Wear your colours
Explore our collection of political badges, learn about important events and social movements, and read touching and inspiring accounts from people who wore some of these badges.
Australian Federal election speeches
Each election, Prime Ministerial candidates lay out their parties’ platforms in campaign speeches. These speeches are more than just historical records; they tell us about national concerns and political obsessions, wars and drought, industry and society. They speak to—and in some cases, exploit—our aspirations and our fears. We’ve collected speeches by successful and unsuccessful candidates from every election from 1901 right up to the present day.
Behind the Lines: The Year’s Best Cartoons 2012
This exhibition celebrates Australia’s wonderful tradition of political cartooning. Published in newspapers, journals and online, cartoons are part of the public record of a nation’s political life. Each cartoon is a snapshot of the major events and personalities of the last year. With wit and wisdom they provide an opportunity to reflect on the state of Australian politics and expose the robust nature of Australian democracy.
Discovering Mildenhall’s Canberra
The Mildenhall Collection of photographs documents the early development of Australia’s capital city, Canberra, from the 1920s to the 1930s. The collection comprises more than 7,700 images on glass plate negatives and has significant cultural and historical value to Australians.
Marnti Warajanga—a walk together
The struggle for equality, self-determination, and financial independence has been fought through significant national movements, and continues to rely on activism at a local level. The Marnti Warajanga—a walk together introduces people from of the Pilbara region in Australia’s north-west as they reflect on their journey towards equality in their own country.
Dismissed! Whitlam, Fraser, Kerr and the story of 1975
In 1972, following twenty-three years of Liberal-Country Party Government, Australians decided ‘it’s time’ for change. The Labor Party was swept into Government on a wave of popular support. Three years later, Labor’s period of Government was abruptly terminated amidst a storm of controversy. It was three years marked by rapid change in Australian politics dominated by larger-than-life personalities and the political circumstances of the time.
The Petrov Affair
The defection of the Petrovs came to be regarded by Western intelligence services as one of the most important of the Cold War era. The Petrov Affair had a profound and lasting impact on the Australian political landscape, with the Labor Party Split a direct consequence of the events of 1954-1955.
Billy Hughes at War
Explore the activities and resources about Prime Minister Billy Hughes, the conscription debate and Australia’s involvement in the peace negotiations. Billy Hughes led Australia as prime minister through some of the hardest years of the First World War. His actions and decisions give a personal insight into some of the key issues of the war.
Mrs. Prime Minister
Meet 26 remarkable women who have been wives to prime ministers from 1901 to 2010. Prior to Julia Gillard becoming Australia’s first female prime minister in 2010, most Australian prime ministers took office with a woman at their side. Each prime minister’s wife interpreted her role according to her special interests, and where she felt she could have most impact.
Beyond Reasonable Drought
Beyond Reasonable Drought is an exhibition in association with the MAP Group — Many Australian Photographers. It features images by some of Australia’s best photographers, documenting the impact of the drought on the land, people and psyche of rural and urban Australia.
Menzies’ 1941 Diary
Menzies’ diary of his trip to London in 1941 is a candid record of decision-making in foreign and military policy, including his doubts over the leadership style of British Prime Minister Winston Churchill. There is no known equivalent in Australian political history, and the diary would undoubtedly have been political dynamite if it had fallen into the wrong hands during the war.
A brush with politics: the life and work of John Frith
For more than sixty years John Frith entertained Australians with his powerful and insightful cartoons. Frith stripped back the layers of national and international events, exposing their complexities in a simple and humorous way. Frith was also a skilled caricaturist, and drew upon his large repertoire of characters to present a sharp and revealing interpretation of Australian politics and life.