National Exhibition Register

  • Henry Halloran and the Great Australian Dream
    Henry Halloran and the Great Australian Dream

About the exhibition

In 2020 the Jervis Bay Maritime Museum was gifted the complete business archive of Henry F. Halloran & Co., spanning 60 years of urban and economic development in New South Wales from 1898 – 1953 it consists of original lithographs, photographs, plans and business documents. This historically important collection captures many of the ideas that drove economic growth and urban development in New South Wales through the first half of the 20th century, reflecting the ideal of the Great Australian Dream – a belief that to own a home in a desirable location would lead to a healthy, prosperous, and happy quality of life.

The exhibition uses the Halloran business archive to present a view of urban development in three regional centres - Queanbeyan, Jervis Bay and Ports Stephens - against a backdrop of boosterism and planned decentralisation. However, planning today’s livable cities poses more far-reaching questions about population growth, sustainable design, consequences for the biophysical environment, and climate change.

The Halloran Collection is a valuable research archive that documents the early development of modern planning and is a window into the study of contemporary land development, geomatic engineering, and environmental planning. The exhibition has New South Wales curriculum links for high school students in geography and history as well as mathematics.


One of the themes in this exhibition is surveying, which involves dividing up large tracts of land. The exhibition acknowledges that colonial settlement prompted European concepts of surveying to be undertaken with the belief that Australia was ‘Terra Nullius’. This false assumption resulted in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities being displaced from their traditional lands.

The Jervis Bay Maritime Museum acknowledges the traditional First Nations owners of the land on which estates were created, and the impact it had, and continues to have, on Elders past, present, and emerging and their traditional lands.

Available to tour to NSW and ACT venues only.

Available Dates and
Exhibition Details

Available dates
01/04/2024 - 01/04/2025
Exhibition size
Over 100 sq or running metres
Originating state
Organised by
Jervis Bay Maritime Museum
Contact to discuss
Web Site
Accompanying materials available
Education Kit, Exhibition Tour Manual, Labels
Primary contact
Diana Lorentz
Museum Director
Jervis Bay Maritime Museum
02 4441-5675
This exhibition was funded by the New South Wales Government through Create NSW.