About the Museum

The National Museum of Australia is located in Canberra, the nation’s capital. The Museum focuses on Australia’s social history and explores the land, nation and people of Australia.

  • Land concerns the interaction between the Australian landscape and its flora and fauna with the people who have lived, and continue to live, here. How has the land shaped human settlement and society? How does it contribute to the national identity of Australians?
  • Nation explores specifically the idea of national identity. The population of Australia is formed by many separate strands, and visitors to the Museum are encouraged to contribute their own ideas of national identity.
  • People examines the way ordinary and extraordinary Australians have connected with, and been shaped by, both land and nation – and how that process continues today.

The Museum’s collection

The Museum’s National Historical Collection is a relatively young collection by international standards. It consists of objects acquired by transfer from other government agencies, through donation and bequest, and by purchase.

The National Historical Collection contains one of the world’s largest collections of Indigenous bark paintings and the collection of the former Australian Institute of Anatomy, including the racehorse Phar Lap’s heart.

The collection also features an assortment of historical vehicles, material related to Australian politics and politicians, over 300 convict tokens, and an extensive collection of Aboriginal breastplates.

Find out more about the Museum, its collections, exhibitions and programs at www.nma.gov.au