The challenge of enjoying a visit to a cultural venue when you’re on the Autism Spectrum is being addressed by a series of “sensory friendly mornings” being held at the Australian Museum.

Coinciding with World Autism Awareness Month and the April School Holidays, the Australian Museum will continue its popular and free Early Birds program on Saturday 10 April from 8-10am.

The program provides a sensory friendly, relaxed and supportive environment for visitors to explore the AM, prior to opening to the public for the day. This can make visiting the Museum easier for those on the autism spectrum or who have other access requirements, together with their family and friends.

This program is funded by a grant from the Australian Museum Foundation and has been developed in partnership with Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect).

“The Australian Museum is committed to creating a place where everyone can be inspired to explore and understand our natural and cultural worlds and we have worked with Autism Spectrum Australia to make this event as accessible as possible and to break down barriers that might hinder people with sensory sensitivities or access requirements from visiting.

“Early Birds is a gateway event where visitors become familiar with the Australian Museum in a safe and supportive environment, in order to feel comfortable and confident visiting the AM,” Kim McKay, Director and CEO of the Australian Museum said.

Visitors to Early Birds will be able to enjoy:

  • Reduced crowds and associated noise;
  • A designated quiet area for those needing to take a break;
  • A Visual Story with more details on what to expect (PDF);
  • Staff trained in autism awareness and disability;
  • A kiosk for an early morning beverage or snack;
  • Access to various exhibitions, including:
    • 2020 Australian Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year;
    • First Nations Gallery: Bayala Nura (Yarning Country);
    • First Nations Gallery: Garrigarrang (Sea Country);
    • Wild Planet;
    • Westpac Long Gallery: 200 Treasures of the Australian Museum;
    • Prehistoric Playground;
    • Surviving Australia;
    • Pacific Spirit; 
    • Dinosaurs;
    • Birds of Australia.

Early Birds are welcome to stay and explore the Museum after 10am; however, lighting and sound in exhibition spaces will return to previous levels along with other features.

For more information and to register, visit:

What: Early Birds: Autism and Sensory Friendly Mornings (April)
When: Saturday, 10 April 2021, 8-10am
Where: Australian Museum, 1 William St, Sydney NSW 2010