Symbols of Australia exhibition opens in Townsville

17 September 2010

What symbolises the Australian identity? For some it’s the kangaroo, for others it’s natural wonders like Uluru or man-made icons like the Sydney Harbour Bridge, some might even sum it up with Vegemite. Symbols of Australia, a travelling exhibition developed and presented by the National Museum of Australia, opens at the Museum of Tropical Queensland today.

The exhibition explores the diverse range of national symbols that define and represent Australia’s national identity.

“National symbols help define and represent national identity, but as with all symbols their meanings can vary depending on context and point of view. Some national symbols endure, others fade and new symbols develop as attitudes and values change,” said National Museum of Australia Curator Michelle Hetherington.

“Drawn from the collections of the National Museum of Australia, this exhibition explores ten of the symbols Australians have chosen to represent themselves,” Michelle said.

Through more than 40 objects, informative text panels and engaging multimedia, the exhibition presents stories surrounding ten symbolic themes: Kangaroo, Wattle, The Flag, Boomerang, Uluru, Sydney Harbour Bridge, The Billy, Vegemite, Holden and The Southern Cross.

Symbols of Australia is a National Museum of Australia travelling exhibition and will also travel to Brisbane, Bundaberg, Rockhampton, Port Pirie, Ballarat, Wagga Wagga and Dubbo throughout 2011 and 2012.

Symbols of Australia is on show at the Museum of Tropical Queensland from 6 September – 14 November.

Some of the objects from the exhibition can be viewed online via the National Museum of Australia’s website:

Entry to the Museum of Tropical Queensland is free for locals through the Council Community Pass, supported by Townsville, Burdekin, Charters Towers and Hinchinbrook councils.

The Museum of Tropical Queensland, part of the Queensland Museum, is open from 9.30am - 5pm daily.

For interviews, images or more information please contact please contact Mei Nee Cheong at the Museum of Tropical Queensland on 0414 264 987 or the National Museum’s Public Affairs office on 02 6208 5338, 0438 620 710 or .