DSMG broke new ground in April when we signed a Statement of Recognition and Understanding with the Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences (MAAS), which operates the Powerhouse Museum.
This is the first agreement of its kind, and provides the foundations for respectful engagement between DSMG and MAAS.
It sets out key principles to ensure MAAS works appropriately on Dharug Nura:
DSMG acknowledges that MAAS is establishing operations on Dharug Nura, their traditional country (“Country”) and will have offices on Dharug Nura, will develop and hold exhibitions on Dharug Nura and will develop and deliver programs to promote Indigenous culture, history and achievements on Dharug Nura and the Countries of other Indigenous peoples of Australia.
In offering MAAS a Welcome to Dharug Nura, DSMG anticipates MAAS will always act to remember, respect and foster the resilience, strength and spirit of the Dharug Ancestors and people on their paths already walked and those yet to come.
DSMG , through this Statement of Understanding, gives cultural permission for MAAS to be present on Country and to operate on Country and to do the business of the museum and anticipates MAAS will acknowledge Nura and our welcome and permission through appropriate inclusion of Dharug yura, Elders, knowledge and ceremony in exhibitions, performances, meetings and other activities.
In the context of this specific Statement of Understanding, Dharug yura and organisations are recognised as the primary guardians, interpreters and decision makers with deep cultural connections and authoritative values and perspectives on Dharug matters, including issues affecting Dharug Nura.
The Parties acknowledge that the continuity of Dharug culture, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture more widely, is built on enduring rights that relate to the ownership of context and interpretation; and the rights to protect, control, benefit from and to maintain, revitalise and advance on-going practice.
The Parties acknowledge that the connection to community is built on principles of respect, integrity and exchange that fosters meaningful dialogue and consideration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives and values generally and Dharug perspectives and values in particular in relation to Dharug Nura and interests, in ways that are respectful, informed, ethical and timely and where Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ownership of and protocols about cultural materials – both tangible and intangible – are acknowledged, honored and upheld.
Read the full statement here: