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Chau Chak Wing Museum

Located in the heart of the University of Sydney, the Chau Chak Wing Museum was designed to share the University of Sydney’s vast collections with the broader community. 

The collections began with the Nicholson Collection of antiquities in 1860 and continued to grow to include the Macleay Collections of natural history, ethnography, science and historic photography, and the University Art Collection. The Chau Chak Wing Museum was designed by Johnson Pilton Walker to unite these diverse collections in one multidisciplinary institution.

While the collections themselves aren’t new, being able to see them is. The Chau Chak Wing Museum triples the exhibition space previously available. 70 per cent of the items on display have not been seen publicly for over 20 years. From ancient Rome, Greece and Egypt, to the art of First Nations people, and the works of leading contemporary artists, the Chau Chak Wing Museum is open to all as a centre of cultural and artistic excellence. 

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Gululu dhuwala djalkiri:

Welcome to the Yolŋu foundations

For Yolŋu people, knowledge is shared and demonstrated through their art. Paintings and sculptures embody their spiritual, philosophical and legal foundations. In eastern Arnhem Land, Yolŋu people have been making art for millennia. Their art traces djalkiri (ancestral footsteps) and expresses Yolŋu Rom (Law). 


The 350 works in Gululu dhuwala djalkiri represent generations of Yolŋu artists and include pieces dating back to the period following the establishment of Methodist missions in the Yolŋu territories of Milingimbi and Yirrkala, the late 1920s and 1940s. Anthropologists from the University of Sydney acquired artworks and objects, and took photographs in these communities, as an integral part of their research. The exhibition also features a large number of artworks from the JW Power collection, acquired in the 1980s through Djon Mundine, a Bandjalung curator and then Art Advisor for the Ramingining community.


The exhibition was developed in consultation with three Yolŋu art centres representing the regions where the works were created. Elders from the Milingimbi, Yirrkala and the Ramingining communities were instrumental, working with museum curators to design the layout,  grouping and interpretation of the works.

The striking paintings and sculptures in Gululu dhuwala djalkiri represent more than 20 Yolŋu clan groups and 100 artists.


Gululu / welcome this; here is
Dhuwala / footsteps; spiritual foundation
Djalkiri / ancestral imprint on the landscape

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