I put the stars on the ground

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I Put The Stars On The Ground highlights First Nations custodianship to Sky Country and illustrates the site’s evolution into a public educational space and museum.

The exhibition honours the rich knowledge of First Nations Astronomy, navigation and seasonal patterns shared for millennia through art, songs, stories and ceremonies. It features a selection of works and star maps by Gail Mabo, ceramic pieces illustrating Waŋupini (cloud) stories by Bulthirrirri Wunuŋmurra and Songlines of Our Universe, an original soundscape by William Barton and Veronique Serret.

The newly restored Residential Wing at Sydney Observatory also houses Powerhouse collection objects and curated images depicting domestic life and scientific work on Observatory Hill across 100 years, from 1870–1907 when NSW Government Astronomer Henry Chamberlain Russell and his family lived at Observatory Hill, to 1941–1974, when Sydney Observatory Director Harley Wood and his family resided at the Observatory.

Group of people sit outside in a courtyard bottling wine.
Family standing outside the observatory.
Woman sitting on a bench outside of an old building.
Black and white photograph of the machinery entering the observatory with a crane
Black and white photograph of flagstaff perched on a hill, with a building behind



On Gadigal land

Sydney Observatory
1003 Upper Fort Street
Millers Point NSW 2000


Thursday – Saturday
12pm – 6pm

Groups and Schools

For groups of eight or more, please contact us on (02) 9217 0222 or book@powerhouse.com.au


Visitors requiring wheelchair access can experience the Sydney Observatory gardens and ground floor of the Astronomer’s Residence exhibition. There is no wheelchair access to the first floor exhibition spaces.

Contact us for help in planning your visit.


The Powerhouse acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the ancestral homelands upon which our museums are situated. We respect their Elders, past, present and future and recognise their continuous connection to Country.

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