The National Museum of Australia (NMA) brings to life for the Australian public the rich and diverse stories of the nation through compelling objects, ideas and events.

Photo of smoke tornado from large bushfire, photo taken from helicopter looking down.


With the ambitious goal of connecting Australians at a time when global and environmental crises ran rife, NMA’s Momentous website was created to provide a safe space for Australians to exchange stories across various text, image, audio and video mediums. The stories shared capture a gripping snapshot of human experiences, attitudes and feelings towards the profound changes to ‘everyday’ life that Australians faced throughout the 2019/2020 bushfires and amidst the global COVID-19 pandemic.

The platform was created to boost digital engagement, countering NMA’s low physical visitation numbers during the pandemic.


Presenting user generated content with impact was important to evoke a visceral reaction. Pairing powerful immersive imagery with distorted page transitions and an off-kilter layout conveys a sense of instability and unexpectedness. Continuous scroll prompts users to get lost in the content, whilst being invited to contribute to the conversation. Feelings such as of hope, sadness, community, adaptation, and anger, resilience, worry and change are reinforced by colours within the interface. Usefully, the audience is able to filter content via these attributes, as well as by location, contributor type and story medium. 

A key section of the website is devoted to displaying the statistical data of the user generated content on the data visualisation page. This approach facilitates human connection and the documentation of experiences, allowing NMA to gain empathy from their users through a less utilised channel.

Delivery – Services

  • Content strategy
  • Digital strategy
  • UI/UX Design
  • Development
  • Art direction
  • Animation
  • Data visualisation
Four images showing website design for desktop format
Three screens of website design for mobile devices.
Screenshot of text story from the bushfires.
Screenshot of video story by Peter Drew. He holds up a poster of a portrait of an immigrant with the text "Aussie".
Firefighter wearing full protective gear in the middle of a bushfire. In the background is a firetruck, trees on fire and lots of smoke.Photo of a surfer with surfboard jumping barrier to get to the ocean. Next to the surfer is an LED sign that reads, "Beach Closed".Bushfire smoke in sky, LED road sign that reads, "Be Bushfire Ready"Photo of fridge and cooler with sign that reads, "Cold drinks for firies. Stay safe".Photo of road where a bushfire has burnt all the trees and grass. Smoke in the air.Photo of birthday cake with candles in front of computer with a zoom meeting on screen.Photograph of woman and children sitting in front of computer either trying to work or learn remotely.Photograph of bride and groom kissing while wearing face masks.
Momentous website design showing stats and snippets of stories.
Image of text which reads, "we are making a record of this moment. You have shared how you have adapted and what is important to you, locally and globally."
Map of Australia with pins showing where stories have been submitted.Text which reads, "Our Stories. Here are the themes. you have chosen to reflect your stories."Text which reads, "Anger, Adaptation, Change, Worry, Sadness, Hope, Community, Resilience"Bar chart showing which key themes were tagged in story submissions.Text which reads, "All ages. Gen Z, Millenials, Gen X, Baby Boombers and beyond, every age has a story to tell.Bar chart showing which age groups submitted stories.
Text and National Museum of Australia logo. Text reads, "There's a power to personal experiences. Sharing stories about bushfires and the pandemic can help us understand each other and ourselves.
Photo of boat with painted text that reads, "We want climate action..!"