Aboriginal Heritage Unit
In cultural heritage matters the Australian
Museum is guided by principles of self-determination by Indigenous Australians. With this
in mind the Museum established the Aboriginal Heritage Unit in January 1996.
The main role of the Aboriginal Heritage
Unit is to act as the intermediary between the Australian Museum and the indigenous
communities of Australia on issues of indigenous cultural heritage management. This
involvement ranges from the development of Museum policy and procedures dealing with
Australian indigenous cultural issues, and overseeing the development of Australian
indigenous public programs at the Museum. The Unit also facilitates the repatriation of
Aboriginal human remains and secret/sacred collections and significant cultural materials,
and co-ordinates relevant policies.
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Kids' Island - a special place for kids up to five years old to
explore the fantasy island.A shipwreck complete with treasure chest and portholes is one feature
small visitors to Australian Museum can explore on the fantasy Kids' Island, a new
hands-on play area created specially for 0-5's.
An ongoing attraction at the Museum, Kids'
Island provides a fun and creative space for the Museum's smallest visitors, in an
environment that is both playful and educational.
Kids' Island is divided into a number
of theme "cubbies". A padded crawling pit for 0-1 year olds is aptly called the
Nest. The Forest will have animals for pre-schoolers to climb on, plus nests to find and
creatures to identify.
The Box House cubby incorporates culturally
diverse notions of home, with doors, windows and drawers to open and explore. Slightly
elevated, the Balloon features a slippery-dip exit. Children can use sound pipes to send
secret messages to various locations in Kids' Island.
"Kids' Island is a unique place
in which 0-5 year olds can explore and investigate," said Project Team member Peter
Ampt. "The area introduces its visitors to natural and cultural diversity,
incorporating real objects into an imaginative play setting," he said.
In a first for a public museum space, Kids'
Island will include a baby change section and areas for breast feeding. Developed in
consultation with early childhood specialists, Kids' Island is a unique and
innovative place in which carers can sit while their children interact and learn, or join
in with their child's play.
Kids' Island is located on Level 2 of
the Australian Museum, 6 College Street, Sydney. Open 9.30am - 5pm every day (except 25
December). Phone 9320 6000.