At The Australian National Maritime Museum ‘Stellar 2020 Program’ Launch

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At the Australian National Maritime Museum 'Stellar 2020 Program' Launch.
My navy dress with white stripes seems to be an obvious choice for the Maritime Museum's 2020 program launch. Photo credit: Kent Johnson

When think of the word ‘maritime’ I think of sailors in their sailor caps, navy-blue-and-white uniforms and of course, the naval ships… That’s why when it came to my outfit for attending the Stellar 2020 Program Launch of the Australian National Maritime Museum, my navy dress with white stripes seemed to be an obvious choice.

At the Australian National Maritime Museum 'Stellar 2020 Program' Launch
Event guests gathering at the Darling Harbour waterfront location. Behind the crowd we see one of the Museum’s most photographed installations – Downward Force on Upward Moving Objects by artist Wang Luyan. Photo credit: Kent Johnson

Arriving at the muSEAum (yes it’s their new logo) on the 20th of November; Kent and I soon joined fellow guests at the museum’s Darling Harbour waterfront location. It was a beautiful day with light breezes, and to pay homage to the sea, canapés such as fresh oysters, pan-seared scallops; fish and chips, prawn cocktails and seafood risotto balls complimented our harbour view and sparkling wines beautifully. We learnt that 2019 had been the best year on the record for the Museum, with a record-breaking, total visitation of 2.1 million, we were eager to find out what 2020 would bring.

At the Australian National Maritime Museum 'Stellar 2020 Program' Launch
Seafood canapés at the launch event – delicious!

‘The Maritime Museum Is So Much More Than A Museum’

Come time for the speeches, all guests were moved from the outdoor area to a glass-wall conference hall. First order of business, Aunty Donna Ingram, a local Indigenous Elder delivered the ‘Welcome to Country’. The lectern was then handed over to the museum’s speakers including Gail de Raadt, Sponsorship and Partnerships Manager; Kevin Sumption PSM, Director and CEO of the Museum and Michael Harvey, the Assistant Director.

At the Australian National Maritime Museum 'Stellar 2020 Program' Launch
‘The Maritime Museum is so much more than a museum…’ Comments by Kevin Sumption PSM, Director and CEO of the Museum. Photo credit: Kent Johnson

‘The Maritime Museum is so much more than a museum.. My vision is that we might genuinely shape and impact the very nature of how Australians understand, love and preserve our history with, and of the sea in new and profound ways…’ Commented by Mr. Sumption. And I do agree with Mr. Harvey that when replacing the word ‘maritime’ with ‘sea’ or ‘ocean’, people suddenly have more of an emotional engagement to it!

Maritime Museum Launches Stellar 2020 Program

At the Australian National Maritime Museum 'Stellar 2020 Program' Launch
A view of the ‘muSEAum’ from the Pyrmont Bridge. Photo credit: Kent Johnson

Kicking off with the spectacular Sea Monsters – Prehistoric Ocean Predators; from March to October the Museum will bring back a crowd favourite – Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition, and better than ever, for the first time in Australia in a brand new large format with back-lit panels! 2020 marks 250 years since Captain James Cook and the HMB Endeavour charted the East Coast of Australia. The Museum’s extensive 14-month Encounters 2020 program looks at this historic event and its lasting impact on Modern Australia.

Other highlights such as the biennial Classic and Wooden Boat Festival will once again sail into the picturesque Darling Harbour in May. You can test your wits and expend your horizons through the Murder Mystery and Ocean Talks programs held throughout the year. There are more exhibitions, art shows and activities, simply view the full program and start planning.

From Sea Monsters To Venice Exhibition

At the Australian National Maritime Museum 'Stellar 2020 Program' Launch
Kent, enjoying an after-hours viewing of the ‘Sea Monsters’ exhibition which kicks off the 2020 program. Photo credit: Vivienne Shui

As event guests, we enjoyed a late night private viewing of what is sure to be very popular, the ‘Sea Monsters’ exhibition. I took this photo of Kent walking through a rib cage of a giant sea creature. His official Venetian Gondolier jumper Kent wrapped around his shoulder was a little souvenir from Venezia when we visited last year and a nautical wardrobe must for the night. Ironically, the Museum’s 2020 program will wrap with the blockbuster Venice exhibition. The 2020-21 Australia summer will see the majestic and romantic, yet incredibly vulnerable city of Venice come to life. Visitors will be invited to come explore the famous city’s inhabitants as the live, love; Carnevale and deal with the climate change – right on the edge of the Adriatic Sea. Definitely not to be missed if you ask me.

Thank you Australian National Maritime Museum for your invite. For more coverage of the launch, simply go to Kent’s take on the event at Street Fashion Sydney.

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