WARNING: Visitors should be aware that this website includes images and names of deceased people that may cause sadness or distress to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
The National Museum's Indigenous Advisory Committee
During 2011, the Council of the National Museum of Australia took the important step of establishing an Indigenous Advisory Committee. Peter Yu chairs the Committee and is a member of the Museum’s Council. Peter is a Yawuru man from Broome in Western Australia and is well known for his achievements during more than 35 years working to support the rights and interests of Aboriginal people in Broome, the Kimberley region and at the national level.
Committee members are not assumed to represent any particular region or organisation, they come from across Australia, and have a diversity of experience in museums, cultural heritage, and history. The other members of the Committee are Jason Eades from Victoria, Henrietta Marrie from Queensland, Russell Taylor from Australian Capital Territory, Alison Page from New South Wales, Dr Alitja Rigney from South Australia, Charlie King from Northern Territory, Greg Lehmann from Tasmania, Vic McGrath from the Torres Strait and Gaye Sculthorpe from Tasmania.
The Committee’s primary role is to advise the Museum’s Council about the collaboration that the Museum is currently undertaking with the British Museum. This research and exhibition collaboration is about reconnecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander objects that are held in the British Museum, and developing an exhibition based on this material.
In particular, the Committee is guiding the Museum about protocols in curating this subject matter, as well as the process of consultation and collaborative development of content with communities that are represented in the exhibition.
The Committee can also advise on other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander issues that are relevant to the Museum and it is already making an important impact on the work of the Museum. Beyond the collaboration with the British Museum, during 2011 the Committee influenced the Museum’s position on the ‘immunity from seizure’ legislation that is currently being developed by the Commonwealth government. This legislation will affect all exhibitions and objects coming from international institutions into Australia.
Benita Tunks, Content Project Manager.