Laura McBride is Director, First Nations at the Australian Museum (AM). Laura McBride is a Wailwan and Kooma woman who has grown up in culture under the guidance of Elders in north western NSW and Sydney.
In this new role on the AM Executive Leadership Team, McBride will continue to lead the First Nations strategic direction and operations, assist the AM in engaging effectively and respectfully with First Nations communities, as well as managing the Aboriginal and Pacific collections. Laura’s vision for the AM centres on prioritising and amplifying First Nations voices so that Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander, and Pacific communities represent themselves and their cultures within the Museum.
During her employment at the AM, Laura has played a pivotal role in assisting the Executive Leadership Team in planning and actioning the vision for the AM to move beyond its colonial past towards a more connected future with First Nations stakeholders and knowledge-holders. Laura is a strong advocate for First Nations communities in the AM, moving towards Indigenous self-determination processes across how we care for cultural objects, exhibit cultural material and undertake our First Nations projects, education and programming.
Prior to stepping into the Director role, Laura was the First Nations Curator in the Exhibitions, Engagement and Cultural Connection division of the AM, and previously also held the Creative Producer and Aboriginal Educator roles at the AM. Laura’s projects at the AM include the development of Garrigarrang: Sea Country exhibition and the award-winning GADI exhibition, and conducting ground-breaking First Nations community consultation through The 2020 Project which has informed the First Nations-led exhibition Unsettled, opening at the AM in early May 2021.
Laura’s academic qualifications include a Bachelor of Arts (University of Sydney) conferred in 2008 (double Major in Psychology and Australian Indigenous Studies), and Master of Aboriginal Education (University of Technology Sydney) conferred in 2012. She is currently a member of the Aboriginal Arts Culture heritage Association, the Aboriginal Curatorial & Art Workers Network in Sydney, NSW. Laura previously served as co-chair of the AM Indigenous Australians Gallery Prospectus and was a member of professional affiliation groups including the Corroboree Sydney Curatorial Committee, the AM Indigenous Australian Engagement Strategy Group, the Arts NSW Assessment Panel for Indigenous Grant funding: regional and urban, and Museums & Galleries Keeping Places Working Group.