Sydney Living Museums announces First Nations Strategy – strengthening and amplifying Aboriginal voices at all SLM properties.

On Sunday 3 July, Sydney Living Museums (SLM) launched their inaugural First Nations Strategy 2022–2025 at the Museum of Sydney – the site of the first Government House on Gadigal Country.

In addition to the NSW Premier’s announcement to transition the Museum of Sydney into a First Nations Cultural Space, SLM launched a new strategy ensuring that First Nations voices and perspectives are included and accurately told at the12 historic properties under their custodianship.

At the heart of the Strategy is truth telling, understanding and empathy - amplifying the stories of First Nations people to ensure that SLM properties are more welcoming, inclusive and better reflect First Nations histories. 

Sometimes uncomfortable and often confronting, First Nations stories deal with the impact of colonisation on Aboriginal people and the dispossession of their land with repercussions that are still felt today. There are also stories of resilience, of rich history and culture, connection to Country and celebration of First Nations ongoing wisdom and strength. 

Hayden Walsh, a proud Aboriginal man and SLM First Nations Advisor said, “As caretakers of history and heritage, this plan is just the beginning for us in exploring the truth of our shared history.

“It’s important that we acknowledge, be accountable for and honour accurate reflections of our past – shifting perspectives so that our visitors can understand and experience the complex history that is woven into each of our properties.”

The Sydney Living Museums First Nations Strategy 2022 – 2025 focuses on delivering programs, exhibitions and experiences that offer visitors unique and imaginative ways to celebrate First Nations cultures. Focus areas are:

Delivering exciting, creative experiences for a wide range of audiences to learn about and engage with First Nations cultures.

Embedding knowledge and perspectives across SLM places and content to encourage a deeper understanding and respect for historical and modern lived experiences of First Nations people.

Bridging the gap between cultural institutions and First Nations groups through access and outreach to encourage community engagement – turning alienation into access, fear into safety and opposition into collaboration and understanding.

From Elders, facilitators and community to the individual, nurturing people and relationships are the bedrock to achieving an authentic and culturally significant First Nations voice.

“By changing the way our audiences learn and interact with the past, we can help people from all backgrounds enjoy a more inclusive interpretation of our history and a stronger appreciation of our First Nations peoples and cultures,” said Adam Lindsay, CEO, Sydney Living Museums and NSW State Archives.

“We acknowledge all Aboriginal communities, their Elders of the past, those whom we are so honoured to work with and learn from in the present, and those we will work with in the future.”

Download a copy of the First Nations Strategy 2022-25 or view online here.

Learn more about the First Nations Strategy here