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Australian coat of arms, Melbourne Museum

The red kangaroo and the emu have something in common. Neither animal can move backwards easily, only forwards. That’s why they were both chosen to be a part of the official emblem of Australia, representing their desire to always look to the future. Australia sees itself as a nation of progress that seeks to look forward, not back.

Coats of arms are on lots of objects in museums. Normally they are reproduced at quite a modest size, often in print, woven into textiles, stamped onto letterheads or embossed onto coins. Sometimes they are even shown on the building itself.

This clever reproduction of the Australian arms is huge, though, combining stuffed animals from the natural history collection at Melbourne Museum along with other materials.