Nightlab, curated by Rebecca Sullivan

Night lab group photo

6:00 PM to 10:00 PM
Friday, 6 May 2016
Suited ages: 18+
Cost: $35, bookings essential

As part of Tasting Australia, you’re invited to indulge in a little late night learning with a visit to the South Australian Museum after dark! Discover the links between what we eat and the environment we live in, from the geology of our wine regions to bush foods that reflect South Australia's incredible biodiversity. Night Lab is the delicious combination of science, curiosity, culture and great food.

 Night Lab is generously supported by Beach Energy.


Mother's Day breakfast and tour with Professor Flint

 Professor Flint tours the museum

9am – 11am
Sunday 8 May 2016
Adults $32 / Children $25

Join us for a family breakfast in the Museum Café hosted by our world-renowned singing palaeontologist, Professor Flint. With full bellies and inquisitive minds, the Professor will lead you on a fun, light-hearted tour of the museum. Along the way discover some of the weird, wacky and wonderful things that mothers get up to in the natural world.

Price includes food, beverages and entertainment.

To book email café


 Young explorers: Shields

Young explorers

16 - 27 May 2016
10.15-10.45am - book here
11.15-11.45am - book here

People, animals and insects all use shields, but what for? Come on a special adventure to find out!

Formerly known as Tell Me a Story, Young explorers is a program designed so that children and their families  can enjoy an interactive experience that immerses them in the stories, objects and spaces of the South Australian Museum.

Experienced facilitators use play experiences to engage the senses, incorporating story, song, movement, rhyme, observation, exploration, communication and tactile sensations in each session.

 Young explorers is presented with the generous support of the Thyne Reid Foundation.


Curator's talk - Shields in Aboriginal Australia with Dr Philip Jones

6:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Wednesday, 18 May  2016

Cost: Free, bookings essential

Join Dr Philip Jones, the curator of Shields: power and protection in Aboriginal Australia, as he explores the significance of shields as a weapon and as an emblem of identity. Focusing on pre-European and contact periods and drawing upon archival sources and Museum's own collection, Dr Jones will touch on the universal characteristics of shields, as expressed across world cultures and throughout history.

The talk will also explore the effects of the European colonisation of Australia on the production and use of Aboriginal shields, with examples from the battle-field and the ceremonial ground as well as more recent examples which highlight the contexts of cultural revival, reconstitution, reenactment and exhibition. 


Sprigg lecture: Renewal and reconciliation in the modern museum

Dr John Carty

John Carty - Head of Anthropology at the South Australian Museum
Tuesday, 31 May at 6-7pm
Pacific Cultures Gallery
Free, but bookings essential

My research career has been spent bridging the gaps between different disciplines and different cultural systems of knowledge: such as between anthropology and art history, or between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal understandings of historical or ecological events. Working closely with Aboriginal people in the Western Desert, and around the country, has informed and challenged my conceptual orientation to questions of pedagogy, culture and the evolving place of the museum as a site of reconciliation in Australian society.

In this lecture I will explore some of the personal and intellectual revelations – about Australian history, about art history, about Aboriginal concepts of materiality and heritage – that have punctuated my research and which are in turn shaping my approach at the South Australian Museum.  I will explore how the last 15 years of research, and the questions that have been raised therein, will inform my approach to research, collections, exhibitions and outreach over the next decade. But these questions are not simply about the detail or provenance or emphasis of a particular museum collection, and nor are they limited to anthropology or the humanities; rather they are about interrogating and rejuvenating the role of the museum in a changing world. I will examine our role not only as custodians of material culture, as archivers or interpreters of historical processes, but of the museum as a dynamic and provocative agent in cultural processes that continue to define, enrich and challenge our understandings of ourselves as Australians.