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About the Museum

About the Museum

The Museum of Fire is a not-for-profit, registered charity and the official heritage partner of Fire and Rescue New South Wales (FRNSW). The museum’s collection is of national significance and celebrates the important and heroic history of firefighters and fire services across Australia. Many of the items in the museum’s extensive heritage collection are listed on the State Heritage Register.


The Museum’s history begins with the establishment of the Historic Fire Engine Association of Australia (HFEAA; now known as the Historic Fire Engine Association). Fuelled by their passion for historic fire engines, the Association’s first meeting was held in March of 1969.

The museum has had a number of locations, beginning with a vacant site at the newly constructed FRNSW Training College in Alexandria. The museum was completed in 1979 and, at the time, was called the Fire Services Museum, operated by the HFEAA. In the early 1980s, the museum relocated twice to properties in Walsh Bay and Campbells Cove. In 1985, it made its fourth and final move to the vacant Penrith power station, where it remains today. The building took approximately 12 months to clean and convert the old power station into a modern museum for the community.

On 16 November 1986, the Museum of Fire was officially opened to the public. Over the years, the museum has hosted a variety of exhibitions and public programming. First and foremost, the Museum of Fire’s focus is centred on the preservation of fire-related heritage and the education of fire safety. Through our heritage, we can maintain the physical link to our history.

Our purpose

The Museum of Fire’s purpose is to provide a world-class facility for the study and enjoyment of the history, use and control of fire, as well as the preservation of firefighting and fire service history in Australia.

Our mission

To provide a not-for-profit permanent institution in the service of society, dedicated to the acquisition, conservation, research and communication of fire, firefighting and fire prevention exhibits for the purpose of study, education and enjoyment. To be recognised as the foremost Australian museum on understanding the experience of fire.


  • To acquire, conserve and curate material appropriate to the theme of fire.

  • To dynamically employ the material resources, including the Historical Collection of the Museum, to educate through exhibition and interaction.

  • To promote the preservation, conservation, interpretation and research of the fire services cultural heritage as an integral part of the nation’s heritage.

  • To encourage and support the protection, development and construction of memorials, plaques, statues and other recognitions of the role that fire services and firefighters play in the protection of our Australian communities.

  • To provide support and advice to the fire services in the development and implementation of heritage and culture including but not limited to collections management, public education and memorials.

  • To assist in the ongoing development of relations between fire services and the Australian community by nurturing the community’s continuing interest in the fire service’s past and ongoing achievements.

  • To maintain and further develop a research centre and library for the development of historical research, education curricula, resource material, publications and personnel on the theme of fire.

  • To determine and implement financial strategies and marketing strategies to ensure the viability of the centre and its assets.

  • To promote the necessity of fire and safety education in all social environments.

  • To serve the community by making available the Museum’s grounds and indoor services for appropriate purposes.

Our collection policy

The Museum of Fire will acquire material representing the development and history of Australian fire brigades, and material which educates the community to the dangers, control, uses and prevention of fire and its effect upon society and the environment. Please select the pdf for more information on the Museum of Fire Collection Policy.

For more information visit the Donate to our collection page.

Click Here for Collection Policy (Updated 2020)

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