Cultural Precinct

Berndt Museum

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Monday - Friday 9am - 5pm


Established in 1976, the Berndt Museum holds one of Australia's most important collections of Aboriginal art and cultural materials.

The collection is supported by photographs and sound recordings, as well as art and artefacts from Melanesia, Asia and South-East Asia. Works from the collection are exhibited in the Janet Holmes à Court Gallery, within the Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery.


Image of boy on a raft against backdro pof map

Saltwater Mapping

8 October - 10 December 2016

Presented by the Berndt Museum. On show at Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery. 

The human ability to tell stories and picture the world through mark making provides us with a historical references to place and location today. Saltwater Mapping along Australia’s West Coast is a continuing practice that began long before Europeans arrived, to proclaim ownership, unsettling our lands and shaping our current colonial backdrop.

Saltwater Mapping aims to respond to the 400th anniversary of Dutch explorer Dirk Hartog’s landing in Western Australia with an exploration into the way in which humanity has mapped the WA coastline over the past four centuries.

The exhibition invites audiences to reconsider notions of ownership, place and histories through mapping and practices.

Composite image:
Original photo: Phillip Ah Choo, looking for turtle, One Arm Point, 1973, Courtesy of Kim Akerman. Secondary image: Pieter Goos, Paskaerte Zynde t’Oosterdeel Oost Indien, 1666. Private collection.

More info: Saltwater Mapping exhibition

About the museum

The late anthropologists Catherine and Ronald Berndt established the Berndt Museum almost forty years ago.  It holds one of the most significant collections of Australian Indigenous cultural materials, especially from Western Australian, South Australia and Northern Territory locations.

The Museum aims to ethically conserve, protect, contextualise and promote Australian Aboriginal Cultural Material (Paintings, Artefacts, Archives, Photographs and Audio-Visual recordings) by way of exhibition, research, teaching, publication and community engagement.

It is currently situated in temporary offices under the University’s Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery.  A small, dedicated staff manage the collection stored onsite.  In addition to developing exhibitions and caring for the Collection, Museum staff deal with access to material, community-inspired projects, and public programs.

Access the collection

To access the Berndt Museum Collection domain: Archives, Objects (Paintings, Artifacts), Photographs and Audio-Visual material, complete and send through the Access Request Form via email ( or post (255A, 35 Stirling Highway, Crawley, WA 6009, Australia).