Project Overview

The Australian Maritime Museums Council (AMMC) and the Australian National Maritime Museum (ANMM) partnered to develop content for the graphic panel display, Submerged: stories of Australia’s shipwrecks. In an innovative international first, content for the display will be developed by the AMMC Membership, and merged into a nationally touring display by the ANMM. AMMC Members were introduced to the project at a series of workshops and given instruction on how to submit stories via the AMMC website for review.

The ANMM is producing a display that highlights Australian shipwrecks and increases public outreach. This collaborative project supports the AMMC in forging strong links with its current membership and extending its outreach to include additional members.

The ANMM submitted an application to the Visions of Australia-Development program in October of 2016. A number of AMMC Member institutions contributed letters of support for the application. The application was successful and provided for development of the project in 2017. Please see Submerged Presentation of project development results.


The project kicked off with a series of seven exhibition development workshops. Workshops were hosted by the Maritime Museum of Tasmania, Mannum Dock Museum, Queensland Maritime Museum, Bass Strait Maritime Centre, Queenscliffe Maritime Museum, Western Australian Museum-Fremantle and the Australian National Maritime Museum.

In addition to providing context for the Submerged project, and tips and tricks of the trade for exhibition development, each workshop had presentations from local maritime archaeologists and marine conservators. The day’s program concluded with practical sessions where all participants wrote and presented a group ‘shipwreck story’. These workshops were an excellent means of engaging with national maritime museums and maritime heritage organisations, sharing stories and making new connections.

The workshops were attended by 195 individuals from 88 unique museums and organisations with maritime collections.

Story Submissions

Sixty-eight shipwreck stories from 46 organisations across Australia were submitted to Submerged: stories of Australia’s shipwrecks and uploaded to the AMMC website. AMMC Members were invited to take part in the selection of stories for the final banner exhibition.

Selection and Results

AMMC Members were invited to rank at least their top five and up to their top 11 stories. An exceptional number of AMMC Members (n = 51) read and voted on the stories. A joint AMMC/ANMM Review Panel used the Membership review data in concert with the criteria for evaluation to select the final stories for the display. There were so many excellent stories, we had to add an additional banner! The exhibition also includes one story from the ANMM. Please see below the final 14 stories for the touring version of Submerged:

Thank you to the AMMC Membership for your support in making this project such a success. All submitted stories are now resident on the AMMC website and form a Digital Archive for everyone to enjoy. This Archive is a fantastic result for the national maritime heritage community.

The exhibition is now in production and will begin tour in February 2018. The display will tour Australia free of charge from 2018-2020. There are a number of ways to continue your participation in the project. Please see Bookings for more information.

For feedback on the Submerged project, please contact Sabina Escobar at

This exhibition is supported by the Visions regional touring program, an Australian Government program aiming to improve access to cultural material for all Australians.

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