Sydney is a young city. It stands on some of the oldest occupied Country in the world: Gadi. Many people have been welcomed to country by Gadigal Elders, but know little about Gadigal people, history, culture or their ongoing legacy. This exhibition was a First Nations-led response to the colonial impact and a place to share custodial stories.

Elders, artisans and community shared knowledge and stories. Australian Museum Creative Producer (First Nations) Laura McBride said

The most rewarding and accurate way to learn about another culture is from the people themselves. Gadi is a new opportunity to immerse yourself in Aboriginal culture in an exhibition, designed and led by Aboriginal people.

The exhibition’s core theme was the endurance of culture. Featuring rare objects from Gadi, new cultural material was acquired for permanent collection including a Sydney Shield by Uncle Chicka Madden and a Gadigal fishing song by his granddaughter Lille Madde. Illustrating the survival of people and ongoing cultural practices within the Sydney region, the most highly impacted by colonisation. Australian Museum stands on the site of gadigal, it is befitting that we acknowledge Aboriginal culture and tell new and engaged narratives on this site.


  • Winner of the IMAGinE ‘Exhibition Projects – Museums’ award.
  • Winner of the Australian Museums and Gallery’s Association (AMaGA), Temporary Exhibition, Level 2 award.