The Senta Taft-Hendry Museum

Senta Taft-Hendry with Peter Hendry

The University of Newcastle's cultural collection has been enriched by a donation of rare and unique art and artefacts collected from Australia and the Pacific regions by well-known collector Mrs Senta Taft-Hendry.

The Senta Taft-Hendry Museum was opened in 2011 in honour of the long-time donor and in recognition of the significant cultural donation.

The museum collection is believed to be the first of its kind in Australia. It features more than 100 rare artefacts from the oceanic region as well as an extensive book collection.

Mrs Senta Taft-Hendry has spent more than 50 years travelling to remote regions in pursuit of more pieces to add to her collection. In many locations she was the first white person and certainly the first female to make contact with the local people.

The collection comprises many rare and unique artefacts, including a woven straw and bone 'initiation hut' from Papua New Guinea, ancestor masks from the Solomon Islands, a Pukumani pole from the Tiwi islands, and painted bark from Arnhem Land in Australia's Northern Territory.

The Senta Taft-Hendry Museum is part of the University Gallery on the Callaghan campus.