Objects through time

Objects through time

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100 objects that define modern Australia

This publication from the NSW Migration Heritage Centre traces the history of migration to this continent through a selection of 100 significant objects spanning a 60,000-year time frame.

Researched and written by MHC curator Stephen Thompson, the book features objects from collections across the world that document the migration of people, technology and ideas to our shores.

It begins with the first migrants, the Aboriginal people who crossed the land bridge to Northwest Australia some 60,000 years ago. There are objects from the early British arrivals, like the sextant and secret instructions from Captain James Cook's expedition to the South Pacific and east coast of Australia in 1770, and the 1787 draft Instructions for Governor Phillip laying the foundations of European Australia in 1788.

Events that shaped the 20th century are represented by objects and ephemera from the White Australia Policy, German Australian communities during the Great War, the Cowra breakout during WWII, the Snowy Hydro Electric Scheme, the Colombo Plan, the rock n roll of The Easybeats, the vessel Tu Do that the Lu family used to flee Vietnam in 1975 and a special polymer banknote commemorating the 1988 Bicentennial.