Australian Design Centre is a creative organisation with authentic and respectful First Peoples engagement strategies embedded throughout our decision-making processes, creative programming, operations, audience development and marketing.

Our Engagement

Since later 2022, our actions have been guided by our Strategic Framework: First Nations Engagement 2023–2027 which provides practical and ethical guidelines to support our commitment to First Nations art, craft and design engagement across the organisation, including with the Board, staff, creatives, community, audiences, partners and collaborators.

In 2023, besides our upcoming exhibition projects and establishing the First Nations Reference Group we have:

  • undertaken cultural awareness training with Gujaga Aboriginal Corporation
  • continued to develop relationships with organisations such as Boomalli, Guiwal Aboriginal Corporation, Yerrabingin, and Tjanpi Desert Weavers
  • incorporated Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual Property (ICIP) clauses in our agreements
  • applied to become a member of the Indigenous Art Code
  • reviewed and updated First Nations programming webpages.

ADC First Nations Reference Group

In April of this year, we welcomed members of our inaugural First Nations Reference Group: Dakota Dixon, Dennis Golding, Christian Hampson, Dr Virginia Keft, Rowena Welsh-Garett and Jason Wing to the first meeting. We look forward to working with amazing group of artists, arts administrators, designers and researchers, to support First Nations art, craft and design, locally and nationally.


Proud Dharawal-Dhungatti woman and ADC’s First Nations Creative Producer, Dakota Dixon, has developed an exhibition for NAIDOC Week in Object Space.

The exhibition, under the banner of the 2023 NAIDOC theme ‘For Our Elders’, shines a light on the amazing art being made by Elders in the community.

ADC partnered with Campbelltown Arts Centre to highlight the vessels made by the Tharawal Elders Ceramic Group for the exhibition Budjari Mudjingaal, (Dharawal for ‘good friends’). The Elders combined ceramic and floristry skills to sustainably honour Sorry Business, and this showcase features work by Aunty Michelle Hailes and Aunty Joanne Venne.

“We had the opportunity to go to the Aunties’ houses and collect the works and talk to them about the process of creating the vessels and floral arrangements. It’s a great partnership, connecting us with Western Sydney audiences, while allowing the Elders’ stories and artworks to be seen on Gadigal land,” Dakota said about the project.

When: 15 June–27 July 2023
Where: Object Space, William Street, Darlinghurst.
More information here.

With Our Elders

To continue celebrating community Elders, Dakota Dixon, in consultation with Boomailli Aboriginal Artists Cooperation, Claypool and La Perouse Guriwal Elders group has developed a ceramics workshop program for an exhibition With Our Elders.

Guriwal Elders visited ADC to yarn about the stories they told their kids and grandkids around growing up in La Perouse, and design ceramic coolamons.

“It was so beautiful to see the women draw stories about their family connections and their animal totems – all different and all an important part of their life and community” explained Dakota.

The inspiration was Aunty Euphemia Bostock’s 10 coolamons created in 2012 to represent the 10 ten founding members of Boomalli. These will be exhibited alongside the Elders’ coolamons.


When: 3 August–16 September 2023
Where: Australian Design Centre (Gallery 2)
More information to come!

Working with local First Nations Businesses

Yerrabingin is a landscape design collective based on Gadigal Land/Sydney that interweaves Indigenous knowledge and collaborative design thinking with conscious native landscapes and place making. Yerribingin designed Australia’s first native rooftop farm.

Yerrabingin are featured as one of nine creative practitioners in ADC’s GOOD NATURED design art architecture. By listening and engaging in Indigenous land management practices, Yerrabingin draws on thousands of years of knowledge caring for country and climate making them an excellent example of traditional and contemporary culture collaborating to manage land sustainably.

ADC first connected with Yerrabingin on Ngalama Gundhu Ngura (Sitting Tree Place), our forecourt garden beds, re-designed, landscaped and revitalised with Indigenous plants and a serpentine bench.

When: 15 June–27 July 2023
Where: Australian Design Centre
More information here.

First Nations makers in Object Shop

ADC is proud to feature work in Object Shop by First Nations artists such as Baluk Arts, Lola Greeno, Tjanpi Desert Weavers, Lucy Simpson (with Corbon & Blair), and work made through the Indigenous Jewellery Project.

If you are a First Nations maker and would like to be represented in Object Shop, fill in our Expression of Interest Form.

Opening hours:
Tuesday to Friday 11am-5pm
Saturday 11am-4pm
113-115 William Street, Darlinghurst

Acknowledgement of Country

Australian Design Centre is proud to be a creative place located on Gadigal Country.

We acknowledge and pay our respects to the Traditional Owners, the Gadigal People, and to Elders past and present.

As a cultural organisation with national connections, we also pay our respects to all First Peoples across the country.

We recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture as the oldest continuing culture in the world. We celebrate the diversity of language, culture, custom, ceremony and knowledge (Lore) of First Peoples as Traditional Owners, custodians and communities with an ongoing connection across land, sea and waterways.

We acknowledge that the lands on which we live and work are unceded – always was, always will be, Aboriginal Land.

End of article.