A steel hammer, a compass and a pair of children's shoes may appear to have little in common, at first.
But each of these items has been thoughtfully selected for display at the National Museum of Australia to celebrate the lives and achievements of each state and territory finalist in the 2024 Australian of the Year Awards.
For ACT Australian of the Year Joanne Farrell, the steel hammer, displayed along with her hard hat, is symbol of survival.
She purchased the tool more than 23 years ago near the end of her apprenticeship in the male-dominated construction industry.
"It was a turning point for me," she said.
"Whilst I still wasn't fully accepted on the sites that I went on and I was still the only female, I've learned enough and was able to do enough that I had earned it, essentially. And so it was just a moment for me to sort of say, you've survived."
Since Ms Farrell finished her apprenticeship, she has not only become a qualified carpenter and builder but also the founder of a non-profit that helps women develop a career in the industry.
Her organisation Build Like A Girl connects women with training and employment within the construction industry and provides them with mentoring.
But while Ms Farrell has achieved many milestones, she said much more needed to be done to create meaningful change within the industry.
The 45-year-old said plenty of effort has gone into encouraging women to take up a trade but much less was being done to address the culture in the industry as well as low retention rates of women.
Alongside Ms Farrell's hammer and hard hat, there is a compass that guided South Australian of the Year Tim Jarvis across the Antarctic in 2013 as he recreated the journey of Irish explorer Ernest Shackleton.
Speaking via video link at the exhibition launch on Tuesday, Mr Jarvis said he was asked him to retrace the journey.
He saw this as an opportunity to not shed light on the achievements of the explorer but also draw attention to issues of climate change and biodiversity loss that has affected the region.
There is also a pair of child's shoes that belong to Victorian Australian of the Year and Indigenous health leader Janine Mohamed.
Raised by her grandmother on Point Pearce Mission in South Australia, the Narranga Kaurna woman dedicated her career to boosting access to quality healthcare services for First Nations Australians.
Growing up in an environment where poverty was prevalent and opportunities for First Nations Australians were few, she still remembers how hard her family worked to save up for the pair of shoes that made walking that bit easier for her as a child.
National Museum acting director Katherine McMahon said each object revealed "significant moments" in the lives of the nominees connected to the "broader social and political impact they have".
The exhibition will be displayed at the museum until February 11, after which it will go on tour around the country.