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Maritime Heritage grants preserving maritime history for future generations of Australia

The Australian National Maritime Museum has announced this year’s successful recipients in the latest round of grants under the Maritime Museums of Australia Project Support Scheme (MMAPSS). Museums and cultural organisations across Australia will receive funding and support toward projects that protect and preserve the nation’s proud maritime heritage.

Twenty-six successful MMAPSS applications will share in more than $130,000 in grants and in-kind support, with eleven receiving funding for projects ranging from vessel preservation to exhibition development, four receiving in-kind support only, one receiving both funding and in-kind support, and ten recipients will be funded to attend an on‑site museology course under MMAPSS.

This announcement unveiled the breadth and depth of new and ongoing maritime heritage initiatives. Each reflecting narratives and legacies that are both deeply rooted in their local context and nationally significant. This includes the development and design of a new exhibition within the Portland Maritime Museum (VIC) dedicated to telling the stories, history and culture in collaboration with the Traditional Owner group, the local Gunditj Mirring, who will co-curate the exhibition.

The MMAPSS Selection Committee has reported that the calibre of projects funded in this year’s grant highlight the variety of ways in which the maritime heritage sector is continuously adapting to bring to life Australia’s historical narratives in unique and interesting ways, and then sharing these stories with as many different audiences as possible.

Minister for the Arts Tony Burke said, “You can’t tell the story of Australia without a look at our maritime history, and these projects shine a light on this important element of the Australian experience – and shares it with communities across the country.”

Daryl Karp AM, Director and CEO of the Australian National Maritime Museum, said “Our unique identity as an island nation is shaped by our seas and waterways, and the stories, vessels and artefacts that make up our maritime legacy. Through the dedication of so many Australians, whose efforts are poured into projects and works across a national network of museums, organisations and communities throughout Australia, this legacy can be preserved for future generations.”

MMAPSS is administered by the Australian National Maritime Museum on behalf of the Australian Government. Since 1995, MMAPSS has provided more than $2.53 million to over 551 projects and over 85 museological training opportunitiesto organisations across Australia.

Projects include the physical restoration of vessels or strategic planning to enable their preservation, site enhancements that help tell stories of maritime heritage, support to develop and extend information sharing and educational materials that promote community access, digital platforms and publications that share heritage stories and resources, as well as special projects focused on the exhibition and conservation of specific heritage items.

The Museum will also provide selected projects with in-kind support, to assist with planning, evaluation, interpretation, conservation, and education. Staff and volunteers at museums and historical societies across Australia will have access to subject-matter specialists from the Museum’s Curatorial, Fleet, Conservation, Education, and Communications teams.



Camperdown Cemetery Trust – Conservation works to the graves of four significant Australian maritime figures. Namely: John Leys, James Saunderson, Herbert A Edwards and James Wood.

Eden Killer Whale Museum – Vessel Management Plan for the historic timber fishing launch Maureen, constructed around 1937 by local boat builder and fisher Ike Warren.

Sydney Maritime Museum Ltd. ta Sydney Heritage Fleet – Providing weather protection for the 1903 Edwardian Gentleman’s yacht Boomerang and for her visitors and our guides.

Merimbula-Imlay Historical Society Inc. – Arranging the preparation of a Vessel Management Plan assessed by Australian National Maritime Museum personnel

Port of Yamba Historical Society – Repositioning Billy Black’s Skiff inside Yamba Museum.

Mid North Coast Maritime Museum Inc. – Creating a website to allow the company to disseminate information and locations to the public.


  • Kiama & District Historical Association Inc.
  • Tomaree Museum Association Inc


History Trust of South Australia (South Australian Maritime Museum) – Ensuring the conservation of Yelta in water at McLaren Wharf

National Trust of South Australia, Willunga Branch – Development of exhibition depicting shipwrecks in terms of social and socio-economic processes in colonial South Australia, and in colonial Australia more broadly.


  • National Trust of South Australia, Robe Branch


Maritime Museum of Tasmania inc.– Rehousing the Museum’s much-used nineteenth and early twentieth-century photographic collections in industry-standard archival material for safe long-term storage.


Australian National Submarine Museum – Developing an easily accessible website which includes links to physical displays in Australia and around the World.


Queensland Maritime Museum Association – Researching, developing and presenting a permanent Australian Sailing and Rowing Exhibition entitled Making Waves: Stories of Australian Adventurers

National Trust of Australia (Queensland) Limited – Developing an interpretive display in the Maritime Gallery which enhances visitor engagement with the Cooktown Grassy Hill Lighthouse.


Glenelg Shire Council – Portland Maritime Museum– Development and design of a new exhibition within the Portland Maritime Museum dedicated to telling the stories, history and culture of the local Gunditjmara.

Couta Boat Association Incorporated – Cconstruction of education signage describing to all visitors the history of the Couta Boats that are homed in the waters of Port Phillip in the vicinity of the Sorrento Sailing Couta Boat Club

Apostleship of the Sea, Stella Maris Seafarers’ Centre Inc – Assessment of exhibition spaces to determine how to best utilize the space to make a display of three large scale Australian ship models recently acquired.


  • Seaworks Foundation
  • Glenelg Shire Council
  • Offshore and Specialist Ships Australia Ltd
  • Amazon 1863 Project Inc.


Discovery Bay Tourism Precinct – Digitising the logbooks of the Toern’s journey and subsequent day to day operational activities on board, making these historic maritime stories available for all.


  • Discovery Bay Tourism Precinct LTD
  • Broome Historical Society Inc.


The Maritime Museums of Australia Project Support Scheme (MMAPSS) is funded by the Australian Government – through the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts and the Australian National Maritime Museum. MMAPSS provides grants of up to $15,000, as well as museological training opportunities valued at up to $3,000 and in-kind support from Australian National Maritime Museum experts.

MMAPSS offers funding to museums and other not-for-profit organisations to help preserve or display objects of national and historical maritime significance. It also supports staff or volunteers, including from remote or regional organisations across Australia, to spend time learning specific skills and making valuable connections.

Many cultural institutions around the country care for maritime items of historical and national significance. The Australian National Maritime Museum supports and encourages efforts to conserve and display unique local objects for today’s audiences and future generations.

MMAPSS gives grants of up to $15,000 for projects that fall into one or more of these categories:

  • Collection management (registration, documentation and storage)
  • Conservation (preservation, vessel restoration, conservation work/treatments and professional assessments)
  • Presentation (research, development of exhibitions, establishing interpretative displays and workshops)
  • Development of relevant education or public programs which make collections more accessible to audiences

MMAPSS also gives grants of up to $3,000 to support attendance at the Museum Administrators’ Course:

  • Museological training for paid or unpaid workers of not-for-profit organisations caring for Australia’s maritime collections
  • Funding will support the accommodation and travel costs of staff and/or volunteers to participate in a week-long Museum Administrators’ Course to develop museological skills and knowledge that will increase standards of practice for the care and management of maritime collections (provided by the Australian National Maritime Museum).

Since its inception in 1995, the Australian Government has provided more than $2.53 million to over 551 projects and over 85 development opportunities under MMAPSS, to organisations in Queensland, New South Wales (including Norfolk and Lord Howe Islands), Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia, Western Australia (including the Cocos and Keeling Islands), the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory.

Please visit the website for details on the next round of funding.