s cannon and the iron ballast? Why were we finding large numbers of copper-alloy ship’s fastenings on a vessel that was supposedly iron-fastened? With the weather rapidly deteriorating – a monsoon trough developing to the north began to suck the wind in from the south east – work on the site cranked up a notch. Thanks to modern technology and wireless internet we were also able to continue our archival research while the divers worked. Returning to the 1829–33 Remarks Book of HMS Crocodile in the Mitchell Library, we found a reference to

nails from the ship’s store when the vessel was careened at Careening Bay in Western Australia. The remaining iron nails and fastenings were replaced when Mermaid returned to New South Wales in January 1821. While it is likely that the cannon were recovered by salvors, it is less likely that they would have bothered about the pigiron ballast. Immersed in seawater for the previous 12 months, it would have begun rusting into a large conglomerate at the bottom of the schooner. Not only would it have been extremely difficult to recover, it would also have fetched very little in

Joining them were John and Jacqui Mullen from the Silentworld Foundation and a host of other divers from many countries salvors who had worked on the site of the Mermaid: ‘July 23 1830 … observed the wreck of a large ship [Swiftsure] … Saw a small vessel under sail … observed a salvage camp ashore … wreckers from Sydney working the Swiftsure … had in a few days stripped the Swiftsure of everything valuable – as they had also done to the Mermaid …’ It’s highly likely these salvors would have recovered at least some, if not all of the Mermaid’s cannon – highly valuable and resaleable items in the 1820s – thus explaining their absence from the site. Additional archival information, this time from the account of Phillip Parker King, answered the question about copper fastenings. King reported in his log in September 1820 that Mermaid was ‘nail sick’ and that a number of its original iron nails had been replaced with copper-alloy SIGNALS 86 March–May 2009

Sydney, where in 1830 The Sydney Gazette reported good-quality scrap-iron being sold for less than one penny a pound. But where was this ballast? Our divers answered that question. While conducting a metal detector survey of the wreck area they had uncovered a series of significant iron anomalies lying buried underneath the coral and sand. These anomalies, covering an area some four metres wide by 20 metres long, were almost certainly the remains of the ballast. Given their concentration, they were most likely lying on top of and protecting some timber remnants – keels, frames and lower planking – of the Mermaid – an exciting prospect for us! With these final questions answered – and with tropical cyclone Charlotte forming to the north – the decision was taken to

We are currently working on a conservation management plan for the wreck site with the Commonwealth Government, the Museum of Tropical Queensland and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (the Commonwealth agency that manages the Great Barrier Reef). The plan will direct all future research on the site and will look at public access, interpretation and site management. Given the exposed nature and shallowness of the location, the plan will also examine the various arguments for and against excavation and recovery of artefacts.

Postscript In the 18th and 19th centuries, shipping was not only the lifeblood, but also the lifeline of Australia’s isolated colonies. Charting the coast and a way through the Great Barrier Reef to secure shipping routes was of paramount importance to both the colonial and British governments. The survey vessel Mermaid and the work of Phillip Parker King played an essential role in this undertaking, and many of the charts used by Australian navigators today are still based on the surveys carried out by King in Mermaid. Our quest to find the Mermaid would not have been possible without the contribution of our sponsor and partner the Silentworld Foundation, and the valuable assistance of Oceania Maritime, the Museum of Tropical Queensland, the Maritime Archaeological Association of Queensland, James Cook University, Mike Ball Dive Expeditions, and the crew of Nimrod Silentworld and Spoilsport. We also extend our thanks to our valued participants from Bega High School, and our enthusiastic team of volunteer divers from Queensland, New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory, Tasmania, Solomon Islands, Germany, the United States and Singapore.  Page 31


Accessible programs an inside view

Programs for visitors with disability are an opportunity for the museum to extend its outreach and forge new connections with the community. Acting Members manager Liz Tomkinson and events coordinator Scott Andrew talk with Nick and Heather Gleeson from Vision Australia about what it takes to organise a successful event for people with vision impairment, such as the recent touch tour of our Vaka Moana exhibition.

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SIGNALS 86 March–May 2009


Liz Tomkinson, one of the museum team that coordinates accessible programs, demonstrates how props can be used in touch tours to enhance visitors’ understanding of exhibitions such as our recent Vaka Moana – Voyages of the Ancestors. Photographer J Mellefont/ANMM

AS WE SIT in YOTS café on the waterfront at the museum, salt spray wafts on the light summer breeze and mingles with the aroma of freshly brewed coffee, the bell on Endeavour strikes the hour, a lone gull wrestles boisterously with a stray chip on the boardwalk, and beneath the thrum of bustling families there is the distant murmur of city traffic. We are talking with Nick Gleeson from Vision Australia and his wife Heather. Both have profound vision impairment and have taken time out from their busy lives to tell us about their experiences with the museum’s exhibitions and accessible programs. Programs for people with disability were introduced to the Australian National Maritime Museum in 2005 and are now a semi-regular feature of the museum’s event calendar. And yet – in common with most cultural institutions – we still have a lot to learn. Accessible programs began at the museum literally with a call to Nick with the question: ‘We want to do this … any advice?’ A simple approach perhaps, but Nick and his wife became an invaluable source of information and practical guidance, with an ask-me-anything attitude that was matched by their active social lifestyle. Between them the Gleesons have participated in all our tours developed for people with vision impairment. So we thought it was about time to ask them for some feedback on how we’re doing, and to use the discussion as a springboard to expand our program into a more permanent calendar of events. We also wanted to ensure that we’re using our resources to their full potential and that our future programs become a benchmark of quality. The primary goal of any program or event planning should be to understand the target audience, in order to maximise interest, bookings, enjoyment and repeat SIGNALS 86 March–May 2009

visitation. So why, then, is accessible programming so often coordinated by people who have no experience or understanding of the expectations of their intended audience? How could anyone with full vision understand the expectations of a touch-tour participant with severe vision impairment? How could someone who is not profoundly deaf understand the frustration of being unable to communicate freely with others? Nick and Heather Gleeson help us to answer some of these questions. ANMM: Nick, let’s start with you telling us about your role at Vision Australia. NICK: Vision Australia was formed in

2004 as a merger between the Royal Blind Society and a range of other access organisations for people with vision impairment. I’m the community development coordinator. This involves coordination of a volunteer speakers’ network that delivers presentations to various groups in the community. I also deliver staff training to many organisations including banks, airlines, aged care facilities, museums, courts and public transport providers. ANMM: What do you expect museums should do to provide services for people with vision impairment? NICK: Staff must understand what is

important for people who are blind or have low vision. They need to know how to describe objects and how to guide people who have vision loss. A museum needs to promote the opportunity for people to attend an organised tour and must be able to provide adequate

ANMM: So what makes a great experience for you at a museum? NICK: I feel that making available real

people with real knowledge and expertise for an organised accessible tour of an exhibition is more important than providing maps or information in alternative formats, as often the cost of these can be very high. Also, there must be sufficient time to enjoy the exhibition. Often a lot of planning is involved in attending an event like this, so it needs to be worthwhile. HEATHER: There should be an

opportunity to ask questions and enjoy the exhibition using other senses besides sight, like touch, hearing and smell. Also to listen to the passion of someone who really knows the content. Most important is that people with a disability feel they are wanted at the museum and that their visit, like that of any other person, is important to the organisation. ANMM: What entices you to an event? NICK: As for anyone, the subject matter

plays a large part in initial interest. An event specifically organised for people who are blind or have low vision usually – although not always – instils confidence that it will be a quality program. If the event is part of a regular monthly or quarterly program and if it’s promoted as being available on an ongoing basis, you shouldn’t have to book too far in advance. HEATHER: Social networking

opportunities also appeal, as do inclusion of the whole family and time to relax. Events should be longer than 45 minutes

The tour should be as hands-on as possible and the guide should have a clear understanding of participants’ abilities assistance for those who might need guiding at the exhibition. It is important for the tour to be as hands-on as possible, and for the guide to know the content well and to have a clear understanding of the participants’ abilities. ANMM: So … training of staff, right? HEATHER: Right. And of volunteers.

A dedicated position to coordinate such programs is a good starting-point, as it means that all this acquired knowledge can be passed on through the organisation. Then more people with disabilities will feel confident that they can come to your organisation and have a good experience.

and prices should be kept to a minimum considering the cost of getting to the venue, as public transport may not be an option for some participants. ANMM: How have your experiences been here at the maritime museum? How does it meet – or not meet – your expectations? NICK: We’ve attended a number of

exhibitions here that have been specifically organised for people who have low vision or are blind. I’ve found each exhibition to be outstanding. The visit to the museum to look at and walk around the replica of the Endeavour was amazing. To listen to the various true Page 33


stories about its history and the people who lived and worked on it were astonishing. To feel the boat moving, touch the equipment and have an understanding of how the crew survived was tremendous. Another highlight was a recent visit to the museum to see an exhibition pertaining to the Pacific Islands, Vaka Moana –

the size is important – being able to describe something regardless of sight or sight memory. NICK: And I very much enjoyed the social

aspect of coming together as a group afterwards over coffee with Kerry, the tour guides and the other participants to discuss and ask questions about the content of the tour.

People with a disability should feel they are wanted at the museum and that their visit is important to the organisation Voyages of the Ancestors. We met one of the exhibition organisers from New Zealand, Professor Kerry Howe from Massey University, who was just phenomenal. He oozed knowledge and passion, and he allowed people to touch certain replica items which brought the exhibition to life for us. HEATHER: I’d been to the Bay of Islands

in New Zealand a few years ago, and got to feel first hand one of the canoes depicted in the exhibition. But it wasn’t until I listened to Professor Howe and felt one of the replica objects that I understood how an outrigger actually works. It really gave my previous experience a much richer context. The spatial aspect of this exhibition was brought to life – the understanding of above: Auslan interpreter Chevoy Brown provides her commentary during a tour of the Endeavour led by volunteer guide Eric. Photographer S Andrew/ANMM above RIGHT: Professor Kerry Howe leads a touch tour of the Vaka Moana exhibition. Photographer S Andrew/ANMM

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PLANNING and delivery of accessible programs is proving to be an ongoing learning curve, as well as a challenging and rewarding experience for all concerned – organisers, presenters and participants alike. They promote a different way of thinking, requiring us all to stretch and bend the standard approach to delivering regular content. For volunteer guides the programs challenge and extend them – they are often exciting and very rewarding. For curators, experts and external academics leading the event, this is often something they have never done before. It shows them how keen we are to spread their knowledge and make it more widely accessible. For those who don’t know this museum, it lets them understand what it is that we do. As organisers, we learn the best ways to communicate with target markets, expand networks and make new contacts, gain knowledge, face new challenges, create opportunities to display the museum’s assets to a wider audience and generate repeat visitation. 

International Day of People With Disability International Day of People With Disability (IDPWD) is celebrated annually on 3 December, although many programs run throughout the entire month. Last year the Australian National Maritime Museum ran three individual accessible programs to celebrate this day: • Throughout December 2008 Flags Ahoy! brightened up the museum forecourt with 13 flags painted by community and disability art groups. Artists from St Ives CAS Spastic Centre, Miroma, Junction House and Bear Cottage interpreted the theme ‘at the water’s edge’. • On 7 December, the museum held a touch tour of Vaka Moana – Voyages of the Ancestors. The tour was fully booked, participants were extremely enthusiastic, and presenter Professor Kerry Howe was passionate about his subject. • On 14 December Auslan (Australian Sign Language) interpreters were onsite to interpret guided tours of the museum, destroyer Vampire, submarine Onslow and HMB Endeavour replica. This was an overwhelmingly successful day with a long waiting-list, prompting us to plan a repeat event for February 2009.

SIGNALS 86 March–May 2009


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SPECIAL ESCAPE AT NOVOTEL  ROCKFORD DARLING HARBOUR Relax and unwind in one of our Superior King Rooms and enjoy FREE full buffet breakfast. Set in the heart of vibrant Darling Harbour and conveniently located near... well... everything. Reservations 1800 606 761 darlingharbour@rockfordhotels.com.au Proud supporter of the Australian National Maritime Museum

D e s i g n e d fo r n a t u ra l l i v i n g *Valid until 31 May 2009. Subject to availability and conditions apply. Based on twin share accommodation.

SIGNALS 86 March–May 2009

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Into the

Endeavour Research Introducing an archive that preserves 14 years of research used to guide the building and fit-out of the museum’s acclaimed replica of James Cook’s HM Bark Endeavour. Volunteer archivist Caroline Davy leads us through this rich repository that was assembled by the replica project’s former historian, Antonia Macarthur. WHEREVER the museum’s replica of James Cook’s HM Bark Endeavour sails – it’s been twice around the world, to 29 countries, covering some 200,000 nautical miles – it is recognised both as a faithful reproduction of the original, and also as a particularly fine museum ship. The interior is shown exactly as it would have been during Cook’s original voyages. Visitors can imagine that all on board have simply gone ashore, leaving their belongings, tools and working materials just where they had been using them. For us today, it’s a glimpse into how life on the ship would have been at the time. If the people who sailed on the original Endeavour were to come back today, we like to think they would recognise this as their ship! Such an accurate representation is possible only because of the painstaking research that has gone into all aspects of

research. And that research, in turn, is documented and preserved in an important resource that Antonia built up as the work progressed: the Endeavour Research Archives. Most of this research took place during the period in which the replica was completed and voyaged by the HM Bark Endeavour Foundation, before its management and operation were transferred to the Australian National Maritime Museum in 2005. When the ship came to the museum, so did the Endeavour Research Archives. This exhaustive documentation has recently undergone a process of sifting, organising and listing to ensure that the archives will provide a vital blueprint for future developments or additions to the ship, as well as offering guidance should replica items displayed on board need to be repaired or replaced. Such a resource is

Imagine that all on board have simply gone ashore, leaving their belongings, tools and working materials just where they were the fittings and artefacts on display. Historian Antonia Macarthur worked for almost 14 years finding the answers to the myriad questions that arose while building, fitting out and sailing the ship. It was not enough to gather some moreor-less relevant items and place them somewhere about the ship. The presence of every item, and its precise location on board, is underpinned by meticulous Page 36

invaluable for those responsible for the ship’s maintenance. Indeed, notes from all refits and major work undertaken from 2005 onwards, since the replica came under the museum’s management, are now routinely added to the archives. Since so much of the original research was carried out by Antonia Macarthur in institutions and archives in the UK, the Endeavour Research Archives provide

access to a good deal of information that is still unobtainable in this country, or over the internet. Naturally, then, it is essential that the collection remains intact. This means that archive items must not leave the files, although they may be copied if necessary for use at the ship or on location. Physically, the Endeavour Research Archives consist of a series of papers, working notes, reports, correspondence, photographs and photocopies of original documents from a vast array of sources – museums, record offices and Admiralty sources to name a few – all arranged into files and document boxes. These welltravelled archives have moved around the globe with Antonia and the Endeavour before arriving with her at the Australian National Maritime Museum in 2002 where at last they found a home – or safe storage, at least. They arrived here as a collection of files and envelopes, packets and boxes that had been utilised by a range of people over more than a decade. Fortunately, the folders and packets came with (mostly) accurate labels. They were housed in grocery boxes, archive boxes and anything at all suitable for containing or transporting them, but in no real order and with no index, list or catalogue. All these boxes took up a relatively large space in the Endeavour office at the museum. They are now sorted, labelled, shelved, catalogued and somewhat tamed and compacted – but they still take up substantial space in the Endeavour office! SIGNALS 86 March–May 2009


Archives top: Author Caroline Davy and former Endeavour

project historian Antonia Macarthur in the museum’s Endeavour office, home of the Endeavour Research Archives. Photographer J Mellefont/ANMM below: Everything in the Endeavour replica is the

result of intensive research, from the Great Cabin’s floor covering and fireplace, the work desk and library of botanist Joseph Banks, to the utensils used by ordinary seamen. Photographer Caroline Davy

What’s in the archives? As the Endeavour replica project progressed, there were innumerable questions that had to be answered – from the time that plans were first drawn up, during construction, and of course during the fit-out and the development of the ship’s display collection. To give an idea, here are just a sample of the questions researched, the answers to which are now preserved in the Endeavour Research Archives. What did the stern light look like? What type of lighting was used below decks? Were there candles in the seamen’s mess area? What were the cooking arrangements? What did everyone eat with? Was any glass taken on board? Was there a stove in the Great Cabin? What was it used for? What did it look like? What personal items were brought on board? What furniture was embarked for the officers and scientists? What books were in Joseph Banks’ on-board reference library? What navigational, astronomical and scientific instruments were carried? What was in the surgeon’s kit? What painting supplies did the artists take? What type of paper? What sea chests were used at the time? What were the sleeping arrangements? What was the bedding made of? What types of hinges were on the cabin doors? What did the ship’s boats look like? SIGNALS 86 March–May 2009

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Among the sources explored and consulted were museum collections, restored or replica ships, experts in fields ranging from furniture to glass-making, publications, Admiralty documents (including contracts, work records and specifications), the Public Record Office, the National Archives, historical and other primary sources, reports from maritime archaeology investigations, contemporary writings and illustrations, auction catalogues, product catalogues, inventories of items taken on similar expeditions, 18th-century artefacts or reproductions of them … and many more. Reams of photocopies of useful material were made for inclusion in the archives, and regular research reports were written to summarise the findings and recommend options and courses of action. In this way, every single item on the ship can be referred to the research.

Years of research line the shelves of the Endeavour Research Archives

A number of personal items belonging to Cook and Banks are known to exist. Some are of doubtful provenance, but others have been thoroughly authenticated and so could serve as models for the style and type of replica items put in place when the Endeavour replica is in museum mode. James Cook’s writing desk is in the National Library of Australia; Joseph Banks left a number of relics, and museums are full of the navigational instruments of the period. An understanding of the extent and quality of the research behind the fitting out of the ship can enrich the experience of being on board and enhance our appreciation of the items on display. This can be demonstrated by looking at just a small selection of the things we can see in the Great Cabin today: Banks’ library: Banks listed the titles in the reference library he took on the voyage, so the likely publication dates of these books were researched. The bindings of the actual volumes were found in the British Library, and copies replicating the original bindings were produced by a specialist company in the UK for display in the ship. A bookshelf to house the library was also researched and built. There was no direct evidence of how Banks’ books were housed for the voyage, so a design was produced based on examples of similar

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items known to have been in use on board other vessels at that time. Pictures of contemporary ships’ cabins showing the storage of books were consulted, as well as details of cabin fittings in 18th-century ships. Drawings were then supplied to a carpenter, who was briefed and commissioned to make a bookshelf to the agreed design. Folding chairs were commonly taken on board ships at the time and are to be seen in cabin settings on restored ships like HMS Victory in Portsmouth, England. Antonia was able to locate a chair known to have belonged to Banks (and taken on a subsequent expedition) for sale at a London antique dealer. It was too prohibitively expensive to purchase for the ship – but the proprietor consented to photographs and precise measurements being taken before the item was sold, so that copies could be commissioned. So what you see around the table in the Great Cabin are exact replicas of chairs known to have been used by Banks. Their practicality is immediately apparent: they could be used at the table, folded and stowed out of the way to make room for other activities, or even taken ashore if required. Such items allow us an authenticated insight into the way people operated and worked on the voyage. Mattresses and bedding for Banks’ bunk as well as the other bunks and swinging cots were researched well beyond the obvious naval records. Examples of contemporary fabrics were located at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, their appearance was established, and modern textiles were produced to replicate them. All the bedding and blankets for the ship were commissioned to be manufactured at the workshop of the Fremantle Women’s Prison. Shell collection: Banks was very interested in the sea shells he found in each location they visited. There are a number of references throughout his journal showing that he made a habit of finding new specimens wherever possible. The exhibit in Banks’ cabin is made up of shells known to have been included in his original collection. It might be of interest to Sydneysiders to know that Bare Island in Botany Bay was a useful collecting point for gathering specimens: SIGNALS 86 March–May 2009

1770, April 30: I in the Even landed on a small island upon the Northern side of the Bay to search for shells. (The Endeavour Journal of Joseph Banks, Ed J C Beaglehole, 1962) Stern windows: There was extensive research and considerable speculation as to how these should be constructed. Although a painting does exist showing the Earl of Pembroke (later purchased by the Admiralty, refitted and renamed Endeavour) leaving Whitby Harbour under sail (Thomas Luny, 1768), it is not known if the stern windows were altered

further comment from Cook, it might reasonably be assumed that the floor cloth should be green. However, while reading Banks’ accounts of his experiments on the voyage, Antonia noticed the following comment in his report: In the course of these experiments two thing[s] were observd, differing from the Phaenomena usually seen ... the floor of the Cabbin in which the experiments were tried, was covered with a red floor cloth of painted Canvas, that had been issued to the ship from his majesties stores at Debtford; which was usually washed with

The presence of every item on display, and its precise location on board, is underpinned by meticulous research during the refit. There were no clues at all about the windows from an interior view, but the botanical illustrator Sydney Parkinson did sketch some external views of the ship, and some of the boats. These are the only contemporary visual reference of the Endeavour after the refit. A copy of one of those rough sketches can be seen on our Endeavour replica in Parkinson’s cabin. Floor cloth in the Great Cabin: My favourite story concerns the colour of this floor covering. Some illustrations in modern texts, and at least one other museum reconstruction of Endeavour’s Great Cabin, show a green floor cloth. When you go into the Great Cabin in our Endeavour replica, however, you will see that it is, distinctly, red! Which is correct? Admiralty documents (written in copperplate, probably with a quill pen), show that on 30 June 1768, while the Earl of Pembroke was being outfitted at Deptford for the voyage to Tahiti and beyond, James Cook wrote: ‘If you are pleased to allow a Green Baize Floor Cloth in the Great Cabin Please to order her to be supply’d with one’. The clerk at a meeting on 1 July noted that this was approved ‘… if there be not painted canvas in store’. So it seems that this request was (in principle) approved. No subsequent Admiralty documents mention any other arrangement, and in the absence of any

salt water every morning, and sufferd to dry without being ever taken up. (The Endeavour Journal of Joseph Banks, Appendix I, p. 277) This information is buried in an appendix concerning ‘Electrical Machines’ Banks took on the voyage – an unlikely place to find a description of the floor furnishings! Joseph Banks must be considered a reliable reporter, and the Great Cabin was known to be the only cabin with a floor cloth. More delving was needed to discover what had happened between Cook’s original request for green baize and the eventual laying of a red-painted floor cloth. The answer lay in another Admiralty document dated 17 March 1768 (PRO ADM 95/94 197634), which recorded a decision that all ships fitted out in Deptford (and some other dockyards) could only have painted floor cloths fitted until all the material from the store had been used up. Clearly Endeavour came under this pronouncement. There is a moral to the story: just because you’ve found something, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve found everything. There must have been many researchers who looked at the first document while researching the conversion of the ship, verified the date, and moved on. This discovery prompted yet another round of research – this time into painted floor cloths. How were they made? Page 39


What materials were required? What did the end result look like? How should they be maintained? All this research was carried out, duly recorded and preserved in the archives. The present floor cloth is the original one made for the replica, manufactured to the exact specifications and materials required by the Admiralty in 1768. These specified the same material as the sails – Scottish flax – with seams sewn 108–116 stitches per yard and paint applied. It has been maintained in the traditional way – a bucket of sea water thrown over it periodically and allowed to dry. The research and subsequent practice has verified Banks’ description. Hundreds of thousands of feet have trodden on this piece of canvas over the last 14 years and it still comes up smiling

The archives are now sorted, labelled, shelved, catalogued – and they still take up a large space in the Endeavour office! (although you can see why there is a strict rule against high heels on board the Endeavour replica – imagine a stiletto ripping through the floor cloth that so many people have contributed to making and maintaining, with such care and knowledge!). One day it will need to be replaced. This will be a major undertaking, but it will be less of a problem because all the necessary details about floor cloths are safely stored in the Endeavour Research Archives. The curator of the day will simply need to go to the correct box and open the packet labelled ‘Floor cloth’! 

Top: This copy of a Sydney Parkinson sketch

of Endeavour hove to in rough weather guided the replica project’s construction. The original is in the collection of The British Library (9345 6V). Above: Copy of a letter from James Cook to the Admiralty requesting a green baize floor cloth (highlighted).

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The Endeavour Research Archives (1989–2002) were compiled by historian Antonia Macarthur on behalf of National Maritime Museum, Greenwich UK, Bond Corporation and HMB Endeavour Foundation for the building, fitting out and ongoing operation and management of the ship. They were transferred to the Australian National Maritime Museum with the HMB Endeavour replica in 2005. The archives were sorted and catalogued over several years by the author of this article, Caroline Davy, a volunteer at the Australian National Maritime Museum with a particular interest in Cook and the Endeavour voyage. Caroline has been a guide on the ship both before and after it was handed over to the ANMM. SIGNALS 86 March–May 2009


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Research at the Australian National Maritime Museum Research is the lifeblood of organisations like ours. Assistant director with responsibility for collections and exhibitions, Michael Crayford, looks at the breadth of our research and some of the latest projects undertaken by staff, all contributing to the growth of knowledge about our national maritime heritage. WITHIN cultural institutions such as this one, research is an all-encompassing process. At the Australian National Maritime Museum, for example, it’s routinely applied when gathering background information to interpret and conserve the historic vessels in our collection, investigating and refining ideas for exhibitions, confirming the historical accuracy of information in display labels and publications, and establishing the authenticity, provenance and significance of new acquisitions to the National Maritime Collection. It is in most cases applied research. In 2007 the museum instituted and published the ANMM Research Strategy 2007–2012. This outlines key research priorities, and lists our current and future research programs. Research initiatives enable the museum to extend its profile and connect with other professional cultural, historical and scientific agencies – a key priority for the museum in this stage of its growth and development. One important recent research development is our introduction of eMuseum – an online collection of some of the many thousands of objects that make up the National Maritime Collection. You can view it at www.anmm.gov.au/emuseum. Launched in December 2008, this marks a significant milestone in the museum’s digitisation strategy with the purpose of opening up our collection to a broader audience. While still in its infancy and limited in scale at this early stage, more objects will be added progressively as they are catalogued – taking the breadth Page 42

of Australia’s maritime heritage beyond the limits of the museum’s geographical location and opening hours, and providing a new resource for researchers. eMuseum will be of particular relevance to schools across the country, especially those not within easy physical reach of the museum. eMuseum joins another valuable online research resource, the Australian Register of Historic Vessels, which uses the same delivery software. Launched for public access in February 2007, it aims to build a national picture of historic vessels and their designers, builders and owners from around Australia. This is creating a better understanding of these vessels’ connections with their communities past and present, and encourages awareness and planning for their future preservation and use. It can be visited at www.anmm.gov.au/arhv

Assistant director (collections exhibitions) Michael Crayford with one of the paintings from the museum collection: Paul Jackson’s Gear, tackle and trim, 1985, winner of the first ACTA maritime art award. The oil painting is a gift from Maersk Australia Pty Ltd. Photographer J Mellefont/ANMM

projects. Linkage grants are designed to promote collaborative research and develop partnerships between higher education institutions and other organisations and commercial enterprises. The museum’s new exhibition Charles Darwin – Voyages and ideas that shook the world (story pages 2–9 in this issue of Signals) has been the focus of one of these collaborative projects. Staff have been working with the University of Sydney, the Australian National University and Screen Australia on a publication, a symposium and digital learning outcomes associated with this exhibition that marks the 200th anniversary of Darwin’s birth and the 150th anniversary of publication of his revolutionary book On the Origin of Species. The Australian National Maritime Museum is currently collaborating on

The museum also encourages research and professional development through grants, fellowships and internships These online initiatives add to an existing research network at the museum aimed at better disseminating knowledge. Over the years the museum has been a collaborative partner in several Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage projects. The ARC is the peak government body responsible for administering the National Competitive Grants Program, which in 2008 provided over $350 million for national research

two other ARC Linkage projects. One of them is Rethinking timelines: a new methodology for describing and communicating history. Our partners include the Archaeology Computing Laboratory at the University of Sydney, Macquarie Dictionary, and the US-based University of California. This project will contribute to the development of better strategies for content creation in webbased applications and will result in SIGNALS 86 March–May 2009


The museum works not just with academia but with commercial organisations such as publishers. We are particularly proud of co-producing a line of limited edition facsimile publications, the Australian Maritime Series, in conjunction with the rare-book specialist Hordern House. The most recent in this series, which began when the museum opened in 1991, was the landmark publication Cook, the Discoverer by the naturalist Georg Forster who sailed with Cook on his second world circumnavigation in 1772–75. It comprises a 106-page exact facsimile of the rare original German work of 1787, accompanied by a 116-page, newly commissioned English translation with an introductory essay by Dr Nigel Erskine, curator of exploration at the Australian National Maritime Museum.

significant, collaborative online databases. The results of these investigations will appear in future permanent and temporary exhibitions at themuseum, incorporating greater levels of computer interactivity. The other ARC project undertaken – now nearly completed – is Indigenous Knowledge and Western Science: A comparative analysis. This has brought us together with the New South Wales Department of Education and Training and the Northern Territory’s Yirrkala Schools Council and Buku Larrngay Mulka arts and cultur centre, as industry partners with researchers from the Centre of Cross-Cultural Research at the Australian National University. The project has investigated ways of including Indigenous knowledge within the New South Wales science curriculum. A significant component of the research is based on the museum’s unique collection of contemporary bark paintings known as the Saltwater Collection, painted by 47 Yolngu artists. Each artist has inherited the right to paint their area of sea country, and together the bark paintings form a comprehensive map of the saltwater country of northeast Arnhem Land. The paintings document Yolngu culture, knowledge systems, Indigenous rights, non-European contact, animals, fishing, oceanography and climate, and provide links into a number of curriculum areas. The project combines the expertise of all partners to analyse the process of inclusion from the perspective of crosscultural discourse. SIGNALS 86 March–May 2009

Another significant milestone in the museum’s support and encouragement of maritime history has been the establishment of the biennial Frank Broeze Memorial Maritime History Book Prize. Inaugurated in 2003, this $2,000

In 2008 the museum awarded its first USA Gallery Fellowship to Michael Dyer, librarian at the New Bedford Whaling Museum. The USA Gallery was endowed through a generous gift from the US Government at the time of Australia’s Bicentenary celebrations in 1988, to explore shared US–Australian maritime connections in exploration, commerce, defence and sport. The Fellowship allows researchers to uncover new perspectives on these. In Michael’s case this meant researching the National Maritime Collection and other Australian collections on the subject of American whaling activities in colonial Australia. The story beginning on page 14 of this issue of Signals presents the museum’s most recent research achievements in the field of maritime archaeology – the January 2009 Mermaid Discovery Project undertaken in conjunction with our sponsor Silentworld Foundation. The team located the remains of the survey vessel Mermaid, wrecked off the coast of north Queensland in 1829 and arguably one of the most significant

ANMM research also extends to preserving, recording and developing traditional maritime skills prize is jointly sponsored by the Australian National Maritime Museum and the Australian Association of Maritime History and is now entering its fifth judging, administered by the museum’s publications unit.

surveying vessels lost in Australian waters. Two students and a teacher from Bega High School participated and shared their experiences by blog, creating learning initiatives that link to formal educational school curriculum programs.

The museum also encourages research and professional development through grants, fellowships and internships, working closely with many other heritage organisations. Since 1995 ANMM has supported smaller maritime collections through the Maritime Museums of Australia Project Support Scheme (MMAPSS), a joint initiative with the Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts. The MMAPSS grants and internship program has enabled many smaller maritime organisations across the country to gain support for projects such as conservation and preservation programs, curatorial work, managing collections and implementing digitisation initiatives. The grants also provide living allowances for volunteers and staff to gain professional training and development as interns here at the Australian National Maritime Museum. The most recent round of grants is announced in this issue of Signals on page 10.

ANMM research also extends to preserving, recording and developing traditional maritime skills. Last year the museum supported Fleet shipwright Matthew Dunn to spend several weeks in the USA at Mystic Seaport, Connecticut, under an International Specialist Skills (ISS) scholarship and Pratt Foundation grant. The fellowship was undertaken to increase understanding of restoring and conserving heritage timber craft, and to apply this newly acquired knowledge for the preservation and maintenance of the museum’s own historic vessels. As these broad-ranging research activities demonstrate, the museum is going through a development spurt that is producing an exciting array of outcomes, extending our maritime history and culture to a growing audience. We continue to widen our search for research partners and develop new and exciting initiatives that support and enhance our core functions and activities.  Page 43


In someone else’s shoes

right: Joseph Assaf, his wife Angela and sons (left to right) Daniel, Anthony and David. below: Joseph Assaf’s beautifully produced

book (published Sydney 2008) was termed by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd ‘a great story writ large’.

Joseph Assaf uttered his first words in Arabic, undertook his schooling in French, migrated to an English-speaking country, married an Italian and is now in the business of communicating to a multicultural audience. Wendy Wilkins writes about the guest speaker at a recent unveiling of new migrant names on the Welcome Wall.

JOSEPH ASSAF arrived in Australia from Lebanon in 1967, just 22 years old. With about $6 and no English, he worked in a factory at night and attended university during the day. By 1972 he had completed his Bachelor of Arts at Sydney University, with a major in social theory. He went on to complete the Diploma in Interpreting and Translating at the University of New South Wales. Joseph held on to the new words he was learning, rapidly, and found that language helped him further each day. It was his experience of the usefulness of language that led later to his interest in communication. In the factory, he discovered, 99% of the workers were non-English-speaking. He himself was offered work in a tannery without knowing the meaning of the word. He turned up on the first day wearing his only suit! Joseph had come from a Christian village in Lebanon, but went to school with children from many other religions, including Islam. This initiated an enduring appreciation of other cultures. He met and married an Australian-born Italian, Angela Bianca (the name means ‘white angel’ as Joseph points out in the eloquent dedication to his book) and they have three children, Daniel, Anthony and David. Comparing his experience of immigration to the migrant experience of today, Joseph believes that all migrants have something in common simply from having arrived in a new country. The difference now, he says, is the revolution in communications. ‘In the past, you couldn’t just arrive here and call back home.’ In 1977 Joseph Assaf established Ethnic Communications, the world’s first integrated multicultural and multilingual communication agency. In 1981 he launched Multicultural Marketing News, a specialist magazine which at the time was the only one of its kind. In 1985 he announced his theory of the economic dimension of multiculturalism and the benefits of ‘productive cultural diversity’. In 1988 he founded the Ethnic Business Awards, one of the longest-running business awards in Page 44

Australia, which he continues to direct. Endlessly prolific, Joseph in 2003 established Multicall, a multicultural contact centre that provides a full range of marketing, communication and customer management services for clients wishing to reach communities who speak languages other than English at home. In his speech to the 2008 Ethnic Business Awards, Joseph noted: ‘In Australia, each year, our economy gets a very special injection. It comes in the form of a couple of hundred thousand people, some of them in borrowed shoes, some of them with just suitcases and dreams, all of them with a fierce will to succeed.’ SIGNALS 86 March–May 2009


The museum’s tribute to migrants, The Welcome Wall, encourages people to recall and record their stories of coming to live in Australia.

tremendous market value. He is acknowledged as the guru and pioneer of multicultural marketing for his innovative and visionary work.’ Now Joseph has published In Someone Else’s Shoes, which not just sums up his own experiences but crystallises (for the benefit of corporate, political and community leaders) the idea of communicating to a multicultural audience – a handbook, in a sense. In Someone Else’s Shoes is in part a memoir of an immigrant’s life – full of the transforming experiences only available to those brave enough to leave the comfort zone of their own cultural state – and in part a reflection on multiculturalism by someone who has thought about it and worked with it for decades.

This input should be measured not just in economic terms, he continued, but in terms also of their skills, their languages, their cultural diversity, their ideas. ‘They also bring their own particular needs, and, in developing the means of servicing those needs, they stimulate the internal economy and create opportunities to export those ideas and commodities to the very places they have left.’

The thinking behind In Someone Else’s Shoes, Joseph explains, is that ‘over time, words accumulate baggage and because of that it might be difficult for educated or opinionated people to agree on the meaning of multiculturalism, globalisation and diversity … I felt it was timely for me to publish this book in an effort to share, inspire, and point towards a better future for business, government and society.’

In his foreword to Joseph’s book, Allan Gyngell, executive director of the Lowy Institute for International Policy writes: ‘The relentless energy and curiosity, and the sense of life’s adventures that originally brought the author from his small Reflecting further, Joseph mused that this multicultural model could well serve as an example to world leaders as they continue village in Lebanon to the other side of the world, is evident in the pages that follow. From a kaleidoscope of cultural to discuss the present global economic crisis. influences, Joseph has spent a lifetime strength and lessons.’ Giving a Thousands of people, some in borrowed shoes, drawing personal example, Gyngell adds: ‘Dinners with his family are a rich, warm and some with just suitcases and dreams, all of delicious mixture of Lebanese and Italian them with a fierce will to succeed influences, transformed beyond their origins by the easy openness of the ‘The vulnerability of a homogeneous international financial Australian environment and the sheer range of people from system has been vividly highlighted by current events. It seems different cultures you will find around his table.’ to me that if you build a house of cards, all of the same suit, all At the 2008 Ethnic Business Awards, Prime Minister Kevin in the same form, all carefully interlocked in the same ways, Rudd described In Someone Else’s Shoes as ‘a great story writ it needs only one card for the whole thing to totter and collapse. large about the lives of so many who have come to this country But in a multicultural model, where diverse solutions are sought from afar and made this country great’. through diverse means, the house of cards can be more robust. It can be a community of cards: free-standing but mutually Joseph Assaf’s individual stance is marked by grace, optimism supportive, and therefore stronger in every way. and moving forward; the same qualities are characteristic of his Multiculturalism, as I have so often said, is one of Australia’s business enterprises and, supremely, they belong to the impulse greatest assets.’ behind migration.  In 1995 Daizy Gedeon, assistant foreign editor of The Australian, described Joseph Assaf as a man who: ‘has made political leaders, corporate Australia and the international community aware of the value of their multicultural populations. Through his work he has enabled people to understand and appreciate the importance of encouraging and supporting people’s individual ethnicity. In his own way, this man has single-handedly given people of an ethnic background a SIGNALS 86 March–May 2009

It costs just $105 to register a name and honour your family’s arrival in this great country! We’d love to add your family’s name to The Welcome Wall, cast in bronze, and your story to the online database at www.anmm.gov.au/ww. So please don’t hesitate to call Kennie Ward during business hours with any enquiries regarding the project on 02 9298 3667.

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CURRENTS Bark Endeavour’s 2009 voyages EXPERIENCE Australia’s natural wonders from the deck of the museum’s magnificent replica of James Cook’s 18th-century HM Bark Endeavour. The Australian National Maritime Museum is proud to offer voyage crew and supernumerary berths on the ship for voyages to far north Queensland in 2009. These voyages are particularly appropriate, as we are sailing the same waters as James Cook and the original Endeavour nearly 240 years ago. Voyaging from the cool of the Tasman Sea to the warm waters of tropical Queensland, we’ll pass landmarks that Cook named as he charted the coastline, including Cape Byron, Bustard Bay and Cape Tribulation. The ship will transit the stunning Whitsunday Islands, and we’ll keep an eye out for whales in Hervey Bay on our way to voyage around one of the great natural wonders of the world, the Great Barrier Reef. This is an opportunity to experience bluewater sailing the 18th-century way on our acclaimed, authentic replica. You’ll stand watches, steer and handle sails (while enjoying modern standards of comfort, hygiene, nutrition and safety at sea thanks to

the modern galley, dining and bathroom facilities hidden away below the 18th-century decks, where the ship’s lower storage holds would have been). And you’ll experience the timeless camaraderie of sharing a sea adventure with like-minded souls. 

Voyage with Endeavour Consider which voyage takes your fancy or suits your winter and spring schedule: Sydney to Bundaberg 15–29 July 2009 Bundaberg to Townsville 6–18 August 2009 Townsville to Cooktown 26 August–3 September 2009 Cairns to Mackay 19–28 September 2009 Mackay to Gladstone 6–15 October 2009 Gladstone to Sydney 23 October–7 November 2009

Photography by Endeavour crew/ANMM

This schedule is correct at time of printing. For up-to-date information, please refer to our website. Prices start at $2,070 for voyage crew berths (you’re assigned to a watch and a hammock, take your turn to steer, handle sail and go aloft) and $4,140 for supernumerary berths (you’re assigned the replica cabin of one of Cook’s officers or scientists, and can opt for a more leisurely life afloat). For more information about our 2009 voyages on Endeavour, please visit our website www.anmm.gov.au/ endeavourvoyages, or contact the Endeavour office on 1800 720 577.

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SPONSORS Generosity and passion for history THE SUCCESSFUL expedition to locate the wreck of HM Colonial Schooner Mermaid, reported on page 14 of this issue of Signals, was made possible by the great generosity of new friends to the museum – John and Jacqui Mullen and their Silentworld Foundation. The exciting Mermaid archaeological project, relating to an important chapter in the history of Australian exploration, came at a price that the museum could not sustain alone. We needed a vessel that could provide up to 45 berths for the team of divers and crew, with modern facilities, communications and technology, for no less than two weeks out on the Great Barrier Reef. We needed help! The museum discussed the project with John, whom we knew has a keen interest in maritime history and archaeology. He was inspired in turn by the passion of our archaeology team, and agreed to support the project. He chartered the vessel we needed and provided the full use and services of his own vessel Nimrod Explorer. The rest is now history, and it’s a story that he himself has become a part of. John was out on the water the day they found the Mermaid’s anchor … an event that made headlines, and a moment that he will remember forever. When individuals like these give cash, in-kind support or bequests to the museum, it enables us to share the costs of specific projects such as archaeological work, education programs, acquiring objects and

Abloy Security Pty Ltd CHAMP Pty Ltd Leighton Holdings

Commodore Memberships Hapag Lloyd (Australia) P/L Trace Personnel

Captain Memberships Art Exhibitions Australia Ltd Asiaworld Shipping Services Pty Ltd Australia Japan Cable Ltd DSTO Aeronautical & Research Laboratory Ferris Skrzynski & Associates P/L HMAS Albatross Welfare Fund HMAS Creswell HMAS Kuttabul

SIGNALS 86 March–May 2009

Principal sponsors ANZ Australian Customs Service State Forest of NSW

Major sponsors Akzo Nobel Blackmores Ltd Raytheon Australia Pty Ltd Tenix Pty Ltd

Sponsors

maintaining our historical fleet. People often assume that a national museum like ours is well-funded, but the fact is that our recurrent funding just covers the basics. We need to earn or raise the resources to support so many of the important projects we undertake. With the current economic downturn impacting on business so aggressively, we need to turn increasingly to generous individuals – no matter how small the gift may be. Being a supporter of ANMM – whether modest or major – is an investment in the preservation of our national heritage for future generations. Silentworld Foundation’s very generous support of the Mermaid project stands as a great example of how the museum can deliver success by partnering with private individuals. Come and be part of our team and share the experience. To find out more call 02 9298 3632 or go to www.anmm.gov.au/site/page.cfm?u=62. 

Corporate Members of the museum Admiral Memberships

Museum sponsors

HMAS Newcastle HMAS Vampire Association HMAS Waterhen HMAS Watson Welfare Fund Maritime Workers of Australia Credit Union Maritime Union of Australia (NSW Branch) Maruschka Loupis & Associates Middle Harbour Yacht Club Naval Association of Australia Canterbury-Bankstown Sub Section Penrith Returned Services League Pivod Technologies Pty Ltd Royal Caribbean & Celebrity Cruises SME Regimental Trust Fund Svitzer Australasia Sydney Pilot Service Pty Ltd Thales Underwater Systems P/L Zim Shipping Australasia

Australian Maritime Safety Authority Abloy Security Bill and Jean Lane BT Australasia Centenary of Federation Institution of Engineers Australia Louis Vuitton Speedo Australia Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics

Project sponsors ABLOY Australia Cathay Pacific Cargo CSIRO Forrest Training Harbourside Darling Harbour ‘K’ Line Lloyd’s Register Asia MCS Maritime Union of Australia Maxwell Optical Industries Mediterranean Shipping Company Mercantile Mutual Holdings Patrick Penrith Lakes Development Corp Philips Electronics Australia SBS Scandinavian Airlines Shell Companies in Australia Specific Freight Sydney by Sail Visions of Australia – Commonwealth Govt Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation

Founding patrons Alcatel Australia ANL Limited Ansett Airfreight Bovis Lend Lease BP Australia Bruce & Joy Reid Foundation Doyle’s Seafood Restaurant Howard Smith Limited James Hardie Industries PG, TG & MG Kailis National Australia Bank P&O Nedlloyd Telstra Westpac Banking Corporation Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics Zim Shipping Australasia

Donors Grant Pirrie Gallery State Street Australia

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From the director

Mary-Louise Williams

Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts, the Hon Peter Garrett MP, inspects a model of Phillip Parker King’s cutter Mermaid, the wreck of which has recently been located by a team led by the museum’s maritime archaeologist. The model’s maker is ANMM volunteer Richard Keyes, at left with museum director Mary-Louise Williams. Photographer Bill Richards/ANMM

EXCITEMENT was the word when news came in from the Great Barrier Reef this summer that our maritime archaeology team had located the wreck of explorer Phillip Parker King’s valiant little ship Mermaid. Less well-known, perhaps, than the big names like Cook and Flinders, Lieutenant King’s achievements in charting Australia’s coast – including the inner passage of the Great Barrier Reef that has been so vital to shipping – make Mermaid a very important vessel in our history. The news brought the Federal Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts, the Hon Peter Garrett, down here to pay tribute to the team and announce the wreck site’s protection under the Historic Shipwrecks Act 1976. The story of this successful research project is told in full starting on page 14 of this issue of Signals. A very big thank you is due to the wonderful support that this project has received from our very special benefactors, John and Jacqui Mullen and their Silentworld Foundation. There’s more about them on page 47.

Museum has administered and funded in tandem with the Australian Government since 1995. It’s one of our most important outreach programs, enabling us to support maritime heritage projects all around the country and at the same time to form partnerships with community and heritage groups wherever they may be. We are now able to distribute even larger grants than previously, as you will read in a report on the most recent round of MMAPSS grants on page 10. WELCOME to our two newest council members, Dr Julia Horne and Mr Peter Harvie. The museum’s council fills the role of a board of directors, advising the museum on broader strategic directions and bringing expertise and contacts from business, academic, cultural and, of course, maritime circles. Its members are appointed, initially for a three-year term, by the Minister for the Arts. Councillor Julia Horne is the University of Sydney’s university historian, whose responsibilities include maintaining the university’s oral history program, and developing strategies to promote the university, its heritage and history to the wider community. She has previously tutored and lectured in history at the University of New South Wales, worked as a curator in social history at the Powerhouse Museum, and is the former head of the Oral History Program in the UNSW Archives.

King’s achievements make Mermaid a very important vessel in our history I ENJOYED myself immensely in Hobart recently at the Australian Wooden Boat Festival, that wonderful and immensely popular biennial celebration of maritime heritage. While I was there it was my pleasure to open a new exhibition at the Maritime Museum of Tasmania, located in the Carnegie Building on Hobart’s famous Constitution Dock. Like many maritime museums in Australia and elsewhere, the Tasmanian Maritime Museum is run largely by enthusiastic volunteers, with a part-time administrator and curator paid from ticket and merchandise sales. A key part of the new exhibition, From Bark Canoes to Wooden Boats, was a photographic display about wooden craft that was developed with a grant from the Maritime Museums of Australia Project Support Scheme (MMAPSS). This is the program that the Australian National Maritime Page 48

Peter Harvie has been chairman of Austereo Pty Ltd since 1997. He first entered radio in 1993 as managing director of the Triple M Network before becoming managing director of the enlarged group following its merger with Austereo in 1994. He was the founder and managing director of the Clemenger Harvie advertising agency from 1974 to 1993. Mr Harvie also serves on the board of Village Roadshow Limited, the Mazda Foundation Limited and Art Exhibitions Australia Limited.  SIGNALS 86 March–May 2009


The museum Open daily except Christmas Day 9.30 am to 5.00 pm (January to 6.00 pm) Darling Harbour, Sydney NSW Australia Phone 02 9298 3777 Facsimile 02 9298 3780

ANMM council Chairman Mr Peter Sinclair am csc

Director Ms Mary-Louise Williams

Councillors Cdre Stephen Gilmore csc am ran Ms Gaye Hart am Mr Peter Harvie Dr Julia Horne Emeritus Professor John Penrose Mr John Rothwell ao Mr Neville Stevens ao Dr Andrew Sutherland Mrs Nerolie Withnall

Signals ISSN1033-4688 Editorial production Editor Jeffrey Mellefont 02 9298 3647 Assistant editor Penny Crino

Photography Staff photographer Andrew Frolows

Design & production Jeremy Austen and Jo Kaupe, Austen Kaupe

Printer Printed in Australia by GEON group

Advertising enquiries Jeffrey Mellefont 02 9298 3647 Deadline end of January, April, July, October for issues March, June, September, December

Signals back issues The museum sells a selection of back issues of Signals. Back issues $4.00, 10 back issues $30.00. Extra copies of current issue $4.95. Call Matt Lee at The Store 02 9298 3698 Material from Signals may be reproduced only with the editor’s permission 02 9298 3647. The Australian National Maritime Museum is a statutory authority of the Commonwealth Government. For more information contact us at: GPO Box 5131 Sydney NSW 2001 Australia      

ANMM on the web www.anmm.gov.au


Signals, Issue 86