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Museum Up Late: Capturing Curious Creatures


Sat 26th November 2022, 4:00 PM - 8:00 PM


2 Queensland Rd
Murwillumbah NSW 2484


Explore stories behind how and why we collect, preserve, and showcase our natural history Up Late in the Museum.

Come and explore stories behind how and why we collect, preserve, and showcase our natural history. Hear from observers and conservers on the art of taxidermy, taxonomy for evolution and scientific research and the relationship between humans and animals throughout life and death.

Enjoy a range of showcases, activities and fascinating conversations with a Museum Director, artists and trained observers and collectors, along with exploring the Capturing Nature exhibition providing an exquisite backdrop of natural history photographs reproduced from the Australian Museum’s collection. You can also relax in our courtyard and listen to live music by Phil and Tilley, while you enjoy tasty Japanese eats by Oki Foods and fun beverages by The Gin Experience.

Preserving butterflies with lepidopterist (butterfly expert) Greg Newlan

Butterfly pinning activity, displays and conversations | 4 – 8 pm

Join Greg at the Butterfly Booth to see some of the most beautiful butterflies from Australia, Asia and South America and learn firsthand the art of butterfly collecting, pinning, and preserving.

Greg’s interest in collecting is sustained by the environmental messages his collection represents. Butterfly numbers have declined over the decades since he first started collecting and the biggest threat to their future survival in the Northern Rivers is loss of habitat caused by activities such as land clearing. Hear his journey of collecting, how to create a healthy habitat for butterflies and the important role they play in the natural ecosystem.

Bird calls and capturing feathered creatures with Anne Smerdon

Sound and drawing activity | 4 – 8 pm

Learn the unique calls of three of our wild Black Glossy Cockatoo’s, their mannerisms and how to capture their true personality with charcoal and chalk pastels. Anne Smerdon is an award-winning Australian artist focused on the complex but often-overlooked minds and personalities of animals, particularly birds. With an extensive knowledge of bird psychology and body language, Anne uses her work to raise awareness and educate others about protecting and caring for our wild and captive birds.

The Adapted Artifact with Christine Mellor

Object showcase | 4 – 6 pm Conversations and reconstructions | 6 – 8 pm

Animal bones, feathers, quills, & snakeskin explored in creative practice. Christine Mellor’s artwork involves using collected native Australian animals, retrieved as roadkill, which she prepares before arranging them as subjects for paintings and as elements in small sculptures. Visit Christine’s object showcase to learn about the art of taxidermy, decomposition process and how and why she came to incorporate animals in her evocative and special objects.

Why we capture – Stories from a Museum Director

Conversations and questions | 4 – 8 pm

Meet Museum Director, Molly Green in the Capturing Nature exhibition as she reveals some of the dramatic behind-the-scenes stories from the images in the exhibition, why Museums capture our natural history and answer any of your questions.

Create a Cryptid (new animal)!

Self guided fun | 4 – 8 pm

A cryptid is an unknown, legendary, or extinct animal like those in popular folklore, such as Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster.

Explore the animals in the Capturing Nature exhibition and then create your very own cryptid using your imagination, collage techniques and drawing. What will you call your cryptid? Where did you last see it?

Diprotodon Fossil Dig!

Self guided fun | 4 – 8 pm

Alert all little explorers, palaeontologists, and archivists! More real fossils have been found in the Museum. What is it? Fossil, plant, shell, fish, gem or mammal? We need your help to dig, discover and identify it!

Capturing Nature

The exhibition | 4 – 8 pm

Capturing Nature: Early photographs at the Australian Museum 1857-1893 travels back to a time when photography was revolutionising science, art and society. These images, reproduced from the Australian Museum’s collection of glass plate negatives from 1857 to 1893, are some of Australia’s earliest natural history photographs. They tell the story of pioneering natural history and science research as well as the advent of photography in Australia.

The exhibition also features natural history specimens from Tweed Regional Museum’s collection, alongside a special installation of giant Diprotodon puppets created by Dead Puppet Society.

All ages event. Bookings essential due to limited capacity.


Sat 26th November 2022, 4:00 PM - 8:00 PM


2 Queensland Rd
Murwillumbah NSW 2484

We wish to acknowledge the Ngandowal and Minyungbal speaking people of the Bundjalung Country, in particular the Goodjinburra, Tul-gi-gin and Moorung – Moobah clans, as being the traditional owners and custodians of the land and waters within the Tweed Shire boundaries. We also acknowledge and respect the Tweed Aboriginal community’s right to speak for its Country and to care for its traditional Country in accordance with its lores, customs and traditions.