Vision & values

The History Trust of South Australia operates three museums – the Migration Museum, the National Motor Museum and the South Australian Maritime Museum. Complementing those established museums is The Centre of Democracy – an exciting collaboration with the State Library of South Australia. We also partner with other Australian museums to present exhibitions.

In support of South Australia’s history network of committed volunteer associations and local history specialists, we manage a Community Museums Program and offer annual grants for research and writing to promote the value of history and our place in the world. Every year we present South Australia’s History Festival – a statewide celebration of community history, collections and heritage. We present great community events such as the Bay to Birdwood historic vehicle run and other events, festivals and celebrations on South Australia’s cultural calendar.


We recognise, that history is a complex tapestry woven of many stories, some incomplete, that capture people and their times and place – including what is happening now.

We engage and serve local and global audiences using a digital by design approach.

We research, collect, preserve and share material culture and document our non-material culture to better understand the past and the present.

We respect the dignity of every person, alive or deceased. We treat colleagues and the public with respect, demonstrating this through the highest standards of service, professionalism, honesty and integrity.

We celebrate diversity in all its many aspects.

Vision: Giving the past a future now!

We are a renewed and contemporary History Trust of South Australia. Our agenda is inclusive and adventurous. We remain as proudly expert and professional as we are accessible and open. We are an active partner in creating a positive future informed by our unique identity.

Our museums are welcoming and adaptable – social places where visitors of all ages, backgrounds, purposes and abilities know their community is included and their stories valued. They are places where visitors don’t have to whisper, and can be confident that their experience has integrity.

We will celebrate the ordinary as well as the extraordinary, relying on our excellent and extensive research.

We will take the collection out of the store, creating and presenting events and exhibitions that inspire curiosity for locals and for visitors alike. These will ignite spontaneous conversations between strangers and provide excitement for school-age children. We will explain how the connectedness between South Australians and the world has been shaped by our history.

South Australia’s unique history should be an essential part of what all South Australians and our visitors can experience. It explains our society and the way it works, and how this feeds into the giant story of human endeavour across our world.

We are dedicated to giving our special past a future.

Acknowledgement of Traditional Owners

The History Trust of South Australia respects the primary place of Aboriginal people in our history. We acknowledge that this story commenced long before Governor Hindmarsh proclaimed the establishment of government in the province of South Australia on 28 December 1836. Aboriginal people have a history that extends millennia into the past. We acknowledge that Aboriginal lands and sovereignty were not recognised, and that building a shared understanding of history is critical to reconciliation. And we affirm our role in reconciliation as an essential part of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal South Australians co-creating a positive future.

Our Vision for Reconciliation is an Australia that embraces the unique, ancient and continuing history of Australia’s First Nations Peoples and confronts our shared history since colonisation. We launched our first Reconciliation Action Plan On 1 June 2020, through which we will make change within our organisation and our sector.

The History Trust is a history organisation, and recognises the legacy of the past in the present; that the impacts of the colonisation of South Australia are ongoing. We commit to the process of truth-telling called for in the Uluru Statement from the Heart, working with First Nations Peoples to shine a light on our difficult, shared histories in order to create a better future.

Our Reconciliation Action Plan is currently being updated. You can read our previous Reconciliation Action Plan here.

Click here to read about our vision and view our Strategic Plan 2018-2022

Click here to see our Organisational Chart

Online community guidelines

The History Trust of South Australia values our online community of friends, followers and supporters. Our online platforms, including social media, are safe and respectful places where we can share the rich and wonderful stories and histories of South Australia.

Online Community Guidelines

A world away
Passengers in history