Image from Objects as Art: Hidden Stories from the National Pioneer Women’s Hall of Fame’s Collections of Treasures 2014. Designed by Judith Coverdale. Jade Doyle Bottles.

The Women’s Museum of Australia acquires and maintains a collection in the following key areas:

  • pioneering women’s stories, artefacts, photographs, books, memorabilia and art and craft;
  • an archive of historical records, literature, personal manuscripts, stories, artefacts, photographs, artworks and memorabilia of those individual Australian women who were first in their field;
  • stories, recollections, historical records, artworks and public archives relating to the Old Alice Springs Gaol, including recollections of prison life from former staff and inmates of the Old Alice Springs Gaol; and
  • a research library of literature, historical records and personal manuscripts relating to the three areas above.

The Women’s Museum of Australia seeks to commemorate the achievement of all Australian women – not just white Europeans but also those from Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and non-English speaking backgrounds.

The skipping rope of Phyllis Ethel Mence (nee Maggs)

Museum foundation member June Noble endearingly tells the story of the skipping rope belonging to her mother Phyllis, held as part of the museum collection, to local ABC Open Producer, Dave Nixon. This evocative story-telling can be found on the ABC Open webpage and was selected to feature on the National Museum of Australia’s webpage and on Radio National’s Hindsight program (30 November 2014).

The Pine Gap Peace Protest Collection

The museum’s Pine Gap Peace Protest Collection includes two peace quilts, associated ephemera and a homemade water container relating to the “Women for Survival” peace camp at Pine Gap in November 1983. These objects represent an important part of women’s history in Alice Springs as well as the pioneering spirit of the women’s peace movement in Australia.

Further information can be found in our short film, The NPWHF Pine Gap Peace Protest Collection.