Education statement

The Australian Museum respects and acknowledges the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation as the First People and Traditional Custodians of the land and waterways on which the Museum stands. We acknowledge Elders past, present and emerging.

The mission of the Australian Museum is to ignite wonder, inspire debate and drive change. ​​​

Our vision is to be a leading voice for the richness of life, the Earth and culture in Australia and the Pacific. We commit to transform the conversation around climate change, the environment and wildlife conservation; be a strong advocate for First Nations’ culture; and continue to develop world-leading science, collections, exhibitions and education programs.

We are a place of trust, exploration, research, collections and deep history. Our collections include natural specimens and cultural objects; it is with these, along with knowledge and stories from scientists and First Nations peoples, that our educators open windows to our amazing world.

The stories told by our exhibitions help us to make sense of the world around us and our place within it. The collection of specimens and objects within the exhibitions bring us closer to elements of humanity and nature that are otherwise out of reach. They are rich environments that provide a unique opportunity for individual and social learning.

Connect, share, reflect – these are the three phases of learning that underpin education at the Australian Museum.


The Australian Museum connects us all to nature, culture and history through the stories told by the specimens and objects within the exhibitions. We are intrigued by the unfamiliarity of objects, enthralled by their natural beauty, or curious about their makers; we are drawn to them because we want to know more. Learning through objects and inquiry makes us look carefully, feel, think deeply and question. This begins a process of conceptualizing our thoughts which are further developed when shared and discussed with others.


We learn from each other and with each other by sharing our stories, knowledge, values, skills, and ideas. Sharing is a collaborative process that requires us to listen, discuss and question. It encourages creative thinking, fosters teamwork, and opens our minds to other viewpoints, enabling us to refine our knowledge and understanding of the world. Sharing information and stories about nature and culture helps us to realise the significance of Country and our role within it, and teaches us to value and respect each other.


Thinking deeply and carefully about our experiences helps us to weave new knowledge into our existing view of the world. Reflection challenges us to adjust the way we think, and empowers us to act in an environmentally and culturally responsible way. It enables us to keep knowledge, impart understanding on our friends and family, and to apply new learning in unfamiliar contexts in a way that benefits community.

Our exhibitions are rich learning environments and full of weird, mysterious and captivating things which ignite wonder and inspire debate. Upon visiting, you and your students will see a lot of specimens and objects from different places, cultures and times.

But what is the best way to facilitate the ultimate exhibition experience for your students? Here is what we think.

  • Identify the exhibitions you want to explore prior to your visit so you can prepare. Do a site visit, find information on our website, and investigate our learning resources to help you facilitate an engaging education experience including pre-visit warm ups, exhibition suggestions and post-visit discussions. Book a visit for your school group.
  • When entering an exhibition offer your students some quiet time so they can absorb what is around them, and prepare for their learning experience. Use our learning resources to help facilitate exciting and fun ways for students to engage with the objects and specimens.
  • Use our learning approach when facilitating experiences in any exhibition.
    • Connect: We want students to connect to what they see, think and feel through closely observing, listening deeply and critically thinking about the objects and specimens on display. We encourage you to provide your students with questions and simple tasks to scaffold their learning.
    • Share: We believe students should be given the opportunity to share their ideas within small groups. Sharing information and stories about nature and culture helps us to realise the significance of Country and our role within it, and teaches us to value and respect each other and the environment. We encourage you to facilitate some small group discussion points to scaffold student’s learning.
    • Reflect: We suggest that you share your findings and experiences and reflect as a whole group to help refine key messages and learning outcomes. Reflecting on content within the exhibitions challenges the way we think, and asks us to critically question our understanding of the world. Our hope is for students to be inspired by our exhibitions and take their new knowledge and experiences away with them to drive positive change at a local level.

The purpose of a museum

“A museum is a not-for-profit, permanent institution in the service of society that researches, collects, conserves, interprets and exhibits tangible and intangible heritage. Open to the public, accessible and inclusive, museums foster diversity and sustainability. They operate and communicate ethically, professionally and with the participation of communities, offering varied experiences for education, enjoyment, reflection and knowledge sharing."” International Council of Museums, 2022

Museums look after heritage and historical objects, research aspects of nature, culture and history, and are spaces for learning about the past and connecting it to the present. Exhibitions share the learning, research and theories, and offer new experiences and ways of accessing knowledge and understanding of the world around us.

Museums teach us how to think critically, how to empathise, and help motivate children encouraging them to get more excited about subjects they are learning about at school.

10 educational benefits of bringing children and students to the Australian Museum

  1. It will give opportunity to learn about history and culture from genuine objects which foster interesting and important conversations.
  2. It will give opportunity to be up close to and investigate animals from Australia and around the world you would otherwise be unable to see.
  3. It will give opportunity to touch real fossils from dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals.
  4. To stimulate learning outside of the classroom in innovative exhibition environments.
  5. To gain knowledge about controversial topics from a trusted source.
  6. To boost language development, especially for early learners and students with English as an Additional Language or Dialect.
  7. To encourage critical and creative thinking skills.
  8. To boost and foster bonding amongst student or family groups.
  9. To create memories and experiences for students and encourage a desire to find out more.
  10. Because museums inspire.