The Christina and Trevor Kennedy Garden is a place of welcome and a space to rest and reflect or play and explore.
It includes a Welcome to Country, mosaic plantings and an amphitheatre for performances and events. The Kennedy Garden’s colours, smells and animal inhabitants change with the seasons.
Ask at the Information Desk in the Gandel Atrium about free hosts talks or for a brochure about local bird life.
Welcome to Country
Yumalundi! Gurruburrii! Yumalundi! – words of welcome from the Ngunnawal, Ngambri, and Ngunawal peoples.
It is customary for First Nations people to formally invite you onto their land. In the Kennedy Garden, the Ngunnawal, Ngambri and Ngunawal peoples, who have lived in this area for tens of thousands of years, welcome visitors to their country.
Etched into the sandstone boulders are plant and animal totems belonging to these peoples. Each totem reveals their powerful attachment to this place.
The Kennedy Garden also features a firestone, where people can gather, connect and share stories. Fire and smoke are part of sacred rituals used to acknowledge ancestors, welcome visitors, and cleanse people and places.
The Welcome Wall lets visitors see themselves reflected in the long human history of this place.
Bronze markers set into the stone pathway have been chosen by the Ngunnawal, Ngambri and Ngunawal peoples to reflect places of significance to them in and around Canberra, such as Namadgi National Park, Birrigai rock shelter and Weereewaa (Lake George).
The People's Walk
The National Museum of Australia invited donors to help transform its entrance into a bush garden and People’s Walk. Family names and the names of loved ones were etched into bluestone pavers on our People’s Walk in 2018–21.
The People’s Walk leads visitors from the Christina and Trevor Kennedy Garden to the Museum entrance. The walk was key to our Kennedy Garden redesign and was the first step of an ambitious Master Plan to 2030, doubling our exhibition space and play areas for children of all ages.
The Kennedy Garden features a welcome to visitors from traditional owners. The People’s Walk continues this welcome, extending it on behalf of Australia’s diverse population.
The Christina and Trevor Kennedy Garden combines plants from across Australia. The shapes, colours, textures and fragrances of the design are inspired by the patterns of growth that follow fire.
Australia’s First Nations people have cared for country over millennia. They used low intensity fires to gently burn small areas, nurturing plants, animals and soils. From above, the patterns formed by these cool burns look like a mosaic.
See 20 of the plants chosen for the Kennedy Garden. The information about each plant was supplied by TCL Landscape Architecture or drawn from the Ngunnawal Plant Use field guide.
The Kennedy Garden was designed by ARM Architecture and TCL Landscape Architecture in collaboration with artists and community members of the local host nations – the Ngunnawal, Ngambri and Ngunawal peoples, on whose land the National Museum of Australia stands.
The Kennedy Garden construction was undertaken by Regal Innovations in collaboration with a team of multidisciplinary specialist partners.
The National Museum of Australia thanks all the donors who gave generously to the Kennedy Garden project. Funds raised through the People’s Walk, the 2018 Annual Appeal and Shadow Bench Appeal have assisted with the development of this precinct.