Bullets and Bibles artwork by Fiona Foley at Redfern Park (photograph courtesty Jamie Williams)

bangada – ornaments in general / dabura – paint (dabuwa white, white clay)

Visual and artistic expression have been integral to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures. Training opportunities in Sydney have led to an extraordinary range of art practices, exhibitions, galleries and artists’ cooperatives, among them the Boomalli Co-operative and the Yiribanna Gallery at the Art Gallery of NSW.

Gadigal mural

The Gadigal Mural is a public artwork on the back wall of the Australian Design Centre building in Barnett Lane, Darlinghurst. The collaborative artwork was designed by three Aboriginal artists: Dennis Golding, Lucy Simpson and Jason Wing. Their work references Read More

40,000 Years mural

Author: Redfern Station Community Group The landmark 40,000 Years mural on Lawson Street, opposite Redfern Station, was painted in 1983. Mural artist Carol Ruff led a team of artists who collaborated with the local community to create a mural to recognise the importance of Redfern as a living and meeting place for Read More


Artspace Gallery, Surry Hills

Author: Paul Irish During the 1970s, the Australian art world and the broader public became aware of the contemporary practice of painting and other artistic expressions of traditional Aboriginal culture, particularly among the desert artists of central Australia. Drawing on Read More

YININMADYEMI Thou didst let fall

This major artwork in Hyde Park South honours Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men and women who served in our nation’s military and their families. Sydney-based artist Tony Albert created the work, inspired by the story of his grandfather Eddie Albert’s narrow wartime escape. The work is also based on research Read More

National Aborigines Day image

Aboriginal organisations in Sydney

Author: Anita Heiss Aborigines Progressive Association (APA) The Australian Aborigines Progressive Association (AAPA), led by Fred Maynard, operated in Sydney from 1924 to 1927 when it was disbanded due to police harassment. In 1932 in Victoria, William Cooper, Bill Onus Read More

Title_Imagining the people

Imagining the people

Author: Anita Heiss The ways in which Aboriginal people have been portrayed by non-Aboriginal people reflect Euro-centric values and have been largely negative. Strong representations of Aboriginal people and society have developed over time, often classifying individuals as ‘traditional Aborigines’ Read More

Title_Arts and Culture

Aboriginal arts and culture in Sydney

Author: Anita Heiss Apart from rock paintings and engravings, there is little evidence of the artistic and cultural activities of Aboriginal people prior to the white invasion. However, there are several accounts – the journals of officials and others in Read More

mural on the southern wall of Wyanga

Wyanga Aboriginal Aged Care

Wyanga Aboriginal Aged Care was established by Sylvia Scott and Mary Silva in 1996 to provide a community aged care service for Aboriginal people in inner Sydney and La Perouse. The service, which today provides home care and residential accommodation, Read More

Museum of Sydney

The Edge of the Trees

This public artwork created by Fiona Foley and Janet Lawrence is located in the forecourt of the Museum of Sydney on the site of First Government House. The Edge of the Trees symbolises the interaction between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people Read More

Wuganmagulya (Farm Cove)

Wuganmagulya (Farm Cove)

Wuganmagulya (Farm Cove) is an art installation within the Royal Botanic Gardens which honours the original clans who lived on the site, as well as those who held ceremonies there. The artwork is in the form of a mosaic inlaid Read More

Art Gallery of NSW in 1959

Yiribanna Gallery

The Art Gallery of NSW was established in 1884, but only acquired its first Aboriginal works in the mid-20th century. One of the gallery’s first collections of Aboriginal art was a donation of bark and paper paintings from the 1948 Read More

Boomalli 1987


Boomalli is an artist-run cooperative which was formed in 1987 by a group of 10 urban Aboriginal artists working across a range of media from painting and photography to sculpture and print making. The word boomalli means ‘to strike’ or Read More