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Adelaide Museum

of South Australia’s History

In 1981 the South Australian Parliament passed The History Trust of South Australia Act. Our mission is to collect objects and tell stories of South Australia’s past, so as to keep our history relevant for present and future generations.


AMoSAH is to be the primary place that people will visit to orientate themselves in time and place - a place that engages visitors in contemporary and relatable ways - and to motivate visitors to ‘linger longer’ in South Australia and explore the places where our rich and unique stories have been revealed - and fortunes made and lost.

AMoSAH will highlight our heroes and defining moments and identify South Australian contributions to, and impact on the nation and the world. It will shine a light on significant objects that belong to our stories, and will be the launch-pad for exhibitions, programs and events that engage visitors with our past,  our people, achievements, challenges and diverse cultures.


AMoSAH is our place, to be embraced by South Australians and our global ex-patriots who will take deep pride in this ‘museum of us’- a gift to future generations as we prepare for the bicentenary of British King William IV’s Letters Patent of 1834 and the1836 Proclamation of the Province of South Australia.

Colonel William Light Statue.

Image Credit: BMP Marketing

Suffragist Mary Lee, c1880.

History Trust of South Australia Photographic Collection PP5769.

More About AMoSAH

Major presenting themes

Since the dreaming, Australia’s First Nation peoples, through trade and culture, have been sharing stories, songlines and tradition.  Since colonial times, evolving ways of connecting across the continent have been enablers of change: sailing ships, postal services, horse and carriage, camel-trek, rail and telegraph. From the twentieth century - by automobile, flight - and in the last 50 years, by satellite and the internet. South Australians have long connected with, traded with - and communicated with the world. We can be proud about how we influence change!



Who are we? What makes our people distinctive - and how have we changed over time? From First Nation peoples, to pre-colonial exploration, colonisation -  and the continuous waves of migration and family formation since, there are unique stories to tell.



From First Nations and British colonial exploration encounters, and first migrations - to journeys of sea, land and space, the South Australian landscape has a long human history of discovery, innovation and connection with the world. From Indigenous knowledge systems to John McDouall Stuart and Charles Sturt,  from Douglas Mawson and Hubert Wilkins, from the Smith Brothers to Andy Thomas and our emerging space industry - ingenuity, tenacity and cutting-edge research have influenced the world, through innovation in science and industry.



Our ever-changing cultural and social progress expresses our creativity, connections, identity and capacity for innovation. Visitors will discover defining moments, sporting greats, pop culture, memes, memories - and surprising turns.


The zeitgeist of the times

People come together to make community, culture and economy - and to make change. Stories to be shared are diverse: from Aboriginal rights and women’s suffrage firsts - to the Dunstan Decade and beyond. From South Australians’ service in times of war to others who have made a difference in the world. AMoSAH will invite visitors to connect the past and the present - and always to contemplate the future.


Collective endeavour

From the internationally adopted Torrens Title land tenure system and Holden cars, to the stump-jump plough and the Hills Hoist. And from mechanised hand shears to Balfour’s Frog Cakes, the imagination, audacity and inventiveness of South Australians have enabled us to stand proud in an ever-changing world.


Made in South Australia

Connections with other museums and galleries

By supporting our past in the present - and for the future - South Australia's rich collections will inspire greater interest and increasing public demand for public access to the diversity of our local, state and national collections. The stories told through AMoSAH's thematic approach will complement and strengthen the rich tapestry of South Australia’s cultural collections and stories.


By sharing the best of South Australia through stories of people, places and times, AMoSAH will inspire greater insight for locals and visitors. It will proudly present ways to better understand why we are - and who we are. AMoSAH will stimulate curiosity to explore our state beyond the walls of our museums.

➔ Adelaide Botanic Garden

➔ Adelaide Gaol

➔ Adelaide Holocaust Museum

➔ Adelaide Town Hall Civic Collection

➔ Architecture Museum (UniSA)

➔ Army Museum of South Australia

➔ Art Gallery of South Australia

➔ Ayers House

➔ Begg Museum

➔ Charles Sturt Memorial Museum

➔ Freemasons Collection

➔ Gawler Town Hall Museum

➔ John McDouall Stuart Society Collection

➔ Mannum Dock Museum

➔ Mary MacKillop Museum

➔ Migration Museum

➔ Museum of Discovery (Uni SA)

➔ Museum of Economic Botany

➔ National Railway Museum

➔ Performing Arts Collection

➔ Royal Geographical Society of SA Collection

➔ SA Police Museum

➔ Sir Thomas Playford ETSA Museum

➔ SAMSTAG Art Museum (UniSA)

➔ South Australian Aviation Museum

➔ South Australian Maritime Museum

➔ South Australian Museum

➔ State Library of South Australia

➔ Tea Tree Gully Heritage Museum

➔ The Centre of Democracy

➔ Tramways Museum St Kilda

➔ Vickers Vimy Museum

The Case for AMoSAH

In 2021-22 the History Trust of South Australia delivered a preliminary business case for AMoSAH. Along with a revised two-page overview of the proposed AMOSAH themes and adjustment of State History Collection figures, the Business Case is presented here as an artefact of 2021-2022.

*All data, costings and assumptions date to January 2022 and are therefore subject to change.

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