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Australian National Maritime Museum

2 Murray Street

Sydney, NSW 2000


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9.15 am: Registration & morning tea

9.45am - 4.30pm: Narratives of Nations Symposium (including speakers, lunch & afternoon tea)



The theme of the second Narratives of Nations symposium encompasses the physical act of discovering and, the intellectual satisfaction of unearthing new facts, developing new theories and establishing fresh connections thereby opening up new perspectives on the way we interpret and describe our world through the prism of cultural heritage.

A distinguished panel of overseas and Australian speakers will address aspects of discovery and draw out connections with the collection of The Australiana Fund and, the nation’s Official Residences.

Tim Knox, Director, Royal Collection, United Kingdom

Looking after The Royal Collection

The Royal Collection is one of the largest and most important art collections in the world, and one of the last great European royal collections to remain intact. Comprising almost all aspects of the fine and decorative arts, and running to more than a million objects, it is displayed, and still used, in 13 royal residences and former residences across the United Kingdom. Held in trust by The Queen as Sovereign for Her successors and the nation, Tim Knox talks about the work of The Royal Collection Trust, which cares for the collection and shares it with the wider public, making special reference to the challenges and opportunities of caring for a working collection. He will also highlight some of the works of Australian interest owned by Her Majesty.

Dr Todd Longstaffe-Gowan, Landscape Designer.Gardens Adviser to Historic Royal Palaces and President of the London Parks & Gardens Trust.

Where Elegance and Grandeur meet

Todd Longstaffe-Gowan will discuss his longstanding role in the conservation and re-presentation of the parks and gardens at Hampton Court and Kensington Palaces - two of Britain’s greatest and most distinguished royal landscapes. Todd brings to his garden design a sense of the complexities of our relation to the past that is informed by his training and experience as an architect, landscape architect, cultural geographer and historian.

Dr Daniel Finamore, The Russell W. Knight Curator of Maritime Art and History, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA, United States of America.

In Plain Sight: Discoveries and Rediscoveries in an Old Museum Collection.

A Voyage of the General Wolfe: How a discovery of a colonial cabinetmaker’s account books clarified the mystery of an unusual Massachusetts desk, bringing to light the amazing Caribbean voyage of a 17-year-old shipmaster.

Dr Susannah Helman, Curatorial Manager, Exhibitions, National Library of Australia

Cook and the Pacific

The National Library of Australia's recent major exhibition 'Cook and the Pacific' (22 September 2018 - 10 February 2019) explored James Cook's three Pacific voyages between 1768 and 1779 as meetings of peoples and their knowledge systems. Susannah co-curated the exhibition.

Louise Anemaat, Executive Director, Library and Information Services and Dixson Librarian, State Library of New South Wales

Drawing in the Colony

Colonial drawings are the means by which knowledge about Australia found its way into books and museums and from there, into European consciousness. This presentation looks at the traditions of natural history art production and its convention of copying and trans-Pacific dissemination during the earliest years of colonisation.

Following the keynote speakers there will be a panel presentation and discussion: Discovering Places, Objects and Big Ideas in the World of Sir Henry Parkes

Kylie Winkworth, Museum and heritage consultant

Introduction: Significance as a discovery tool

Jennifer Sanders, Chair, The Australiana Fund

The 1879 Sydney International Exhibition: Bringing the world to the Colony of NSW.

Margaret Betteridge, freelance curator and heritage consultant. Formerly Honorary Fine Arts Adviser to The Australiana Fund

A Poem in Stone: Discovering the politics of art and patronage in The Colonial Secretary's Building

Kylie Winkworth, Sir Henry Parkes: a man of many parts, places and collections

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Australian National Maritime Museum

2 Murray Street

Sydney, NSW 2000


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