Sugar Valley Library Museum, kirantakamyari

Lake Macquarie's newest cultural venue, Sugar Valley Library Museum, is located in Cameron Park and offers a unique museum experience for students and educators, including VR, audio stations, and a range of objects and stories to explore local history.

Excursions include:

  • guided tour of the exhibition space
  • time to explore the interactive exhibits, including VR, listening stations and more
  • curriculum aligned educational worksheet and activity

In the inaugural exhibition Westy: We built this history, students learn about the West Wallsend area, its people and industry, particularly coal mining and pit horses.

Primary students explore changes in our community by reflecting on toys and play from another era, and consider how we record and tell stories. Senior students can reflect on innovations of the early 20th century and get creative with their own entertaining inventions!

  • Can accommodate groups of up to 40 students
  • Fully accessible
  • 1.5 hour experience
  • Available Mon-Fri during school terms
  • A ratio of 1 educator to 20 students applies

Our venue is located close to Pasterfield park which makes a great morning tea or lunch time spot for students or for educators to run additional activities.

New resources and programs are being developed for educational groups at Sugar Valley Library Museum and we are interested in collaboration with educators to co-design and pilot meaningful and exciting experiences for students.

Express your interest by contacting Education Engagement Officer, Jo Darby [email protected]

Schools: showcase your work at Launchpad

Lake Mac Libraries is committed to fostering a creative community by providing quality, accessible exhibition spaces within community facilities to encourage awareness, create professional development and exchange of ideas.

The Launchpad@Lake Mac Libraries’ school’s program offers school students the opportunity to exhibit their work and to assist with organising and installing an exhibition.

Exhibition space is available at five Lake Mac Libraries branches at Belmont, Toronto, Charlestown, Swansea and Wangi for student groups and classes.

Launchpad@LakeMacLibraries for Schools Objectives:

  • Present exhibitions that showcase the work of school students in all mediums
  • Act as a platform for creative dialogue by encouraging wider community participation in the arts
  • Provide students with an experience of preparing and installing an exhibition

Launchpad@Lake Mac Libraries for Schools includes:

  • Free exhibition space
  • Promotional and marketing support for your exhibition through existing channels - 40,000 Lake Mac Libraries e-list, Council and Library websites and associated social media platforms
  • Exhibition sign and wall labels
  • Opportunity for artwork sales
  • Administration of artwork sales, if required. Lake Mac Libraries will retain a 25 per cent commission on works sold during the exhibition period.
  • Lake Mac Libraries staff and volunteers will supervise the exhibition for its duration, handle art sales and provide information during opening hours.
  • Exhibition period of up to 9 weeks
  • Lake Mac staff will work with teachers and students to: install the exhibition, organise and prepare signage and marketing material
  • Lake Mac staff and volunteers will support any exhibition opening event
  • 15 reusable frames suitable for A4 or A3 works on paper available for loan

Students and teachers:

  • works need to be suitable to use the supplied hanging system, and/or cabinets
  • up to five students and/or teacher attend the venue on two days to assist with and experience installation and take-down of the exhibition including preparation of signage, wall labels and copy for marketing
  • may elect to hold an exhibition launch event
  • are responsible for the insurance of works during the period of the exhibition and in transit to and from the venue
  • May elect to have works for sale. Lake Mac Libraries will retain a 25 per cent commission on works sold during the exhibition period unless otherwise specified.

Learn more

Fab Lab

Students and educators are invited to explore Lake Mac Libraries Fab Lab, the City’s newest technological hub.

Located at the Swansea Centre, the Fab Lab (digital fabrication lab) is an innovative educational space which is the first of its kind in regional New South Wales.

Visitors have the opportunity to develop skills in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts & Maths) and gain hands-on experience with advanced manufacturing equipment.

Explore the Fab Lab

Possum Skin Travelling Suitcase

The tradition of using possum skins for the making of cloaks, waistbands, belts, armbands and headbands was practised by Aboriginal people across eastern Australia. Historical accounts of the customary methods of trapping, preparation, decoration and use of possum skin cloaks within Aboriginal nations in Queensland and throughout New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania are numerous and extensively documented. Nations in NSW include those of the Dharug, Kamilaroi, Gumbangarri, Wiradjuri, Worimi, Wonnaruah, Darkinjung, Awabakal and Narrinyeri people.

The Possum Skin Cloak by the Lake Travelling Suitcases were designed for use by schools and community groups.

They both comprise the following:

  • Two pelts clearly demonstrating the process of designing, burning, painting and sewing the cloak
  • Examples of a finished armband
  • Examples of ochre in its natural form and then mixed as a paintable liquid, and native tree resin in its natural state
  • An introduction and history of possum skin cloaks
  • Class activities for different curriculum areas and stages along with worksheets and a related board game
  • A DVD made in collaboration with ABC Open by the community
  • A copy of this Education Kit
  • A copy of ‘Wrapped in a Possum Skin Cloak’ The Tooloyn Koortakay Collection in the National Museum of Australia, Amanda Reynolds, National Museum of Australia Press, 2005

The Travelling Suitcases are ideal for use in storytelling and information sessions for students. The suitcases can be loaned to schools. If you would like an Aboriginal educator to visit with the cloak please contact us for availability. Fees apply.

My family and My Place, Stage 1 HSIE

Early Stage 1 - History and Geography Unit

A new fully integrated Geography and History unit for early stage 1 students to explore Lake Macquarie as a place they live in and belong to through the use of our local history collection.

The unit provides a range of lesson plans and activities that allow teachers to deliver key curriculum outcomes through engagement with a range of local primary source material.

Download My Family and My Place in Lake Macquarie(PDF, 8MB)

Premier's Reading Challenge

The NSW Premier's Reading Challenge (PRC) is a state-wide reading initiative run through both public and private schools.

Cyber safety

Lake Mac Libraries is committed to providing a safe, responsible and enjoyable environment for all our customers. Below is a selection of helpful and informative resources we have gathered to help you and your family stay safe online.

Awaba: know our stories - touring exhibition

Touring exhibition - not currently on display 

Schools and community organisations are invited to borrow this free exhibition.

Provide an enriching cultural and educational experience at your school, community facility or workplace with the Lake Macquarie City Council touring exhibition Awaba: Know Our Stories. 

The Awaba: Know Our Stories exhibition can be used by schools to integrate into a range of existing programs for the purpose of meeting the Cross Curriculum Priorities of Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander Histories and Cultures, as well as giving students an opportunity to develop their General Capabilities.

Please contact [email protected] for more information

Download the education kit(PDF, 4MB)