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'Reconciliation Ship' float

Since the Centenary of colonisation in 1888 there have been many parades and civic events that presented Australian identity and history in dramatic and symbolic fashion. Most recently parades organised and events for the Bicentennial in 1988, the Sydney Olympics in 2000 and the Centenary of Australian Federation in 2001 attempted to engage with complex debates about Australia's identity and history that focussed on issues of democracy, gender, reconciliation between Indigenous and …


Object No.


Object Statement

Float, 'Reconciliation Ship', with parts, mixed media, designed by Wendy Osmond, made in Australia, 2000, used at 'Journey of a Nation' Centenary of Federation parade, 2001

Physical Description

This is a large float mounted on a steel four-wheeled trailer. It takes the form of an ocean liner made from a combination of wood, plaster, plastic and metal. It has two black red and white funnels. It has a bright yellow superstructure. At the front of this is a large gold coloured Australian coat of arms. At the bow is a metal red ensign. At the stern are two large hands, one black the other bronze in colour, clasped together. The forward deck has three small wooden seats not visible from the ground. A coloured safety fence surrounds the deck. On this is hung four white life buoys inscribed 'Australia 2001'. The hull is brown and white. At the bow on both sides is name 'Australia'. Surrounding the hull are lengths of perforated metal simulating waves upon which have been stuck blue, green, red, yellow and black hands.



4200 mm


3500 mm


Credit Line

Gift of New South Wales Centenary of Federation Committee, 2004

Acquisition Date

12 January 2004

Cite this Object


'Reconciliation Ship' float 2023, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 27 March 2023, <>


{{cite web |url= |title='Reconciliation Ship' float |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=27 March 2023 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}


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