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Celebrating Canberra's Indigenous community

7 Apr 17

Welcome to our new Welcome Space

Canberra's Aboriginal community and the National Museum's Indigenous Reference Group have celebrated the launch of the First Australians gallery’s new Welcome Space, the culmination of two years' work.

The Ngunnawal, Ngunawal and Ngambri peoples, as host nations, share their stories of continued connectivity to this ancient land via life-size digital screens, murals, personal stories and immersive experiences.

  • Couple looking at large digital screen showing images of an Aboriginal ceremony
    Welcome to country
  • Girl and woman standing in front of text on a wall that reads: 'I feel most connected to my country when I stand still and listen. I can hear the voices of my people, my ancestors'.
    Personal quotes
  • Woman in front of digital art work
    Digital interactive artwork
  • Two men standing between narrow upright digital displays.
    Message sticks
  • Group portrait of men and women
    Indigenous Reference Group
  • Man sitting in front of wall with artwork of platypus
    Cultural mural
  • Two women standing in front of a map of Australia on the wall.
    Cultural map
  • Wall covered in writing
    Connection to country
  • Two men standing in front of a digital screen mounted on a wall.
    Video stories

Cultural custodians

The Ngunnawal, Ngunawal and Ngambri peoples are the cultural and spiritual custodians of all that is on their country – the people, material culture and the spirit of those stories shared. This encompasses the Museum and everything in it.

The presence of our host nation peoples is strong and insightful, giving visitors a different perspective of Canberra and local protocols explored through digital technology, graffiti and art.

This sharing of stories and knowledge in first person gives Museum visitors a personal invitation to share something special. The stories are told with distinct humour and drama to communicate insights, beliefs and values.

The welcome to country, connection to country and message stick digital displays offer personal engagement and an invitation for Museum visitors to understand more abstract Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander concepts, as told by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. 

We hope the Welcome Space sets the scene and ensures a more meaningful experience that resonates with visitors as they move through the First Australians gallery.

You can also see many of the personal video stories on the Museum's YouTube channel.

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