Help support Australia's maritime heritage

HMAS AE1's helm and forward and aft periscopes

Your donation helps the museum collect, conserve and share our maritime heritage for Australians and visitors alike.

Donate now
  • Donations


    A tax-deductible donation to the Australian National Maritime Museum this year will provide support for us to collect, conserve and share Australia's precious maritime heritage. Help us keep the nation's important maritime stories alive for future generations.

    Donate now


    WHAT HAPPENED TO AE1  - Donations to the Foundation helped solve the 103 year old mystery of the location of Australia’s first submarine – HMAS AE1 - found off the coast of Papua New Guinea in December 2017.  The Foundation is now fundraising to research to investigate what happened to the vessel and why.  Your donations will help bring closure to this most important maritime story for the families of the 35 men who died serving on this vessel.

    Learn more about AE1

    ACQUISITIONS ENDOWMENT - Donations for this priority will help the museum to conserve precious objects and add important new material to the National Maritime Collection.


    INDIGENOUS EDUCATION - The museum wants to employ an Indigenous educator to work with the community designing a new program to improve educational outcomes for Indigenous and non-Indigenous students across Australia.


    MIGRATION STORY - We are seeking financial support to refresh our migration exhibitions and collection, enhance engagement with Australian’s ethnic communities and upgrade our Welcome Wall. With your financial help we will be able to develop these wonderful assets and deliver revitalised projects throughout the museum over the next few years.


    MV KRAITMV Krait is currently undergoing an extensive $1 million restoration program to return it to its 1943 configuration. To donate towards the MV Krait Restoration Fund please enter MV Krait Restoration Fund in the Additional Comments section of our donation form.

    The fishing trawler MV Krait underway

    Fundraising by The Museum

    The museum is a Commonwealth Government entity with Deductible Gift Recipient status for the purpose of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997.

    Donations of $2 or more to the museum are tax deductible.

    The Australian National Maritime Foundation

    Chairman and Directors:

    • John Mullen (Chairman)
    • Peter Dexter AM
    • Kevin Sumption PSM
    • Daniel Janes
    • Jeff McMullen AM
    • Rob Mundle OAM
    • Arlene Tansey
    • Frank Shapter Secretary

    Contact us

    For further information, or to make a donation, please contact us:

    Phone: +61 2 9298 3777


  • About


    The museum is a Commonwealth Government entity with Deductible Gift Recipient status for the purpose of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997. Donations of $2 or more to the museum are tax deductible.

    The Australian National Maritime Museum Foundation is overseen by a Board of Directors and in 2016 Mr John Mullen was appointed the Foundation Chair. Donations to the Foundation are tax deductible. 

    Board Members

    Mr John Mullen

    Mr Mullen is the Chairman of Telstra and until recently was the Chief Executive Officer of Asciano Ltd. He has worked in the logistics industry for more than two decades including roles as global CEO of DHL Express and global CEO of TNT Express Worldwide. He is currently on the board of Kimberley Foundation Australia, and is co-founder of the Silentworld Foundation which supports maritime archaeology in Australia.  

    John is passionate about maritime exploration and indigenous rock art in the Kimberley, WA. He spends his spare time diving for colonial shipwrecks and maintains a private museum dedicated to historical material from early maritime voyages to the Pacific.  Mr Mullen will bring his expertise in philanthropy, maritime archaeology, leadership and management to the Council. As the Chair of the Australian National Maritime Foundation, his appointment will strengthen communication and relationships between the Council and the Foundation.

    Mr Kevin Sumption 

    Kevin Sumption was appointed Director and CEO of the Australian National Maritime Museum (ANMM) in February 2012 after holding high profile leadership roles in cultural institutions in Australia and abroad. Kevin was one of the founding curators of the ANMM in 1991.

    Kevin’s international career has focused on developing the digital landscape of cultural institutions for more than 20 years, covering museum management, exhibition curation, program development, maritime heritage and digital cultural content.

    Daniel Janes

    Daniel Janes is a Managing Director for Credit Suisse, having previously held senior positions at Barclays and ABN AMRO.  He was most recently Managing Director and Co-Head of Investment Banking at Barclays in Australia, where he established the bank's corporate finance and M&A teams.

    During his 20 year investment banking career in London, New York and Sydney, Daniel has advised and led, on behalf of clients, a wide range of high profile transactions.  These have involved many of Australia's landmark transactions, including over $120bn successful M&A transactions and over $60bn of capital markets transactions.  He is also a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountant of England and Wales.

    Daniel has studied maritime history and has maintained an avid interest.

    Jeff McMullen AM

    A journalist, author and film-maker for 50 years, Jeff McMullen's work includes many decades as a foreign correspondent for Australian Broadcasting Corporation, reporting for Four Corners and Sixty Minutes, as the interviewer and anchor of the 33 part issue series on ABC Television, Difference of Opinion, and host of televised forums on the National Indigenous Television Network.  

    Throughout his professional life Jeff has written, filmed and campaigned around the world to improve the health, education and human rights of Indigenous people.

    Rob Mundle OAM

    Rob Mundle is the author of 16 sailing and maritime history related books (including a biography of Bob Oatley and the international bestseller, Fatal Storm). Seven of his other titles have been national bestsellers.

    Rob has been a journalist for more than 40 years. In that time he has reported on seven America’s Cup matches, four Olympics and the Sydney-Hobart classic on 45 occasions. He has competed in the Sydney-Hobart three times and won local, state and Australian sailing championships, as well as contested many major international offshore events.

    Rob is currently the media manager for the Wild Oats XI Sydney-Hobart yacht race campaign and an organiser of Australia’s largest keelboat regatta – Hamilton Island Race Week. He was also the Founder of the acclaimed Hayman Island Big Boat Series. 

    Rob has been an Ambassador for the Cure Cancer Australia Foundation and is the only Australian member of the America’s Cup Hall of Fame Selection Committee. Between 2010 and 2012 he was the Commodore of Southport Yacht Club on the Gold Coast. His previous association with the ANMM was as a director of the museum’s Foundation from 2001-13.

    Arlene Tansey

    Arlene Tansey is a Director of Aristocrat Leisure Limited, Adelaide Brighton Limited, Primary Health Care, Infrastructure NSW and Lend Lease Investment Management. Arlene is also a member of the advisory board of Serco Asia Pacific.

    Before becoming a non-executive Director, Arlene Tansey worked in commercial and investment banking in Australia and in investment banking and law in the United States. She holds a Juris Doctor from the University of Southern California Law Centre and an MBA from New York University. She is a member of Chief Executive Women and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

    Arlene Tansey is originally from New York and has lived and worked in the United States, South America, and Europe. She has lived in Australia for the past 23 years and is an Australian citizen. She is married with two daughters. 

  • Recent Achievements

    Recent Achievements

    On 14 September 1914, Australia’s AE1 submarine disappeared without trace of the coast of Papua New Guinea. Despite numerous searches over many years its location remained unknown. 

     On 21 December 2017 the Australian Government announced that a 103 year old mystery had been solved with the assistance of donors to the Australian National Maritime Foundation. 

    AE1 was found through the combined efforts of the Foundation, the Silentworld Foundation, Find AE1 Ltd (an organisation comprised of the team that preserved AE2), the Royal Australian Navy, the Submarine Institute of Australia and FUGRO.

    Now that the vessel’s location is known, the museum’s focus will shift to understanding what happened to it and why.

    The successful search for HMAS AE1 was made possible through the support of the Department of Defence and generous donations from the following individuals and corporations:

    News Corp

    John and Jacqui Mullen

    The Commonwealth Bank


    The Goodman Group

    The Tzaneros Family

    The Macquarie Group and Directors 

    The Macquarie Group Foundation

    Goldman Sachs Gives on behalf of Christian Johnston

    Australian Capital Equity

    Navantia Australia

    Qantas Airways Limited

    Malcolm Broomhead

    Peter Dexter

    The Janes Family

    Guy and Debbie Templeton

    Rob Sindel

     News Corp  Commonwealth Bank  
     Australian Capital Equity

     Navantia Australia Qantas Spirit of Australia   

  • Bequests


    Make a Bequest

    Help us promote and conserve Australia’s maritime heritage and culture

    Why make a bequest?

    If you are considering leaving a bequest to the Australian National Maritime Museum in your will, or if you have already done so, thank you.

    Australia is a seafaring nation with a rich maritime history. Your bequest will ensure that, as the only national museum focussing on this history, we can develop and care for the National Maritime Collection and enable as many people as possible to access it. Irrespective of the size of your gift, it will make a difference.

    In 2014 a bequest from Mr Basil Jenkins enabled the museum to purchase a rare reminder of the mysterious disappearance of navy submarine AE1 in the early months of World War 1. Australia’s first submarine was put into service in September 1914 as part of the Australian naval and Military Expeditionary Force’s presence in the German colony of Papua New Guinea. The aim was to eliminate Germany’s presence and ensure Australian merchant shipping was not disrupted.

    On 14 September HMAS AE1 and HMAS Parramatta were directed to search for enemy ships in the St George Channel around New Britain and New Ireland. The submarine was last sighted at 3.20 pm that day. When it did not return to port, the navy sent out search vessels but no trace has ever been found. Altogether 35 men lost their lives, including 27 year old Signalman George Dance.

    Mr Jenkins’ bequest enabled the museum to buy this medal, a fitting reminder to our over 2.4 million on site and on line visitors of this tragic moment in our history and the courage of these early submariners.

    How to make a bequest

    There are many ways you can make a bequest. It can be for a specific sum of money or asset, a percentage of an estate or the residual once family members and friends have been provided for. A bequest can be made to the Foundation to support its overall priorities or you can specify which areas of the museum you would like to assist.

    We understand that wills are personal and private but encourage you to contact us for a confidential discussion if you would like advice as to how to proceed. We have developed a Fact Sheet that outlines how you can go about making a bequest to the museum in your will. 

    Recognising benefactors

    The Foundation would like to recognise your intention to leave a bequest and show our appreciation by inviting you to join our Benefactors Group. Members are periodically invited to exclusive activities designed to better inform them of the important work we undertake. If you are interested in joining the Benefactors Group please contact the Dr Kimberley Webber to discuss your intentions.

    Dr Kimberley Webber is also available to provide further information if you are considering making a bequest and can be contacted on:

    Phone: 02 8241 8324


    Address: Wharf 7, 58 Pirrama Road, PYRMONT NSW 2009 AUSTRALIA

  • Collection Donations

    Collection Donations

    Donating maritime heritage and cultural gifts to the National Maritime Collection is a fantastic way to contribute to Australia’s maritime history and make sure your piece is preserved into the future. Financial support, and support in kind, to help maintain the collection, is also welcome.

    Donate an Object

    Do you own a piece of Australian maritime heritage or maritime art? A painting, photograph, ship model or something unique? Some of the museum’s greatest treasures have come through the generosity of donors. To assess donation offers, we first require digital pictures of the object – preferably with a ruler visible to indicate scale. Then please tell us about the item:

    • What is the history of the object?
    • What stories surround the object or the people connected to it?
    • When, where and by whom was it made, owned or used?
    • What condition is it in?

    All donation offers are assessed by the museum’s Acquisition Committee on a case by case basis and it may take several months before a decision is made. Please do not post precious objects, documents or photographs. The museum holds no responsibility for items sent to us in the post.

    Send your pictures and object information to:

    The Australian National Maritime Foundation
    Phone: +61 2 9298 3777

    Make a Financial Donation

    Maintaining our collection is an ongoing process. Archaeology, restoration and conservation are a vital part of the museum’s work and many of the heritage treasures that come to us need repair.

    While we operate on government funding, we rely on additional revenue. We warmly welcome financial donations (tax deductible) to help us retrieve, conserve, maintain and display our growing collection. You can also donate to the Australian Maritime Foundation to help the museum buy important objects up for auction or at private sales.

    The Australian National Maritime Foundation
    Phone: +61 2 9298 3777

    Donate a Service

    We welcome enquiries from organisations and individuals offering specialist services that can help preserve our collection. This could include the donation of goods and services at no charge such as marine coatings and adhesives, or materials related to shipyard services and transport. Businesses can also get involved through Sponsorship or Corporate Membership.

    The Australian National Maritime Foundation
    Phone: +61 2 9298 3777

    Make a Donation Through Your Will

    The National Maritime Collection welcomes bequests such as part or all of your estate, or objects or collections which you presently enjoy. To understand the procedures and benefits of donating to the National Maritime Collection we invite you to contact us. We also suggest that you discuss your plans with family and your financial and legal advisors.

    The Australian National Maritime Foundation
    Phone: +61 2 9298 3777


  • American Friends

    American Friends

    American citizens are invited to make financial or cultural artefact donations to the Australian National Maritime Museum through American Friends of the Museum. This program supports research, exhibitions and co-operative ventures that explore and develop maritime links between the USA and Australia.

    The American Friends of the Australian National Maritime Museum was established in the USA to garner American support for our museum which is home to a permanent exhibition and collection in the USA Gallery. This was funded as the USA Bicentennial Gift from the people of America to all Australians in 1988.

    The gallery hosts diverse exhibitions about maritime history, science, technology, art and design that connects the USA and Australia, and is a meeting place for trans-Pacific business networks.

    Make a Tax-Friendly Donation

    American Friends of the Museum warmly welcome donations of cash or artefacts from American citizens in support of the USA Gallery collection and programs. Based in the USA, American donors can gain tax benefits under Section 5501C3 of the USA Internal Revenue Service Code.

    More Information

    American Friends of the Australian National Maritime Museum
    c/ Baker & McKenzie
    1114 Avenue of the Americas
    New York, NY 10036-7703 USA


    USA Gallery Fellowship

    The Bill Lane USA Gallery Fellowship is open to scholars and museum professionals. It aims to foster professional relationships with key American cultural institutions in Australia and the USA, to contribute to USA Gallery interpretative and research programs, and to develop synergies between our National Maritime Collection and respective US collections.


  • Examples


    Some of the museum’s greatest treasures have come from generous donations from organisations or individuals. Financial support has also seen the preservation and acquisition of some incredible artefacts and projects. Here are some examples of donated objects and how donated funds have enhanced our collection.

    Helen Tiernan's Panorama 'Colonial Wallpapers - Pacific Encounters'

    Helen Tiernan's enormous panorama (3.1m x 1.8m) Colonial Wallpapers - Pacific Encounters was created in 2017. Oil and paper on canvas, it combines images of James Cook's voyage with the mythical, romantic and ridiculous - questioning the image of the Pacific brought back to Europe during the 'Age of Discovery'. Purchased through the ANM Foundation, you will be able to see it in the Navigators exhibition.

    Our latest vessel: The SY Ena 

    Considered to be one of the finest examples of Edwardian steam yachts in the world, the SY Ena was built in 1900 and since then has enjoyed a rich and colourful history.

    She began life as the prized vessel of the Commodore of the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron, Thomas Dibbs, then in 1917 was commissioned as HMAS Sleuth, a World War One patrol boat (complete with three pounder cannon). In 1933, she was sold and renamed Aurore, a workhorse plying the waters of Queensland and Tasmania, until finally coming to grief in 1981 and sinking in Tasmanian waters. Salvaged and restored to near original condition in 1987, she circumnavigated Australia, returned to Sydney harbour. She was sold and sent to Melbourne as a luxury charter vessel in 2013. In 2016 she returned home again to Sydney. 

    On 1 July, 2017, she was officially donated by Mr John Mullen, chairman of the Australian National Maritime Foundation, and becomes a spectacular (and still steaming) addition to our fleet.

    Ben Lexcen's Taipan Restored

    In 1959, a 23-year-old Ben Lexcen designed and built Taipan, a revolutionary lightweight 18-foot skiff that changed the shape of racing skiffs in Australia forever. Taipan had several owners before it was donated to the museum in 1986. Around 20 years later, the Australian sailing community pooled funds for the museum to research and restore this design masterpiece. Led by Lexcen's friend, Carl Ryves 50 donors contributed well over $100,000 in cash and goods in kind. You can see the restored Taipan on display in the museum.

    The Wharfies' Mural

    In the 1950s a group of artists - mostly waterside workers (wharfies) - painted a remarkable mural on the walls of the Waterside Workers Federation union canteen in Sussex Street, Sydney. The painting narrated the history of Australia's working class from the 1930s Depression to World War II. In 1996, the union's successor, the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA), offered the mural to the museum.

    Over the years, the 8.3-metre long painted plaster had split and its varnish was flaking. The museum launched an appeal for $100,000 to transport, conserve and provide ongoing support for this important historical work.

    The target was quickly reached thanks to generous donations from MUA branches, the Maritime Workers of Australia Credit Union and individual maritime workers, shipping companies and other corporate supporters. This extraordinary 'social document exalting the power of unity and the workers' struggle against oppression' has now been fully restored.

    1907 Painting of Sydney Harbour

    This unique watercolour panorama of Sydney Harbour above was painted in 1907 and is 20 metres long. Before we could display this wonderful artwork, it was cleaned, repaired and stabilised. This delicate restoration and maintenance work was sponsored by the generous Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation. The painting is now displayed in the museum for visitors to enjoy.

    A Rare Book About Early Colonial Settlement

    This first edition book titled, A Complete Account of the Settlement at Port Jackson in New South Wales: Including an Accurate Description of the Situation of the Colony: Of the Natives And of its Natural Productions, was published in 1793. It was written by Watkin Tench and is widely recognised as the earliest authentic First Fleet description of European settlement in Australia. It contains rare insights into first contact with Australia’s Indigenous population and the way that the Europeans sought to claim and settle on Aboriginal land. The book’s original owner, Betty Rosamund Baxter, died in 2010. Betty requested that the book be placed in a library so that others could have access to this significant chapter in Australian history. Her son John Baxter spent a year trying to find a library that would take care of this precious piece of history. We were delighted to accept the book as a donation to the museum’s Vaughan Evans Library by John in 2014.

    A Wooden Relic

    Initially thought to be from HMB Endeavour, it is now believed this sternpost originally came from another famous ship commanded by Captain James Cook - HMS Resolution. Cook made his second and third voyages on board the Royal Navy ship to the Pacific and through the Northwest Passage in 1772 and 1776 respectively. It was during this third and final voyage that Cook was killed in Hawaii in 1779. The Resolution went on to service the navy in the East Indies before it was captured in 1782 by the French warship Sphinx. It is believed that Resolution worked under different names in the French whaling industry until it was finally condemned at Newport, Rhode Island in 1792.

    This sternpost was generously donated to the Australian National Maritime Museum by the Newport Historical Society in Rhode Island, both in recognition of its substantial historical value as well as to the cultural bond between two countries.

You might also like