Leading Museums, Museum Leaders

AM’s Repatriation Policy

Pukumani Poles from the Tiwi Islands at the Australian Museum. Photo: Meredith Foley.

Alice Gage, Amplify: Episode 15, Phil Gordon, Australian Museum Blog, 20 July 2016

Australian Museum CEO and Executive Director Kim McKay in conversation with the AM’s Aboriginal Heritage Project Officer.

Phil coordinates the AM’s Repatriation policy to support return of Indigenous remains held in museum collections around the world.

“We have been, for over 30-odd years, trying to return objects to community. And it can be a very difficult and complex process. But we are fortunately going to be, in conjunction with the Strehlow Centre, looking at some material from Central Australia and getting traditional owners in here (to the AM) again over the next 12 months to hopefully speed up some returns of objects back into the Central Australian region.”

“The collection covers a lot of areas,” says Phil.

“In the ethnographic collection – material collected after contact with Europeans – there are about 20,000 objects, most from the northern parts of Australia. Then there is the archaeological collection, which is well over 1 million objects and that is basically New South Wales.

“Then we have the special collections. Our sacred and secret collections which deal with usually mens ceremonial material. Our ancestral remains collections and our carved tree collections which are all very sensitive in very different ways.”

Listen to the podcast here.

Council of Australasian Museum Directors, c/o Ms Daryl Karp, Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House PO Box 3934 Manuka, Australian Capital Territory 2603 Australia, © CAMD 2020
Disclaimer: The content of this website is provided for information purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for professional advice. No claim is made as to the accuracy or authenticity of the content of the website. The Council of Australasian Museum Directors does not accept any liability to any person for the information or advice (or the use of such information or advice) which is provided on this website. The information on our website is provided on the basis that all persons accessing the site undertake responsibility for assessing the relevance and accuracy of its content. No responsibility is taken for any information or services which may appear on any linked web sites. Hostgator.
.