Exhibitions and Storytelling

Helping the WA Museum connect people and stories

The WA Museum's public galleries and special exhibitions reflect the story of our State and country, from the earliest times to the most recent social histories. See how the Foundation for the WA Museum supports the Museum to make a real difference by connecting people and stories.

WA's first coastal steamship

In the new visitor experience SS Xantho: unlocking hidden stories of our State at the WA Shipwrecks Museum in Fremantle, visitors are able to explore the amazing story of Western Australia’s first coastal steamship. New multi-media and interactive platforms explain how one family and the SS Xantho were intricately linked to the social, economic, and cultural development of Western Australia in the late 1800’s.

Visitors learn about the importance of steamships to the development of our State, the experiences of Aboriginal peoples and indentured Asian workers in the North West, and the ground-breaking work undertaken by the WA Museum to recover and conserve the SS Xantho's rare marine steam engine - the gallery’s centrepiece. 

The Foundation for the WA Museum provided partial funding for the gallery refurbishment and exhibition through one of the Foundation’s 2022 Impact Circle Grants.
Images by Lowana Biddy, courtesy of WA Museum.

A Minderoo Grant for an "Illuminate" commission

The Foundation's  Minderoo Grants fund a broad range of projects for the WA Museum.

From May to September 2023, audiences were able to enjoy a new program in the Illuminate nightly projection series, funded by a Minderoo Grant.

The commission was inspired by the Wild About Babies sculpture trail, developed by artists Gillie and Marc, also on display in the Perth Cultural Centre from May to September.

The Wild About Babies night projections built awareness of endangered species through visually rich and large-scale projections of vulnerable species in their natural habitat. The projections could be enjoyed nightly for free commencing at dusk. 

Helping to bring "Dinosaurs of Patagonia" to Perth

In 2022, the Foundation helped bring the Dinosaurs of Patagonia exhibition to Perth with the support of the International Exhibition Fund donors.

In a world-first, this exhibition brought together
full-scale casts of dinosaurs from an ancient time in
Patagonia, alongside incredible fossils and new finds. The striking exhibition featured 13 dinosaur species, 16 skeleton casts, incredible fossils, 3D animations and video, and interactive fun for all the family.

Diving into the chronicles of this ancient past, museum visitors travelled through the deserts of Patagonia, revealed mysteries of nature and were able to better understand their place as a human being in the complex balance of our natural history.

The project would have not been possible without the generous financial gift of the International Exhibition Fund donors,  Kate Budiselik, The McClements Foundation, Mineral Resources and Nev Power and Family. 

Aboriginal Bush Food and Medicine Educational Garden

Western Australia is home to thousands of edible and medicinal native plants. Bush food has sustained generations of traditional Australians for centuries, and today represents a rich and vibrant history in this country’s culture.

Aboriginal people retain an extensive amount of detailed knowledge about the edible and medicinal
properties and uses of many different plants.
The Aboriginal Bush Food and Medicine Educational Garden at the Museum of the Goldfields showcases how rich our own ‘backyard’ really is, despite the dry and desert appearance, and lets visitors learn more about harvesting and consumption.
All plants are easily identifiable via an information
label outlining the area of provenance within Western Australia, the name both in English and local Aboriginal language, and how the shrub and its produce are used in traditional medicine or as part of the Aboriginal diet (Bush Tucker).

The garden was officially opened on 2 July 2022.