Collection Management

The Tomaree Museum and Cultural Centre collects, preserves and interprets objects for and about the Tomaree Peninsula in an innovative way to inspire, entertain and engage.
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The Museum has a broad collection that is designed to help us tell the diverse stories of the Tomaree Peninsula from World War II military history to the rich marine environment and to the stories of Aboriginal heritage of the Worimi people.


Specialised curatorial staff maintain the Museum’s collection as well as manage donations and the purchase of significant items that define the peninsula and the region. These objects are generously donated by members of the community and are accepted if they satisfy the terms of the museum's Collection Policy.


The Museum works to ensure these objects will be preserved for the benefit of future generations as well as our contemporary visitors.


Critical to the value of the objects are the stories that are associated with them. These stories help us understand why and how we do things now. In this way, the collection acts as a benchmark showing change within our society.


Collection Policy


Tomaree Museum has established Collection Management Policy that targets objects that have a proven association with a known individual, event or period in the history of Port Stephens that is considered significant; with emphasis on the sub-themes of:

  • Port Stephens and its surrounding areas focusing on the land and marine environments and how they have been changed by society both pre and post white settlement, and Indigenous culture;

  • Port Stephens as a proposed World Heritage site focusing on the natural environment and a sustainable future for the region, e.g. providing information and education of local threated species including but not limited to koalas, dolphins, whales and bird life;

  • promoting, protecting and documenting the history of Port Stephens and in particular preserving the historic, cultural, marine and tourism value of the Tomaree Headland;

  • Port Stephens community in the broader context i.e. migration, war, organisations, belief and belonging, nationally and internationally significant members of the community;

  • Work focusing on industry and employment in Port Stephens and surrounds, i.e. tourism, agriculture (wine, cattle etc.) and the fishing and oyster industries;

  • Leisure focusing on music, sport, art and beach culture.


Collecting of Aboriginal objects will be
in accordance with Museums Australia’s Indigenous heritage policy. 


Indigenous peoples have the right to maintain, control, protect and develop their cultural heritage, traditional knowledge and traditional cultural expressions, as well as the manifestations of their sciences, technologies and cultures, including human and genetic resources, seeds, medicines, knowledge of the properties of fauna and flora, oral traditions, literatures, designs, sports and traditional games and visual and performing arts.

They also have the right to maintain, control, protect and develop their intellectual property over such cultural heritage, traditional knowledge, and traditional cultural expressions. 


No sacred items will be collected, and Aboriginal keeping places will be prioritised for ownership of Aboriginal objects. All collecting activity and collection management processes to be in accordance with the ICOM Code of Ethics, Combating Illicit Trade and within the framework of the NSW Heritage Office’s Movable Heritage Principles.