First Nations Hub

A dedicated space for First Nations community, cultures and history

Welcome to the First Nations Hub, a space and place to celebrate and engage with First Nations cultures, knowledge and perspectives.

You will find First Nations content across our website, but this hub is a dedicated space that brings this content together so it’s easy to find, and for deeper stories, conversations, truth-telling and ideas. It’s a place for and by First Nations people and communities; a living space that will change and grow.

Museums of History NSW?

Our First Nations staff put some questions to our interim CEO, Adam Lindsay, about this new institution, and its relevance and commitment to First Nations people. We asked him:

  • What is 'Museums of History NSW' and why should First Nations people care?
  • With sites and collections that mostly reflect the histories of government and white colonists and society, what value and relevance does Museums of History NSW have for First Nations people?
  • What have you done for and with First Nations people and communities so far and what are your plans for the future?

Here is a short cut of his answers. For a full transcript see Q&A with interim CEO Adam Lindsay

What’s on

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Close up of hands weaving a spiral out of dried raffia.
On now
Featured exhibition

The Weaving Room

These drop-in workshops celebrate the history and diversity of First Nations weaving traditions in NSW. Hear from Elders and artists about their traditional weaving practices and create your own piece to take home

Murmurations. Commission: Tony Albert and Angela Tiatia
Coming soon
Featured exhibition

Murmurations

Artists Tony Albert and Angela Tiatia have teamed up with creatives Lille Madden and Alina Olivares-Panucci

The facade of the Hyde Park Barracks featuring 'Love that dares', a projected artwork by Jacqui North.
22-26 February, 5pm
Festival

Queer in Warrane

Celebrate Sydney WorldPride at the Hyde Park Barracks

Dave Barnett performing a Traditional Indigenous dance at the Eel Festival at Elizabeth Farm
12 March, 10am
Festival

Eel Festival 2023

Discover First Nations history of Parramatta, on Darug Country

Meet our First Nations team

Hayden Walsh

First Nations Advisor

Hayden Walsh is a proud Aboriginal man from Sydney. For the past 10 years, he has worked across the education and not-for-profit sectors, along with many years in the arts and museum space. In this time, Hayden has been leading cultural engagement, producing community programs, and most recently, developing and now delivering the new First Nations Strategy across Museums of History NSW. Since the age of 19, Hayden has also founded and lead his own business, a social enterprise called ‘Think Successful’, which delivers high-quality personal development programs and workshops for young people across Australia.

Tess Allas

First Nations Curator

Tess Allas is a Wiradjuri curator and has strong links to Tharawal country in Wollongong. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Creative Arts from the University of Wollongong and a Masters of Curation from the University of Sydney. For the past three decades Tess has curated many exhibitions of First Nations contemporary art in both Australia and Internationally for organisations including Wollongong Art Gallery, Carriageworks, Campbelltown Arts Centre, Sydney Opera House, Art Gallery of South Australia, Murray Art Museum Albury, Gorman Museum (University of California), the Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection (University of Virginia). In 2021 Tess wrote the Museum of Sydney’s Indigenous Contemporary Art Acquisition Strategy. Tess firmly believes in the power of contemporary art in having the ability to correct history and uncover hidden truths.

Peter White

Head of First Nations Cultural Engagement

Peter White is a Gamilaroi Murri from north-west NSW who has held a number of senior positions and advisory roles in major cultural institutions and government arts agencies. After completing an applied sciences degree in cultural heritage management, he intended to train for a National Parks and Wildlife Service position so that he could care for country and work to protect sites of Aboriginal significance, but his destiny changed during an excursion to the Australian Museum in Sydney. Peter has since worked with a number of museums on a broad range of projects and initiatives. He sees his role as navigating change and developing a new consciousness in management, staff and audiences to value Aboriginal culture and people, and their communities’ perspectives.

Samantha Snedden

Producer, First Nations Programs

Samantha Snedden is a Dunghutti and Wiradjuri woman who has grown up on Darug land. Connecting to culture and community has always been a passion, which has been passed down from her grandparents. These passions are what led Samantha to her current position as Producer, First Nations Programs with Sydney Living Museums and now Museums of History NSW. In her time here, she has produced a broad program of cultural events, festivals and talks, working with mob, artists and engaging community.

Dave Key

Visitor Services Coordinator

In a previous life Dave Key followed his passion for music by performing in small bands and working as a music sales rep for BMG Music. Then other passions took over, and a love of people, history and the natural environment led Dave to teaching history and geography at a performing arts high school, wading through mangrove mud teaching students how to assess the health of estuaries in Homebush Bay and demonstrating responsible and sustainable fishing practices by teaching children how to fish in his capacity as Community Education Officer for NSW Fisheries. He joined our team (then Historic Houses Trust of NSW) in 2010, and as the visitor services coordinator for the Meroogal and Western Sydney Portfolio since 2012 Dave brings all of his experiences to sharing his passion for history, land and culture with audiences old and new.

First Nations stories

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Stone monument with plaque with distant view behind.
First Nations

Frontier violence

Violence at the frontier

The forecourt in front of the Museum of Sydney
First Nations

The future of the colony's dreaming

The Museum of Sydney site is set to be transformed into a new First Nations cultural space

Handpainted image from book of woman in canoe. Margins of page visible on left and right.
First Nations

A fisher woman of Warrane

Daringa’s short but fascinating life reflects the connection of coastal Aboriginal peoples to the water, and the key role played by women in the fishing economy

First Nations Strategy

Smoke coming from lit gum leaves for the Smoking Ceremony at Eel Festival 2021

First Nations strategy

In July 2022 we launched our First Nations Strategy, an ambitious strategy and action plan for ensuring that First Nations voices, perspectives and histories are embedded across our programs, exhibitions and content channels