Bayala Nura celebrates the vibrant, living diversity of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures. Yarning – sharing stories and songlines through talking, singing and dancing – is a traditional practice used to build connections and pass on cultural knowledge, and is still very much alive today.

In this gallery you’ll find fascinating objects and artworks from all over Indigenous Australia including an array of tall hunting spears and shields from around the country, and colourful yidakis (didjeridus) from Arnhem Land and beyond. See a bark canoe made especially for this exhibition using traditional techniques, and Edward Malati Yunupingu’s playful work, Old Time Footballer, which shows the important role Indigenous artists continue to play in Australia’s cultural life.

Accompanying the objects in this exhibition are first-hand stories of the impacts of colonisation on Aboriginal communities, from first contact through the long struggle to maintain identity and sacred connections to Country that continues today.

Welcome to Bayala Nura. Stop by for a yarn some time, and share in the traditional knowledge and living culture of Australia’s First Nations.

Exhibition highlights

Mahn in Bayala Nura


The mahn installation is a dedication to Sydney’s first fisherwomen who fished the local harbours, bays and waterways for thousands of years, sustaining both the people and sea in harmony.

First Nations' Shields

First Nations' shields

An installation of 125 shields from across Australia by Sydney-based artist Jonathan Jones, featured in Bayala Nura: Yarning Country.

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