Last year's powerful Myall Creek and Beyond programme commemorated the 1838 massacre of nearly 30 Aboriginal tribespeople.
The New England and Regional Art Museum (NERAM), one of the organisers, received a national museum award for their exhibition earlier this month.
NERAM director Rachael Parsons and Indigenous curator Bianca Beetson accepted the Museums and Galleries National Award for an Indigenous Project in Alice Springs on May 15, on behalf of their participants and partners.
"It's wonderful to receive recognition from your colleagues and from your industry," Ms Parsons said.
Stockmen murdered at least 28 unarmed Wirrayaaray women, children, and old men at Myall Creek Station on June 10, 1838. Seven culprits were hanged at Sydney Gaol - the first British subjects executed for killing Indigenous people. A memorial was unveiled at the site in 2000, and a commemorative service held every year.
For the 180th anniversary, organisers spent two years developing a four-day programme, including an art exhibition at NERAM; a symposium at the University of New England; community workshops; talks; and a publication. More than 1000 people attended a memorial service at the site of the massacre.
"Myall Creek and Beyond is one of the rare programmes that is not just about art," Ms Parsons said. "It's about connecting to people, connecting to history, and being part of a necessary conversation around our colonial history, its impact, and how that impact continues today."
Ms Parsons and Ms Beetson commissioned eight leading Indigenous artists to create works illuminating the suppressed history of the massacre. The inspiration, Ms Parsons said, was the Friends of the Myall Creek Memorial's work in acknowledging the past, and moving forward to a point of reconciliation.
"It's a stand-out example nationally of an effective process of telling the truth, expressing regret, remembering - but also sincerely trying to say this happened. By acknowledging that, we can try to repair some of those past hurts. I think anyone who participated in the annual commemoration feels that sense of true and meaningful reconciliation."
Ms Parsons and Ms Beetson accepted the award on behalf of the Friends of Myall Creek Memorial, the Armidale and Region Aboriginal Cultural Centre and Keeping Place, the University of New England, Beyond Empathy, and Arts North West, as well as the artists and participating community members.
"It takes a village to create an exhibition," Ms Parsons said.
Ms Parsons hopes the exhibition will tour; some institutions are interested in hosting the exhibition. She hopes to secure funding from Visions of Australia, which finances the development and touring of exhibitions of significant cultural material.
The Friends of Myall Creek will hold their annual commemoration on June 9; Ms Parsons will attend. She was excited to hear they had received partial funding to create an educational and cultural centre at the site.
NERAM has plans for more Indigenous and culturally diverse exhibitions. They hope to engage the Anaiwan language revival group for a project; and intend to hold an exhibition featuring some of the gallery's own Indigenous holdings, including some bark paintings.
"We will always look at opportunities to work with different communities and different groups that are relevant here," Ms Parsons said.
NERAM, working with Settlement Services International, plans to hold workshops and events for Ezidi refugee women. The museum will hold a one-day multicultural and queer festival - Winter Blooming - on July 13, with talks, panels, workshops, and a social event in the evening. Ms Parsons hopes this will become an annual event.
"NERAM strives to be a place where all diverse voices are welcome and heard, given a platform," she said.
Myall Creek and beyond was supported by Regional Arts NSW through the Regional Arts Fund, the new South Wales Government through Create NSW and the Australian Government Department of Communications and the Arts Indigenous Language and Arts Program.