Tales from the East: India and New South Wales

Tales from the East weaves a rich tapestry of storytelling from 1788, capturing the connection between India and colonial Australia. The exhibition features displays of displays of intricately detailed Anglo-Indian men and women’s clothing, furniture, silverware and textiles.

Please note: Old Government House is closed on Monday’s. This exhibition is open from Tuesday to Sunday only.

In 1810 Governor Lachlan Macquarie arrived in New South Wales after spending 20 years as part of the British military campaigns in India, and brought with him strong Indian connections and influences.  As with many of the army men who served in both India and New South Wales, Macquarie favoured Anglo-Indian designs in architecture, furniture and interior decoration, as well as serving meals based on Indian spices and curries.  India was also a major source of resources for the growing colony; with ships trading between the two, particularly bringing textiles and food.

The exhibition features these strong connections in displays of Anglo-Indian men and women’s clothing, furniture, silverware and explores how Macquaries’ time in India influenced his role as Governor of New South Wales.

This exhibition – while having a strong Colonial theme – was also developed to recognise and celebrate the Australian Indian communities that reside in Western Sydney today.

Tales from the East will be accompanied by a vibrant schedule of public programs starting in March and ending in August 2018. Watch this space (and follow us on Facebook) for more updates on this exhibition celebrating not only our colonial past, but that also recognises the incredible cultural landscape of Western Sydney today.


$16 – Adult
$14 – Concession
$14 – Groups
$8 – Child
$35 – Family
$10 – NT members; $5 – NT child
$9 – NT groups;
$20 – NT family
Joint Entry with Experiment Farm Cottage
$18 – Adult
$16 – Concession
$10 – Kid
$40 – Family
NT access to EFC for free

Public Programs: Parramatta Lecture Series

Finding “George Jarvis”
Saturday 18 August, 10.30am – 11.30am
Historian Robin Walsh and author Roanna Gonsalves will explore different approaches to finding the elusive figure of “George Jarvis”, Governor Macquarie’s Indian manservant.
Cost per lecture: $10 NT members, $15 non-members

Parramatta Lecture Series held at UNE Parramatta Campus Lecture Theatre, level 1, 232 Church Street, Parramatta. Bookings: Old Government House – 02 9635 8149.



More Tales from the East public programs

Tours with the Curator

Tours with the Curator

Thursdays 28 June and 26 July, 1.30 to 3pm.
Lead curator Ian Stephenson will personally take you through the exhibition.
Cost per tour: $20 NT members, $30 non-members. Call 02 9635 8149 to book.

Bollywood-Style dancing

Bollywood-Style dancing

Experiment Farm Cottage, Harris Park - Saturday 11 August, 1pm to 2.30pm.
Fabulous Bollywood music and an easy dance lesson from Avantika Tomar and the Nautanki Theatre team will have you and your children dancing Bollywood style in no time!
$15 adult, $35 family. Call 02 9635 8149 to book.

Fashioning Asia

Fashioning Asia

At the Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences (Powerhouse Museum), 500 Harris Street, Ultimo on 19 July, 11am to 1pm.
Curators Glynis Jones and Min-Jung Kim will give a tour of the Museum’s collection of Indian textiles and Asian decorative arts. Admission is normal MAAS entry fee, limited to 10 guests.

Baps Swaminarayan

Baps Swaminarayan

Rath Yatra Procession of Deities to Old Government House at the front Carriage Loop on Saturday 14 July.
This is an ancient Hindu Festival, held annually, involving a public procession of Chariots (‘ratha’) associated with the Lord Jagannath. Gold Coin entry per person to the exhibition this day only.

Private tour of Horsley

Private tour of Horsley

18 August from 11am to 3pm - the bus leaves Old Government House at 11am.
Heritage architect Clive Lucas OBE will lead a coach tour to Horsley - the finest example of an Indian bungalow in Australia. The visit also includes St Bartholomew’s Church, Prospect. Tour includes a packed lunch: $50.

Book now
Celebrating the Culture of Kerala

Celebrating the Culture of Kerala

11 August
A full-day event celebrating the culture of Kerala which weaves in seamlessly with the historical narrative, furnishings and collections on display at Old Government House as part of the Tales from the East exhibition.


Old Government House


Parramatta Park, Pitt Street Entrance
Parramatta 2150 NSW


Tuesday – Sunday 10am – 4pm
(Closed Mondays)
Old Government House will be closed on ANZAC Day morning but will open at 12 noon.
Last Tour 3.30pm


Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day
New Years Day
Good Friday

(02) 9635 8149
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