Australia's new National Sports Museum is within the Melbourne Cricket Ground, an Australian sporting institution. The museum's collection of sporting memorabilia and artefacts is Australia's largest, and celebrates the importance of sport in Australian life.
The museum has seven permanent displays. One of the favourites is "Backyard to Baggy Green", including the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame. There is a collection of baggy green caps worn by Test cricketers, the Waterford crystal Ashes trophy and one of Shane Warne's trademark white floppy hats.
The "Faster, Higher, Stronger" exhibition pays tribute to the Olympic Games, particularly Australia's participation. There are medals and artefacts from past and present Olympians, including those of Edwin Flack, our first Olympic champion.
"The People's Ground" presents a history of Australia's spiritual home of sport the Melbourne Cricket Ground. The exhibition highlights the MCG's history, including its World Heritage listing, the important role it has played in the history of cricket, the 1956 Olympic Games, Australian football and its role as a home for thousands of Australian and American servicemen during WWII.
'Spirit of Sport' introduces athletes and general members inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame since 1985. It honours the 27 sportspeople who have achieved Australian sport's most prestigious honour, the Sport Australia Hall of Fame Legend Status. The exhibition showcases the careers of legends including Shane Gould, Arthur "Scobie" Breasley, Greg Norman, Jack Brabham and many others.
The 'Multi Sports' exhibition has displays including the Paralympic Games, basketball, boxing, cycling, golf, tennis, soccer, netball, rugby union and rugby league. An interactive 'Game On' exhibit allows visitors to experience sports firsthand.
'Australia's Game' traces the history of Australian football and includes a selection of the greatest VFL/AFL Grand Final moments. You will see a wealth of material collected from the greats of the Australian game.
There are hand-written notes outlining the rules of the game by the founders of Australian football, Tom Wills, William Hammersley, Thomas Smith and James Thompson in 1859, the 1933 Brownlow medal awarded to Wilfred "Chicken" Smallhorn and you can trace the game's evolution from past to present.
It's difficult to name the best-ever of anything, but when it comes to swimmers, it would be hard not to nominate Shane Gould. She once held every freestyle record and won three gold medals all in record times at the 1972 Munich Olympics. She retired a year later at the ripe old age of 16!
Many of Shane's memories are there including the robe she wore on the podium. She also wore it for the birth of her first child, never dreaming it would end up in a museum. Shane is an official ambassador for the museum, along with several other sporting legends.
In the 2000 Sydney Olympic display you can see the futuristic running suit Cathy Freeman wore when she won the 400m. There are many other exhibits worn by athletes in their proudest moments
A visit to the National Sports Museum allows you to revisit more than 150 years of Australia's sporting participation and achievements.