Princess Cruises has created history with a new onboard exhibition showcasing major moments from Australia’s past.
The exhibition, titled Defining Moments in Australian History has been developed in partnership with the National Museum of Australia and will feature onboard the cruise line’s record fleet of five Australian-based ships until 2021.
Through public discussion, online resources and community events, the initial program at the Museum in Canberra identified 100 key defining moments in Australian history, including the opening of the Sydney Opera House, evidence of Indigenous Australians on this continent over 50,000 years ago and the formation of the children’s entertainment group The Wiggles.
Using existing content and images, the Museum then designed and produced 20 panels that provide an introduction to Australia and its people, for display on Princess’ ships.
These panels form part of the onboard exhibit, giving an overview of key events that define Australian history, along with several artifacts, exclusive to the Princess exhibition, which are on show for guests to view. These include convict leg irons, a Dead Man’s Penny (memorial plaque) and Aboriginal stone tools.
Princess Cruises Vice President Australia & New Zealand Stuart Allison said the response from guests had been extremely positive.
“We’ve had a great reaction from our guests. On exhibition days the atrium is packed with people who are curious to see what moments have made the top 100, they love it,” Mr Allison said.
National Museum Deputy Director – Collections and Content, Janda Gooding said the National Museum was delighted to partner with Princess Cruises to bring its Defining Moments in Australian History project to an even wider audience.
“The National Museum is committed to sharing high quality Australian-history storytelling with as many people as possible and travelling exhibitions like this one allow even more people to enjoy our programs,” Dr Gooding said.
“We’ve also been very pleased to be able to operate a special program on Emerald Princess throughout the summer season, with a National Museum curator onboard to present the Defining Moments project and engage with guests,” she said.
The success of the program is the level of public involvement, so the Museum is inviting Princess guests to join the debate about the nation’s past during their cruise, and to suggest a defining moment of their own.
A short video, featuring interviews on the streets of Sydney and Melbourne and with author Tom Keneally and historian Michelle Arrow, has also been produced for the exhibit and will be shown on Princess’ ships several times during each cruise that features the exhibition.