Public Talks

The museum hosts a regular series of FREE public lunchtime talks. The talks are held on the FIRST Tuesday of each month EXCEPT January from 12.00 midday until 1.00pm in the Royal Society Rooms at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery.

Our next talk will be on Tuesday 6 February 2018. Details will be posted here when available.

Our December talk was presented by Mal Riley, co-Skipper of Lady Nelson and was titled:

A Tale of Two Lady Nelsons: Leg Irons, Maori Chiefs, Rum and Maggots

This presentation took a journey through the timeline of the two Lady Nelsons that are so well known to Tasmanians.

The original Lady Nelson brig was built at Deptford, England in 1799. It had an extraordinary journey from England to Australia in 1800, in the process becoming the first known ship to sail from west to east through Bass Strait; it played a large part in the European settlement of southeast Australia and surveyed much of Australia’s east coast. It was one of the two original ships that brought the first settlers and convicts to Hobart in 1804.

In November 2017, the full size replica Lady Nelson celebrates 30 years since construction started in 1987 and she was launched from Ray Kemp's slip at Margate. She has sailed to many ports around Tasmania, as well as Victoria and New South Wales. In 1998, she completed her first circumnavigation of Tasmania. The new Lady Nelson has become a much-loved part of the Hobart waterfront and southeast Tasmanian waters, where she regularly sails providing Tall Ship sail training and memorable sailing experiences for both visitors and locals alike.

The presentation explored some of the fascinating history and little known stories of the original Lady Nelson up to her untimely demise, as well as looking back on the current Lady Nelson from keel laying through early years of operation, the highs and lows, the challenges for the future and the important role the Lady Nelson now plays as an iconic connection to our colonial past and retaining the traditional skills of tall ship sailing.

Mal Riley, who is one of the Lady Nelson skippers, will give this talk.  Mal has been travelling on boats since he was five including a WW2 corvette, a Hales Trophy winner, Fastnet Yacht race winners, Aircraft Carriers and the largest wooden sailing ship in operation today.


Time: 12.00 – 1.00pm Tuesday 5 December 2017
Place: ROYAL SOCIETY ROOMS, Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, (Davey Street entrance).
Phone the Maritime Museum on 6234 1427 for more details