Families are spoilt for choice these summer holidays with a range of activities inspired by the Australian Museum’s exhibitions – Unsettled and Australian Geographic 2021 Nature Photographer of the Year.

Dial-up the heat this summer by redeeming your Dine + Discover vouchers at the Australian Museum to get bang for your buck on the entire range of summer holiday activities.

Activities include free films, photographic workshops for nature photography enthusiasts of all levels, guided tours of the AM’s award-winning Unsettled exhibition with our knowledgeable First Nations staff, meditation workshops, ‘Scientist for a Day’ for keen, young bird watchers, theatre activities to explore your inner stage animal, plus our prehistoric playground will be rocking for all those budding palaeontologists.

Unsettled Exhibition

Guided Tours

Connect with the world’s oldest living culture with a guided tour of the AM’s award-winning Unsettled exhibition by our knowledgeable First Nations staff. The tour guides provide an in-depth explanation of First Nation history and offer a deeper understanding of our nation as they illuminate the meaning of key exhibition objects.

Dates: Wednesday, Saturday, Sundays, commencing 1 Dec – 30 Jan. Times: 10.30am, 12noon, 1.30pm. Duration: 45mins. Cost: $25 Adult, $12.50 child, $20 members.

Breakfast with a Curator

Join Yuin woman, Dr Mariko Smith, co-curator of Unsettled, for an intimate breakfast featuring native ingredients and discover the stories behind this powerful exhibition.

Learn about the consultation process with over 800 First Nations communities and the in-depth research undertaken to present Australia’s untold history.

Date: 15 Jan, 2022. Time: 8 – 10am. Cost: $90, $72 members Conc; $81.

Winhangadurinya: Aboriginal Meditation. Facilitated by Milan Dhiiyaan.

Take time out of your hectic life and sit with us a while to refresh your spirit This unique workshop offers an authentic and heartfelt introduction to First Nations culture through meditation, deep listening and reflecting.

Dates: 22 – 30 Jan 2022. Time: 10.30am – 1pm, 2pm – 4.30pm Cost: $120, $96 (members)

Healing through Weaving

This 26 January, join Ngiyampaa Elder Aunty Daniella Chedzey for an exclusive, early-morning workshop and a chance to reflect and restore. Learn how to create a woven Kurrajong string and flowers and immerse yourself in the healing practice of weaving. Use your hands to make something beautiful and sustainable from Country using the strong fibres of the Kurrajong tree.

Date: 26 January 2022. Time: 8am – 10am Cost: $120, $96 (members)

Film Series

Looky, Looky Here Comes Cooky

This musical documentary by cheeky performer, Steven Oliver is a funny and fresh look at the story of Lieu ant Cook from a First Nations’ perspective.

Dates: 26 Jan, 2022. Times: 10.30am – 11.30am. Cost: Free.

Sweet Country

Inspired by Inspired by real events, Sweet Country is set in 1929 in the outback of the Northern Territory, Australia. When an Aboriginal stockman kills a white station owner in self-defence, he and his wife go on the run. They are pursued across the outback, through glorious but harsh desert country .Eventually, for the health of his pregnant wife, he decides to give himself up. But will justice be served?

Date 26 Jan, 2022. Time: 2.30pm – 4.30pm Cost: Free

High Ground

Set against the rich landscape of Arnhem land, High Ground is a gripping action story hat chronicles the quest of an Aboriginal man to save the last of his family.

Date:26 Jan, 2022. Time: 12noon Cost: Free

Australian Geographic 2021 Nature Photographer of the Year (AGNPY)

The 2021 AGNPY exhibition features over 100  sensational nature photographs from our region, including Scott Portelli’s winning image, ‘Leafy Night.’ Demonstrating the raw beauty and power of our natural world, the  photographers have used their lenses to not only capture secret moments in nature that have never been seen before, but also highlight some of the important environmental issues that we face. On display at the Australian Museum’s Hintze Hall and free to all visitors.

Dates: Open until 30 Jan, 2022. Cost: Free.

Wildlife Photography Workshops for children

Zoom in on the natural world with nature photographer, Tom Covell. Workshops will commence with a tour of the 2021 Australian Geographic 2021 Nature Photographer of the Year exhibition to see the powerful images including the junior photographers. Afterwards, children will proceed to the AM’s photography studio to be guided through photography challenges using museum specimens and treasures.

Dates; 18 + 19 Jan, 2022. Times: 10.30am – 11.30am  Ages: 5 – 8 Years. Cost: $35 per child, $28 per child (members)

Wildlife Photography Workshops: Beginners (16+ years)

Guided by nature photographer, Angela Roberston-Buchanan, beginners will learn the fundamentals of wildlife photography and how to get the most out of their digital camera.

Dates: 11 Dec, 2021; 15 + 16 Jan, 2022. Times: 10.30am – 1.30pm. Cost:  $125 Adults, $112.50 concession, $100 AM members.



Wildlife Photography Workshops; Enthusiasts (16+ years)

Nature photographer, Angela Robertson- Buchanan, will teach participants how to photograph a variety of live animals, including taxidermy and fossilised specimens from the AM’s renowned collections.

Dates: 11 Dec 2021, 15 + 16 Jan, 2022. Times: 2 – 5pm. Cost: $125 Adults, $112.50 concession. $100 members. Location Patricia McDonald Rooms, Lower Ground

Scientists for a Day- Ornithology:

Budding ‘twitchers’ can spend the day with the AM’s ornithologist, Dr. Leah Tsang.  Dr. Tsang will take you behind the scenes to discover where the amazing bird collection is kept, learn about taxidermy and the evolution of birds and then test your knowledge of birds with walk through Hyde Park.

Dates 13 + 14 January, 2022. Times: 9.30am – 3.30pm. Cost: $135 per child, $108 per child (members)

Theatre Workshop – Edward the Emu:

Australia’s pre-eminent children’s theatre company, Monkey Baa return to the AM to take your young dramatist on a journey exploring identity, self-belief and belonging – all through the eyes of an emu. Reading from ‘Edward the Emu, Monkey Baa will help children develop their skills and confidence through physical movement, vocal exercises and improvisation, to create their own characters and storylines.

Children will also have a short tour with First Nations staff exploring the importance of the emu in First Nations cultures and a photo opportunity with the company’s exquisite puppet of Edward the Emu.

Ages; 5 – 8yrs. Dates: 11 + 12 Jan, 2022. Time 10.30am, – 12.30pm, 1.30pm – 3.30pm. Cost: $65 per child, $52 child (members) or free with Creative Kids vouchers

For the full programme, see here:

Featured image : Aboriginal cultural practitioners Milan Dhiiyaan.Pic Colleen-Ara Palka Raven Strangways


A new interactive exhibition at the museum, Sea of Light is a luminous, immersive family adventure by Adelaide’s Patch Theatre in partnership with Sydney Festival.

Sea of Light brings together magic and light with a gentle soundscape to create a unique experience for the whole family.

An immersive, phosphorescent playscape, Sea of Light invites you to sketch, sail, bounce, crawl and squiggle your way through a series of creative and captivating interactive installations.

Bookings are essential.

Entry includes admission to the Maritime Museum.

Recommended for ages 4 and up.

The event will run from December 26 to January 30 2022 at the Australian National Maritime Museum, 2 Murray Street, Pyrmont


With a faraway gaze and face partially hidden under his helmet, this monumental 5-metre sculpture evokes the mysteries of his nautical world.

Larger than life, Diver invites us to contemplate the complex, multi-level experiences of being human. Created by artist Tim Kyle, Diver is created from glass-reinforced polyester resin and plywood, with steel armature.

The artist has worked closely with the museum to position the work, looking out over the waters of Darling Harbour (Tumbalong) in Gadigal Country, to mark the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021–2030).

Imposing and playful, the sculpture invites visitors to interact and engage – whether by pause and reflection or a social-selfie moment.

Artist Tim Kyle said, “At an overall height of 5 metres, the piece presents as a metaphor for anonymity and introspection. The sculpted suit acts as a symbolic armour, serving to reinforce his isolation. The scale elevates the figure’s melancholic presence, while retaining the formal elements of traditional sculptural language.”



This summer, the Australian National Maritime Museum in Darling Harbour has exciting activities for the whole family

Sea of Light – Paint a voyage in light. With a UV torch as your paintbrush, paint and stencil your own voyage. Steer ships that leave glowing paths of light in their wake as you sail them across the sea floor. Sea of Lightbrings together magical light and a gentle soundscape to create a unique adventure for the whole family.

This interactive children’s show from Patch Theatre in Adelaide is presented by the Australian National Maritime Museum in association with Sydney Festival

Ocean Lab – Meet the pint-sized planet protectors that save our seas at our ocean container laboratory- a space to explore what lies beneath the surface of the harbour. Continue reading SUMMER : COME AND PLAY AT THE MUSEUM OF THE SEA


Jane Tiller, one of the finalists for the Eureka Prize

The Australian Museum (AM) has today announced the 51 finalists selected for Australia’s leading science awards, the 2021 Australian Museum Eureka Prizes. Finalists from across Australia are in the running for 16 AM Eureka Prizes across four categories, including excellence in Research and Innovation, Leadership, Science Engagement and School Science.

Known as the ‘Oscars’ of Australian science, the Eureka Prizes offer $160,000 in prize money, across a broad spectrum of research from environmental to innovative technologies, defence and mentoring.

Finalists include:

  • Pioneering findings on immune responses in COVID-19;
  • Human respiratory emissions research, outlining the optimal design features of a high-performance, cloth face mask;
  • The development of a livestock feed supplement eliminating methane production in agriculture and increasing productivity, offering a solution to two major global challenges: climate change and hunger;
  • A world-first partnering of scientists and tourism operators to implement a coral restoration project that is reaping benefits for the Great Barrier Reef and communities that rely on it;
  • A breakthrough 3D bio printing system that produces 3D cells with unprecedented cell viability and tunability — a game-changer for cancer research and therapeutic development;
  • Findings from research into NSW’s devastating 2019-20 bushfires that are setting the future direction for fire management;
  • An international program delivering highly efficacious intervention against dengue fever.

The AM Eureka Prizes winners will be announced on Thursday 7 October at a live broadcast event. The event will be open to all audiences and free to stream online. Register for the awards at Continue reading AUSTRALIAN MUSEUM EUREKA PRIZES 2021 : FINALISTS ANNOUNCED


Matt Poll, the ANMM’s new Manager Indigenous Programs

Kevin Sumption, CEO and Director of the Australian National Maritime Museum (ANMM), is delighted to announce the appointment of Matt Poll as the museum’s Manager Indigenous Programs.

‘We are very pleased to have secured Matt from the University of Sydney where he has built an impressive reputation as Assistant Curator of Indigenous Heritage. His experience was built first at the Macleay Museum and most recently at the new Chau Chak Wing Museum. Matt brings over 20 years’ experience and understanding of First Nations cultural and arts practice to our museum and is the perfect person to continue to shape both our Indigenous programs and the National Maritime Collection.’

Matt, who is of South Sea and Torres Strait Islander heritage, said ‘I have been incredibly fortunate over many years to work with indigenous communities and knowledge custodians who have generously provided me with learning experiences through which I have developed a unique understanding of the important need for authenticity in how Indigenous voices are to be brought to the forefront of representing Indigenous culture today.  Accountability and authenticity are not only a part of the consultation process, but more importantly, need to be shown as tangible and visible aspects of public programming and exhibitions outcomes. Continue reading MARITIME MUSEUM ANNOUNCES NEW FIRST NATIONS MANAGER


The Powerhouse has welcomed Mark Wilsdon to the new role of
Chief Operating Officer during a transformational period of

Mr Wilsdon brings over 30 years of experience in the arts,
cultural, tourism and hospitality sectors, including an
exceptionally successful tenure as the founding Co-CEO of the
Museum of Old and New Art (Mona) where he oversaw the
establishment and extraordinary growth of the world-renowned

As a highly respected industry leader Mr Wilsdon brings strong
financial and commercial acumen as well as significant
expertise in the delivery of visitor experience strategies.
Mr Wilsdon begins the role at the Powerhouse in November
and will be central to the transformation of the museum across
its sites including the new flagship Powerhouse Parramatta,
the renewal of Powerhouse Ultimo and the expansion of


Robert Irwin ‘Green Sea Turtle’ (c)
A couple enjoying time at the Australian Museum
Jannico Kelk ‘Animal Portrait’ (c)
Kim Wormald ‘Animal Behaviour’ (c)

The Australian Museum has been reopen since 26th November last year, after closing for 15 months during which it received a $57.5 million refurbishment. To celebrate its reopening admission to the Museum has been free.

The Australian Museum’s regular opening hours are between 10am and 5pm which makes it difficult  for office workers to visit.

With this in mind the Museum has been keeping its doors opens until 9pm one day a week, on every Thursday night. This opportunity closes on Thursday 25th March.

I took the time recently to visit the Museum and it is  was a great experience. There was just so much to see; the  exhibitions, some free and a few that one has to pay for, were impeccably curated.

I want to make mention of one of the  exhibitions (free) which was simply breathtaking. This was the Australian Geographic Nature  Photographer Of The Year exhibition. The exhibition has been produced by the South Australian Museum.

Over 100 stunning nature photos were on display.  which one simply looked at in awe. It is worth noting that one of the main photographers featured was Robert Irwin, the son of Steve Irwin.

Robert Irwin first picked up a camera when he was just six years old, and has since established a successful professional career as a photographer, following his late father’s passion for nature, with his wildlife photography.

Last month, he won the UK’s Natural History Museum’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2020 People’s Choice Award, chosen by the public from a shortlist of 50,000 entries.

The winning image, ‘Bushfire’, was a drone shot showing the fiery trail of destruction through woodland near the border of Steve Irwin Wildlife Reserve in Cape York, Queensland.

Try and get to the Australian Museum sometime soon. It is one of Sydney’s great treasures.

There is so much to see. And if you need to rest for a little while, there is always the new on site cafe, charmingly called the ‘Billabong Waterhole’.

The Australian Geographic Nature  Photographer Of The Year exhibition closes on Sunday May 9, 2021.

The Australian Museum is located at 1 William Street, city, on the corner of College Street.

Featured image by of frog by Tess Poyner (c)





















The Australian National Maritime Museum, through the Migration Heritage Fund, is partnering with Empathy Museum (UK) to bring the award-winning exhibition A Mile in My Shoes to Sydney as part of the Sydney Festival 2021 from 6-31 January.

To understand another person, try walking a mile in their shoes. This one-of-a-kind pop-up store, housed in a giant shoebox, allows you to do just that.

Visitors are invited to enter the store and try on a pair of shoes that belong to someone else and to listen to their story. It might be a tale of loss and sadness, hope and love, of odds overcome. But whoever’s shoes you walk in, A Mile in My Shoes will take you to places you can’t anticipate. Continue reading SYDNEY FESTIVAL PREVIEW: A MILE IN MY SHOES @ AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL MARITIME MUSEUM


The Australian National Maritime Museum in association with the Sydney  Festival presents Badu by ERTH. 

Journey into the wild wonders of  our ocean with an immersive experience that features beautiful puppetry, visual effects and multi media.  

‘Badu’ is an Indigenous word meaning ‘water’ which reflects on the preciousness and the wonder of  aquatic life in Sydney Harbour.

Audience members will meet a lively cast of aquatic creatures including humpback whales, grey nurse and  bull sharks, stingrays, musical mulletfish, leafy sea dragons and bioluminescent jellyfish. Continue reading BADU BY ERTH OPENS AT AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL MARITIME MUSEUM



The International Union for Conservation of Nature states that at least 8 million tons of plastic ends up in the world’s oceans every year. The Ellen MacArthur Foundation, in partnership with the World Economic Forum predicts that by 2050 plastics in the ocean will outweigh fish.

These figures were estimated before the current global pandemic, which has only exacerbated the problem. COVID-19 has meant that many reusable items and modern methods of recycling have been abandoned in favour of single-use, non- recyclable items in a desperate attempt to reduce person-to- person contact. These include plastic bags, plastic cutlery and single-use coffee cups – many of which will end up in our oceans.

How do we communicate the importance of keeping plastic waste out of our oceans? While much attention has been focused on the impact of COVID-19 on humanity and the economy, little attention has been paid to the impact that the pandemic will have on the environment.

Items of personal protective equipment (PPE), including disposable facemasks, latex gloves and hand sanitiser bottles, have already been spotted on our beaches and shores.

The work of Australian based ‘art-ivist’ (art activist) Marina DeBris provides a unique method for communicating the harm that we are causing our oceans.

Her obsession with collecting rubbish began after moving to Los Angeles. Her daily runs along Venice Beach were always interrupted by an instinct to stop and collect rubbish to maintain the beach’s beauty. After realising that her efforts were achieving little in the grander picture of ocean pollution, Marina turned to art to raise awareness and demonstrate just how little of what we use is being reused or recycled.

‘Trashion’ is one method that Marina uses to convey this message. Her wearable pieces look like high-end fashion but closer inspection reveals a far more sinister truth. Marina’s trashion collection, titled Beach Couture: A haute mess, is made entirely of the rubbish that she has collected on and near the beaches of Sydney and Los Angeles. Marina uses a fusion of humour and creativity and communicates to audiences that the waste we create will come back to haunt us.

Marina’s trashion is featured in museums, galleries, publications and live trashion shows throughout Australia.

The Inconvenience Store that Marina created also represents a unique method for encouraging audiences to question their use of single-use plastics. This installation mimics the content and setup of a typical convenience store, but with repackaged items that have washed up onto beaches. Here, audiences are confronted with familiar items that they themselves have likely bought and discarded, such as sunglasses, water bottles, thongs and fishing gear, to name a few.

The Inconvenience Store has travelled around Australia and featured at Sculpture by the Sea in 2017, where it won three awards.

Marina’s trashion and Inconvenience Store force audiences to come face to face with the single-use items that we use daily and often discard without a second thought. It reminds audiences that we are the problem but we can also be the solution by changing our habits. Her work reminds us that many of the single-use plastics that we use are optional and that the harm that they can cause the environment far outweighs the short-term convenience that they can offer us.

Beach Couture, featuring photography, trashion and the Inconvenience Store, is showing at the Australian National Maritime Museum until 18 April 2021.



Scientist for a day
Prehistoric Playground
Dinosaurs at the Australian Museum

Dinosaur buffs and budding artists will have plenty to dig into these January School Holidays (13 January – 22 January 2021) at the Australian Museum (AM)! A program of workshops and activities have been created by the AM, to inspire the next generation of scientists and natural history lovers.

Cordelia Hough, Creative Producer of Children and Families Programs said, “We are so excited to present our first school holidays program after reopening! Children from six to 16 years can join our AM experts for workshops to thrill, educate and importantly expand young minds. Continue reading SCHOOL HOLIDAY FUN APLENTY @ THE AUSTRALIAN MUSEUM


Celebrate summer at the Australian Museum’s (AM) new evening programs and enjoy late night entertainment, food, drinks, live music and free entry on Thursday nights this summer.

Part of the NSW Government’s Culture Up Late initiative where Sydney’s cultural institutions will be open for extended hours during the summer, the AM will be open from 5pm – 9pm on Thursday nights in January, February, and March 2021.

Summer nights at the AM will give visitors the opportunity wander through the AM’s new spaces and exhibitions and enjoy food and drink while being entertained by local DJs. Continue reading SUMMER NIGHTS @ THE AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL MUSEUM



“We defy: By existing; By determining our identity; By asserting our histories; our culture; our language; By telling our stories, our way; By being one of the oldest continuous living cultures in the world.”

Tina Baum, Curator of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art, National Gallery of Australia

The museum is proud to bring the National Gallery of Australia’s highly successful Defying Empire: 3rd National Indigenous Art Triennial to Sydney. Defying Empire features the works of 30 contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists from across the country. This exhibition forms part of the museum’s Encounters 2020 program to mark the 250th anniversary of James Cook’s charting of the east coast. Continue reading AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL MARATIME MUSEUM: DEFYING EMPIRE:3RD NATIONAL INDIGENOUS ART TRIENNIAL


Australian Museum Director and CEO, Kim McKay AO, in the Hintze Hall

The Australian Museum, closed for the past 15 months for a $57.5 million transformation, the largest in its history, was officially reopened today by the NSW Premier, Gladys Berejiklian and Minister for the Arts Don Harwin, in a ceremony held in the Museum’s new Hintze Hall, named for its donor.

 The major renovation of Australia’s first museum, delivered on time and on budget, has redeveloped its public and exhibition spaces, unlocking more than 3,000sqm of new public space, repurposed from back-of-house areas. The expansion allows the AM to host one major international travelling exhibition or two smaller exhibitions at the same time. Other public spaces have also been reimagined, including the creation of a new Museum Shop, a second café, a new Members Lounge, new education rooms, cloaking and new amenities.

Known as Project Discover, the transformation was made possible by the NSW Government contributing $50.5 million and generous philanthropic support from AM private donors contributing more than $7 million. Continue reading AUSTRALIAN MUSEUM OFFICIALLY REOPENS TO THE PUBLIC