Yura Nura: People and Country

The relationship between the British and Aboriginal peoples largely began around Warrane (Sydney Cove) on the site where the first Government House was built and the Museum of Sydney now stands (near present-day Circular Quay). From its construction in 1788 to its demolition in 1845, the first Government House was the centre of colonial power in Australia. Imposing British law on Aboriginal people, multiple governing documents were signed within its walls that had, and continue to have, direct impact on Aboriginal people across Australia.

This permanent display provides a glimpse into the complex relationship between this significant site and Aboriginal peoples and land, then and now. A film explores key events in the early years of the colony and includes personal reflections on the impacts still felt by Aboriginal people today. Three artworks by Gordon Syron, a Worimi/Biripi man from the Mid North Coast of NSW, offer a contemporary artistic Aboriginal interpretation of the arrival of the First Fleet in Sydney Cove in 1788. These works challenge the British idea of ‘nobody’s land’ and explore the impacts of first contact and the continued colonisation of Australia.

NOW ON DISPLAY Sydney Living Museums
Museum of Sydney, Corner Phillip and Bridge Streets, Sydney, NSW 2000

Phone Museum  +61 2 9251 5988

Image used with the permission of the artist and Sydney Living Museums

Invasion III (detail), Gordon Syron, 1999, oil on Belgian linen. Courtesy Gordon Syron.