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22 Aug 2022

Reconciliation Resource – Burra Learning Space, Australian Museum

The Australian Museum has recently opened Burra, a new ground-breaking, interactive learning and play space.  

Located on Gadigal Country, in the Sydney CBD, Burra offers a ‘many-ways’ learning experience where First Nations and Pasifika knowledge systems and Western science are brought together in layers of learning that promote living well with Country and each other.  

Burra means eel in the First Nations languages of Sydney and the South Coast. Aimed at children aged 0-14, Burra follows the life cycle of the eel across fresh, brackish and saltwater ecosystems. Along the way, children learn about the environment and the importance of taking care of it through fun, interactive and educative experiences. 

Image: Australian Museum Burra Learning Space (supplied) 

Laura McBride, Wailwan and Kooma woman and Director, First Nations at the Australian Museum, said the eel is significant in many different First Nations cultures in the region. 

“Burra’s journey teaches us about our local ecosystems and the impact humans have had upon the eel and other living beings. The Burra education space incorporates Indigenous values that can help us reframe how we think and interact with each other and our environment,” McBride said.                   

Image: Australian Museum Burra Learning Space (supplied) 

Burra is about storytelling and First Nations stories aren’t always linear – that is, was and ends. No matter where you start, eventually you will hear the whole story; and where the story starts depends on the perspective and context of the storyteller. 

While Burra is a truly unique experience in the heart of Gadigal Country in Sydney, NSW, Burra’s educational resources also can be accessed online at any time. 

Some of the Burra thematic sections to build into your lessons include: 

Caring for Country  

Burra (eel) 

Salt water  

Bitter water 

Sweet Water 

To learn and teach more about Burra, you can access the Australian Museums' online learning content and listen to the Explore podcast. 

Reconciliation Australia is proudly partnering with the Australian Museum to promote Burra’s educational programs to schools and early learning services across the country.