Menzies’ 1941 Diary
In 1941 Prime Minister Robert Menzies went to wartime London to secure Australia’s defence position. He travelled via the British stronghold in Singapore and visited Australia’s troops serving in the Middle East. Menzies’ diary is a candid record of decision-making in foreign and military policy, as well as being a fascinating account of his journey.
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.
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 government was abruptly terminated amidst a storm of controversy.
Art is a Weapon
Art is a Weapon takes you back to an Australia gripped by the Cold War. Amid propaganda for and against communism, artists turned to an image familiar to most Australians; the Southern Cross flag of the Eureka Stockade.
Behind the Lines 2013
Behind the Lines 2013 tells the tale of broken parliamentary alliances, caucus instability, leadership spills, prime ministerial change, corruption scandals, cabinet reshuffles, policies and opinion polls—a selection of works from Australia’s best political cartoonists, chosen from almost 900 submissions, as well as cartoons from the museum’s own collection.
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, these cartoons provide an opportunity to reflect on the state of Australian politics and expose the robust nature of Australian democracy.
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. We’ve collected speeches by candidates from every election from 1901 to the present day.
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.
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.
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.
John Frith: the art of politics
The museum has a significant collection of original cartoons and sculptures by John Frith, one of Australia’s most prolific and celebrated cartoonists and artists. Frith’s career spanned forty years, most famously at The Herald in Melbourne, in which all of the featured cartoons were published.
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.
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.
Getting it together
Using historical sources such as newspaper extracts, cartoons, speeches and biographies, the Getting it Together website contains a series of activities for students to explore in the classroom.
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.