Museum collaboration takes Aboriginal Culture to the world

07 December 2017

Laura in yidaki

A ground-breaking partnership between the South Australian Museum (SAM) and the National Museum of Australia (NMA), will showcase Aboriginal culture on the world stage.

Under a landmark Memorandum of Understanding signed by SAM and the NMA, the two leading cultural institutions will collaborate on three exhibitions that tell Australian stories over the next five years, with the view to touring them both nationally and internationally. The first of the three exhibitions, Yidaki: Didjeridu and the Sound of Australia, is earmarked to tour Japan in July 2018.

The SAM boasts the world’s most important collection of Aboriginal cultural material, while the NMA is proud to hold the world's largest collection of Aboriginal bark paintings and stone tools.

“We believe that by working together to develop strong programs, especially around Australian Aboriginal culture, we can maximise the value of our institutions and enhance the service they provide to the public,” said Mr Brian Oldman, Director of the South Australian Museum.

NMA director Dr Mathew Trinca said he is committed to taking Australian culture to the world and enhancing Australia’s relationships with Japan and other countries by employing international cultural diplomacy.

“By partnering with the South Australian Museum we can join forces to extend the reach of our joint collections and give international audiences an insight into Australia’s unique Indigenous history and culture,” said Dr Trinca.

Future tours will focus on the East Asian region and include a possible tour of New Zealand.

In 2016, the NMA toured its One Road Canning Stock Route exhibition through multiple Japanese venues and in 2017 the SAM toured its Opals exhibition to Qatar in the Middle East.

“There is a strong appetite around the world for Australian exhibitions and stories,” said Dr Trinca.