Marika Duczynski has been appointed as the new curator of Indigenous heritage at the Chau Chak Wing Museum.
“I feel so excited about working at the Chau Chak Wing Museum,” Duczynski said.
“Seeing the Ambassadors display, housed in such a beautiful building, caught my attention in the way it reframes and personifies cultural objects as important representatives of their communities of origin and the keepers of multi-generational knowledge, which of course, they are. I remember thinking that it would be an amazing opportunity to work with the collections in such a way and to contribute to the strong exhibition legacy already established by First Nations curators.”
A Gamilaraay and Mandandanji writer and curator, Duczynski previously worked in Indigenous engagement at the State Library of NSW and curated the Dyarrubin exhibition, which shares Darug stories from the Hawkesbury River region.
She co-curated the Library’s travelling component of the Living Language exhibition celebrating the richness and diversity of First Nations languages.
Duczynski was recently engaged to work as a community and cultural adviser supporting the curators of the Breakfast in Melbourne and Lunch in Yokohama exhibition held at the D’Albertis Castle, Museum of World Cultures, Genoa, Italy.
Before working at the State Library of NSW she held the position of project coordinator, Dance Rites at the Sydney Opera House.
I look forward to working directly with the Macleay Collections and the many communities with connections to them as well as those with links yet to be established.
The role of curator of Indigenous heritage, at the Chau Chak Wing Museum (CCWM) was established over 20 years ago and involves collaborating with the communities for whose collections the CCWM is the custodian, and together developing displays and programs. The role also takes a lead in repatriation for which this position was originally created and made the University of Sydney a leader in this essential path to reconciliation.
“Throughout my career in the library sector, I’ve worked extensively with material depicting the cultures, languages, knowledges and histories of First Nations people predominantly from the perspectives of early European colonists. I am thrilled to now have the opportunity to work with material that was made by the hands of First Nations ancestors and listen to the stories of their descendants today,” Marika Duczynski said.
Self-determination is one of the core values and priorities of her work, including supporting the rights of First Nations communities to control the management and return of their knowledge, stories and cultural heritage held in institutional collections.
“In this role I look forward to working directly with the Macleay Collections and the many communities with connections to it as well as those with links yet to be established. I am deeply interested in decolonising and collaborative methods of research, interpretation and display of cultural heritage materials in partnership with First Nations communities,” Duczynski.
Duczynski holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication (Writing and Cultural Studies) from the University of Technology, Sydney.