We acknowledge the Gadigal of the Eora Nation, the traditional custodians of the Country on which the Art Gallery of New South Wales stands.

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Djamu metropolitan

Djamu Metropolitan

Djamu Metropolitan senior, 2019

Djamu Metropolitan

Djamu Metropolitan senior 2019

Djamu Metropolitan

Djamu Metropolitan senior 2019

Djamu Metropolitan

Djamu Metropolitan junior 2019

Djamu Metropolitan

Djamu Metropolitan junior 2019

Djamu Metropolitan

Djamu Metropolitan senior 2018

Djamu Metropolitan

Djamu Metropolitan senior 2018

Djamu Metropolitan

Djamu Metropolitan senior 2018

Djamu Metropolitan

Djamu Metropolitan junior 2018

Djamu Metropolitan

Djamu Metropolitan junior 2018

Djamu Metropolitan

Djamu at the National Art School 2017

Djamu Metropolitan

Djamu at the National Art School, 2017.

Djamu Metropolitan

Djamu Metropolitan senior 2017

Djamu Metropolitan

Djamu Metropolitan senior 2017

Djamu Metropolitan

Djamu Metropolitan junior 2017

Students from Matraville Sports High School have been part of the Djamu Program for a few years now and it has been an overwhelmingly positive experience. The program has given my students some fantastic opportunities to meet significant Aboriginal artists, be inspired in their artmaking and take chances with new media and ideas. They have really begun to develop their own visual literacy.
Teacher, Matraville Sports High School, 2017

Djamu Metropolitan offers three-day intensive learning experiences for both primary and secondary students to participate in artist–led artmaking workshops, guided discussion tours of the collections, behind-the-scenes tours of the conservation studios and visits to galleries and artist studios.

  • History and development

    Djamu is a word from the Gadigal language and means ‘here I am’ or ‘here I come’.

    In 2009, the Art Gallery of New South Wales developed and delivered the first Djamu Program for Indigenous Art Education. Over eight weeks, 20 Indigenous primary and secondary students from Greater Sydney had the opportunity to develop their relationship with art, a sense of participation in the life of the Gallery and an understanding of professional pathways and career opportunities available in the Visual Arts.

    As a result of the successful completion of the program, two annual Indigenous art education programs have been initiated at the Gallery; the Djamu Junior program for Indigenous students in years 5 – 6, and Djamu Senior for Indigenous students studying Visual Arts in Years 10 – 12. Students are provided with opportunities to engage directly with artworks, leading contemporary artists and the wider art world. Students meet curators and the Gallery’s Indigenous Educators, as well as professionals in many different areas of the art world such as artists, conservators, registrars and gallery owners. Since 2009, contributing artists have included Esme Timbery, Daniel Boyd, Elaine Russell, Janet Fieldhouse, Roy Kennedy and Jonathan Jones. Students also meet other professionals from cultural precinct partner institutions such as the Royal Botanic Gardens, Powerhouse Museum and Museum of Contemporary Art: Australia.

    The partnership with the Sydney Region Aboriginal Education Unit (AEU) is an integral part of the successful delivery of Djamu Junior. The Gallery works closely with AEU staff members and New South Wales Department of Education in the development and delivery of the program. The AEU liaises with schools to coordinate transport to and from school each day for all students by school bus supplied by the participating schools, coordinates at least one supervising teacher from a participating school to accompany students and supplies one member of their team to be present throughout the program. All transport costs and teacher relief costs are met by the New South Wales Department of Education. The AEU is also instrumental in liaising with family members of students who experienced any difficulties in attending the program or in their relationships with other students.

  • Impact

    Students in Djamu Junior, meet artists, join in artist-led artmaking workshops and guided discussion tours of the collections, while those participating in Djamu Senior also visit artist studios and galleries, other arts institutions and cultural centres, develop their critical writing and interpretation skills and receive personal support on the development of their Visual Arts Body of Work from practicing artists and educators. All students develop their skills as artists and gain a greater understanding of the art world and their potential to achieve within it as artists, curators or other arts workers. The program aims to raise aspirations, build student confidence and skills and present the arts as a viable career path for the future.

    Djamu Program for Indigenous Art Education has been specifically designed to integrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander concepts, perspectives and cultural practices. The Gallery’s Indigenous Educators, as well as teachers from participating schools accompany students. The program is free of charge to participating students and all meals, art materials and transport to and from the Gallery are provided.

  • Artists

    2009
    Roy Kennedy, Genevieve Grieves, Jason Wing, Esme Timbery, Daniel Boyd

    2010
    Elaine Russell, Jonathan Jones, Adam Hill, Russell Smith, Roy Kennedy, Daniel Boyd, Jason Wing

    2011
    Daniel Boyd, Lucy Simpson, Jonathan Jones, Nicole Foreshew, Judy Watson

    2012
    Tony Albert, Roy Kennedy, Esme Timbery, Daniel Boyd

    2013
    Elaine Russell, Jonathan Jones, Adam Hill, Russell Smith, Roy Kennedy, Brenda L Croft, Tony Albert

    2014
    Tony Albert, Reko Rennie, Roy Kennedy

    2015
    Esme Timbery, Roy Kennedy, Judy Watson, Andrew Snelgar

    2016
    Lucy Simpson, Roy Kennedy, Andrew Snelgar, Jonathan Jones

    2017
    Roy Kennedy, Judy Watson, Emily Johnson, Mervyn Bishop, Gunybi Ganambarr, Yinimala Gumana, Yhonnie Scarce

    2018
    Roy Kennedy, Andrew Snelgar, Lucy Simpson, Esme Timbery, Daniel Boyd, Adam Hill, James Tylor

    2019
    Thea Anamara Perkins, Dennis Golding, Tony Albert, Janet Fieldhouse, Genevieve Grieves, Ian RT Colless, Robert Andrew

    2021
    Daniel Boyd, Thea Anamara Perkins, James Tylor, Jazz Money

I thought the Djamu Program provided a valuable connection to community members and information about Aboriginal ways of knowing. The structure of the experience was related to Aboriginal pedagogical frameworks and it was a valuable opportunity for the students to see and experience this. That was important for me - you could see that it made them feel good. A couple of the students have contacted me since then about getting help with their major works.
Artist, Andrew Snelgar, 2017