Come and Discover
You’re warmly invited to come and discover Museums of History NSW by attending a complimentary donor event of your choice.
Experience what it’s like to be a supporter of MHNSW. As a donor, you’ll have access to a unique calendar of events, allowing you to discover a different historic site and collection each month. Our exclusive experiences will take you behind the scenes to hear fascinating talks by our expert staff as you explore our significant properties, including the UNESCO World Heritage–listed Hyde Park Barracks.
This is a wonderful opportunity to meet like-minded people, explore the rich history of NSW, and support our work to conserve our past for current and future generations to access, learn from and appreciate.
MHNSW cares for historic houses and museums and valuable collections, including the vast NSW State Archives Collection. As custodians and storytellers, we’re committed to preserving and presenting NSW’s unique history and providing greater access to our sites and collections, and to a broad range of stories about our social and cultural histories.
MHNSW cares for the following properties and collections:
Annual donors have access to unique and diverse opportunities to engage with MHNSW and the stories of our state through a bespoke program of events commensurate with their level of giving. Donors also receive a monthly eNews to keep them up to date with all the latest events and information about our properties, collections, exhibitions and public programs.
$500–$999 per annum
$1,000–$4,999 per annum
$5,000–$24,999 per annum
$25,000–$99,999 per annum
$100,000 (given in perpetuity)
All donations to MHNSW are tax-deductible.
Please note some of our experiences have limited capacity, preference will be given to donors in the first instance. If the experience is at capacity we will contact you to register for another complimentary experience.
Hyde Park Barracks compound
Friday 16 February
Join us for an exclusive tour of a special collection and an extraordinary place.
Come behind the scenes with curator Michael Lech to discover the Caroline Simpson Library collection storeroom, located in the former judges’ common room in the Hyde Park Barracks compound, followed by an immersive expert guided tour of the Hyde Park Barracks, one of 11 World Heritage listed convict sites. This bespoke tour will focus on the evidence provided by the heritage fabric of the building, the archaeological investigations of the site, and some of its fascinating 20th-century history.
State Archives Collection, Kingswood
Thursday 14 March
Bespoke talk and tour, conservation lab
Caroline Simpson Library
Friday 19 April
Bespoke talk and viewing, Freycinet Collection
Museum of Sydney (Donors only)
Friday 17 May
Bespoke artist talk with Dennis Golding, followed by drinks and canapes
Concert at Vaucluse House (Custodians’ & Governors’ Circle donors only)
Sunday 26 May
Bespoke musical concert, featuring Anna Fraser and Neal Peres Da Costa
Hyde Park Barracks
Friday 14 June (TBC)
Making Connections: Engaging with History
Museum of Sydney
Thursday 25 July
Bespoke curator talk, Coomaditichi Exhibition
Rouse Hill Estate
Friday 16 August
Bespoke tour and picnic lunch
Elizabeth Bay House
Friday 20 September
Bespoke viewing Macleay Family Library
Thursday 17 October
Bespoke tour and picnic lunch
Museum Discovery Centre, Castle Hill
Friday 22 November (TBC)
Bespoke talk and tour of the collection store
Museum of Sydney
Thursday 12 December
Bespoke curator viewing, First Government House Archaeological Collection
Why support Museums of History NSW?
People who support MHNSW have an interest in the following:
- significant historic properties in NSW, including the Hyde Park Barracks, one of 11 Australian convict sites on the UNESCO World Heritage list
- the history of Australian houses, interiors and gardens
- collections and archives and the stories they tell
- architecture and design
- heritage conservation
- conserving our unique history for current and future generations
- meeting people with similar interests
How do I find out about complimentary events?
Refer to the Calendar of events drop-down menu above to find the site you would like to discover and the event date.
How do I register my interest in attending a complimentary event?
To advise which event you would like to attend please contact:
T: 02 8239 2273
What will happen after I register my interest in attending a complimentary event?
Four weeks before the date of your preferred event you will receive an email with the event details. All you need to do is click on the RSVP button to confirm your attendance.
Can I bring a friend?
You’re welcome to bring another person to a Come and Discover event. You’ll need to advise us of your friend’s name via email or telephone.
What if I need to cancel my RSVP?
To cancel your attendance, we ask you to inform us via email email@example.com
How do I become an annual donor?
You can become an annual donor by making an annual contribution at your preferred giving level. Please refer to Levels of support table above.
Donations can be made in one of the following ways:
- Direct deposit: BSB: 032-001 ACC: 190 922 Reference: your name AG2023-24
- Contact us: T: 02 8239 2273 or E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Are donations to MHNSW tax-deductible?
Yes, for all donations over $2 you will receive a tax receipt.
How does Annual Giving support MHNSW?
Each year the Annual Giving program focuses on an area of need within the organisation.
The 2024 Annual Giving program Engaging with History gives supporters the opportunity to enrich the lives of children across NSW and beyond through the power of education and the wonder of discovering the past at our culturally and historically significant places. The campaign consists of the following five focus areas that support students, teachers and future teachers:
- Making Connections: a new program for students with access requirements. Making Connections is a new onsite program at Hyde Park Barracks for primary and secondary students with moderate to high, or complex access requirements. It provides students with the opportunity to experience the collection and stories of the Hyde Park Barracks. The program is only available to groups from Schools for Specific Purposes, Specialist Support Units and Independent Special Assistant Schools. With financial support we can continue to offer this program for free to students with accessible learning requirements.
- Access subsidies: learning transportation subsidies for disadvantaged schools. MHNSW will subsidise the school’s transportation costs up to a maximum of $20 per student attending a curriculum-linked program. Support of this program ensures that all students, no matter their socioeconomic status or geographic location, can engage with history at our sites.
- First Nations perspectives: integration across all learning programs. With financial support, and working in partnership with First Nation communities, MHNSW will have the capacity to embed First Nations perspectives across all learning programs, as well as develop the skill, knowledge and cultural competency of our learning staff to deliver complex content. First Nations history is a topic many teachers find challenging and want support in to ensure they are teaching with integrity.
- Supporting teachers: development of onsite and virtual workshops. Each teacher who participates in our Professional Learning programs will have the capacity to engage thousands of students with history over the course of their career. Donations will support MHNSW in the development and delivery of workshops that are relevant to the changing needs of teachers and will include delivery of First Nations perspectives.
- Virtual learning events: engaging students across NSW. MHNSW is a leader in creating large-scale virtual events that enable students across NSW and beyond to engage with history in a meaningful and memorable way. Financial support will allow MHNSW to continue to provide these interactive online events free of charge ensuring students in regional and rural areas who cannot visit our sites have access to meaningful place-based history education.
The successful 2023 Annual Giving program Preserving our Past raised funds to assist our continuing work to digitise significant historical collection items in our care. This ambitious project raised over $230k to accelerate the digitisation and cataloguing of material related to four focus areas: Susannah Place Collection, Photographs, Justice & Police Museum Collection, Trade catalogues, Caroline Simpson Library Collection and the Rose Seidler House Collection. The digitisation of these collection items will help to inform future research and interpretation of our properties, making them accessible to our local and international online audiences.
Find out more
Museums of History NSW values the deep engagement our donors have with our work