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Djamu Indigenous program

'Djamu’ is a word from the Gadigal language, meaning ‘here I am’ or ‘here I come’.

This unique Indigenous art education program provides opportunities for Indigenous students in Years 5–6 and 10–12 to learn about the art collections of the Gallery as well as vocational pathways available in the arts and integrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander concepts, perspectives and cultural practices.

The pilot program was held over eight days from 4 August to 22 September 2009. Students worked with professionals from the Gallery and from many different areas of the art world, including educators, curators, conservators, registrars and gallery owners. They met practising artists including Esme Timbery, Daniel Boyd, Jason Wing, Genevieve Grieves and Roy Kennedy.

Students visited places such as the Royal Botanic Gardens, the Powerhouse Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art, artist studios and other galleries, and joined in artist-led art workshops and discussion tours of the Gallery’s collections. They developed skills and talents as artists and gained greater understanding of the art world and their potential to achieve within it, as artists, curators or other arts professionals.

Two Indigenous museum educators based at the Gallery, as well as teachers from participating schools and the Sydney Region Aboriginal Education Unit, led students on this exciting and inspiring journey.