Thursday, 15 October 2015

Special members function

View the Army Museum of Tasmania
Follow up with refreshments and catch up with colleagues

From as supplied by the Army Museum of Tasmania formerly the Tasmanian Military Museum

When: Wednesday 25 November 2015, 3pm
Where: Anglesea Barracks, Davey Street,Hobart TAS 7000 
then Hotel Soho, 124 Davey Street

RSVP Essential by Friday 20 November 2015 T 03 6323 3719 E
Your RSVP email or phone call will be attended to during the hours of 8.30am to 5pm, Monday to Friday
FREE to Members so why not join?

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Beautiful Burnie Shines Again

"I am beautiful' opens Thursday 1 October 2015

The new temporary exhibition from the tirelessly exciting Burnie Regional Museum. Accompanied by a suit(e) of programs. Enjoy

The Patriotic Banquet Saturday 24 October 2015

All funds raised support the activities of this super fine museum.

Tonight's the night! Thursday 1 October dress up and party

'What was I thinking?!'

Event Details
VenueBurnie Regional Museum
AddressLittle Alexander Street
DateThursday, 1 October 2015
Phone6430 5746
If you've ever exclaimed these words over your fashion choices then you're officially invited to join us for the opening of our new exhibition 'I Am Beautiful!', exploring changing beauty ideals over time.
From corsets to cosmetics, 'man-scaping' to mullets, bustles to breast implants'. Recreate your favourite fashion faux pas and wear it to the opening night!

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Taking down the flag on Burnie Regional Museum's '100 Years: 100 Objects exhibition'

Step one: See the exhibition before it closes on the 11 September
Burnie Regional Museum
Little Alexander Street
For more details see the website or phone  (03) 6430 5746

Step 2:  Join the Street Party
Saturday 12 September
From noon to 4.30pm
Adults: $12
Children: $8
Family: $30
To book your seat at the table. Phone: 64305746 or
Pop in any time during the day to grab some scones with jam and homemade lemonade
while you play a game of hopscotch or knuckle bones. Celebrate the end of the war in style with impromptu performances, games and lots and lots of sponge cake!


Step 3:  Come along and check out these fantastic WWI scrapbooks 
created by talented Grade 9 Students from Burnie High School. One scrapbook per day display each day until Saturday 12th September

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Wesley Chapel’s 175th Anniversary Hymn Fest

Celebrate 195 years of worship. Open sing along is welcome prior to formal 2pm start

Wesley Chapel’s 175th Anniversary Hymn Fest and the viewing of artefacts pertaining to 195 years of worship in Hobart

When:  October 25th from 2pm 
Where: 56-58 Melville St Hobart

Come and celebrate with Wesley Heritage and Museum as it celebrates its chapel’s 175th Anniversary. Featuring Hobart Orpheus Choir, Tasmanian Chorale and Tasmanian Song Company. It is also an afternoon to view artefacts pertaining to Methodism in Hobart and the South Pacific dating back 195 years.  Afternoon tea to follow in Wesley Hall. 

There is no charge for this wonderful event. Everyone is welcome. It is child friendly with no age restrictions . Disability access and parking is available in the multistorey car park next door.

If you want to know more call or email Karen Woolford
Phone: 62314033
Print invitation from here

Museums Australia Historians National Network Professional Development Bursary

Applications for the Museums Australia Historians National Network Professional Development Bursary close on the 31 August 2015 so sharpen those quills!

On offer is $1,000 bursary for anything worthwhile such as a conference, seminar, other professional development activity or research you’ve been hoping to attend. 

Applications and queries should be submitted to Charlotte Smith:

Monday, 10 August 2015

Digitisation Workshop

The workshop: Launceston  21 September or Hobart 22 September

This workshop explores the practicalities, pleasures and pitfalls of digitising your heritage collections.  It is aimed at groups who are interested in do-it-yourself approaches, and will focus on what resources and skills are needed to produce consistent images of heritage objects. The workshop features live demonstrations of image capture on a variety of equipment.
There is a maximum of 20 participants for the workshop so please register promptly if you wish to participate.

Cost       $10 Museums Australia (Tasmania) members
               $20 others

When:           Monday, 21 September 2015
                      10:00 am – 3:00 pm
Where:          Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery
                      – Inveresk
                      2 Invermay Road

When:           Tuesday, 22 September 2015
                      10:00 am – 3:00 pm
Where:          Mission Room
                      Josephite Mission and History Centre
                      67 Clare Street
                      New Town

The presenter – Daniel Wilksch

Daniel has worked at Public Record Office Victoria (PROV) since 2000 in a variety of roles that have included administering the Local History Grants Program, developing online exhibitions, and speaking on various aspects of managing small-to-medium collections.  Currently he manages PROV’s digitisation program, highlights of which include the recent website ‘Battle to Farm’ providing access to the records of Victorian World War One soldier settlers.  He has a background in historical studies.

Registration is due by Friday, 11 September 2015

By Phone:           03 6165 6666
By Fax:        03 6233 8424
By Email:
                       (Please do not email credit card details)
By Post:      Arts Tasmania, 146 Elizabeth Street
      Hobart TAS 7000

The Making Museums Work: Digitisation Workshop is presented by Arts Tasmania’s Roving Curators in association with Museums Australia (Tasmania).
Arts Tasmania gratefully acknowledges PROV for providing Daniel’s time to present the Digitisation Workshop.

Monday, 20 July 2015

MAT @ MAC 14 August 2015

It’s a date: 6pm 14 August 2015

The Museum Australia Tasmanian Branch President, Richard Mulvaney, invites MAT members to the special members function to view the new Moonah Arts Centre and to welcome Janet Carding, Director Tasmania Museum and Art Galley. Not a member? NO problem you can join here

RSVP Essential
Monday 10 August 2015 
T 03 6323 3719 

MAC is @ 23 -­ 27 Albert Road, Moonah

Car: The Centre is about a 15 minute drive north from the Hobart CBD, or just a 10 minute drive from the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA).

There is free 3 hour parking opposite the Centre, next to Harris Scarfe.

Bike: Take the Albert Road exit off the Intercity Cycleway. Travel 200 M west up Albert Road and you are there!

Bus: The location in Central Moonah is served by Metro Tasmania’s Turn Up and Go service. Buses travel both ways on Main Road at least every 10 mins between the Hobart CBD and Central Glenorchy (7am to 7pm). On Saturday bus frequency is every 20 minutes.

Members: This tempting morsel should have arrived via email

Monday, 15 June 2015

Museums Australia Conference 2015 Sydney

The splendid Sydney Town Hall was the venue for MA2015

The Museums Australia 2015 Conference was held between Friday 22 May and Sunday 24 May 2015 with the Regional, Remote and Community Museums Day held 21 May 2015. It was attended by 450+ delegates Australia wide and some international but perhaps that was only one New Zealander...

MAT funded two bursaries for members from Tasmanian Museums to attend. As it happens both recipients were from Devonport Regional Gallery. Here is Ellie's and Andrew's reports. 

ELLIE RAY Devonport Regional Gallery

From the perspective of a gallery director overseeing a collection of both heritage and contemporary objects this year’s MA Conference was of particular interest. The conference focus was on the context of cultural production and the role of collections. It brought together a range of speakers from across the globe with both experiences relative to audience members, and those that were unique to the speaker’s organisation.

Collections play an important role in the gallery, yet their meaning and the way they can be accessed and displayed has changed dramatically in the past decade. The varied discussions on the role of
the collection and how it is preserved and presented gave much food for thought.

I attended the Regional, Remote and Community Museums Day at the beginning of the conference and met many gallerists’ working across Australia. Discussions ranged from collection storage to public and education programs. Highlights included presentations on the role of narrative in bringing an audience to the museum. The following day, and subsequent days saw a great focus on the role
of digital media and its future in galleries and museums. While there were many presentations covering different approaches to technology and how it can be applied in museums and galleries, the panel discussion on social inclusion ‘A socially inclusive cacophony’ chaired by Sophie Lieberman opened up lively discussion and debate into the benefits of the Art Museum in marginalized communities.

It was beneficial to attend the concurrent session on partnerships between museums and learning institutions. DRG strives to maintain contact with education and learning institutions and hearing first hand how other organisations – from universities to museums work to maintain and deliver programs was inspirational. While I attended many other meaningful sessions by far the most educative was the Indigenous Reconciliation in the museums and galleries sector panel discussion chaired by Peter White. I left the session a lot more informed on the representation (or lack there-of) of indigenous culture and indigenous employment in the museum and gallery sector.

Overall, the conference was inspiring and educative and allowed for new contacts to be made. Without the financial assistance of the MA Bursary it would have been difficult to attend the conference this year. I’m most appreciative of the bursary and the opportunity it gave me, and my Collections Assistant Andrew Worsley to attend this year’s conference. It was a great opportunity to learn more about other institutions and ways we can improve on our current roles and provide
our communities with memorable gallery experiences.
Ellie Ray
Director, Devonport Regional Gallery

No pic of Andrew as yet...(ed)

As collections and gallery assistant to the Devonport Regional Gallery, I was given the opportunity to attend the MA Conference 2015 in order to further research the vital role that we all play, no matter how big or small, in maintaining our collections to high national standards. These standards are
essential not only for individual organisations, but for collaborative, ongoing individual organisations working together. The open networking of ideas and the active encouragement to participate from the lectures allowed for indepth, relevant conversation as to what is happening in our organisation. This
networking also shed light on practices and procedures in other organisations and, perhaps most importantly, revealed what best practice is being implemented in the preservation, conservation, and presentation of museum and gallery collections locally, nationally, and globally.

All things digital were certainly high on the Conference agenda, thus encouraging me to attend many sessions that explored this form of documentation and preservation. Topics ranged from the displaying of artworks and digital scanning - a very worthwhile session considering the breadth of our scanning project on the Robinson collection negatives. Great topics also included the creation of data hierarchy, and even discussed educational and collaborative gaming (presented by the Powerhouse Museum and Think Space Labs) using sandbox, no narrative, augmented reality games (such as Mine craft. This system is resonating with young people who in turn are teaching the older generations how to keep up with the ever changing digital environment and its relevance to art and collections.

I have found this conference to be inspirational and of great benefit on many levels, primarily for conversation and networking with like-minded collections workers trying to attain best, up-to-date practises for displaying and preserving individual collections. I am grateful to the Director, Ellie Ray and the financial assistance of the Museums Australia Bursary for allowing me the opportunity to attend this conference and to keep maintaining best practices for our collection and gallery.
Andrew Worsley
Collections & Gallery Assistant, Devonport Regional Gallery

MAT committee member, Helen Whitty was a recipient of a MA bursary from the National Office to attend and this is my report. Here is her report. You may want to skip the personal observations and scroll down the page to More with its selection of interviews, talks and resources. For a full list of speakers and so on the program is still available.

Meanwhile I'm offering my take on the four days in these three themes:

  1. Place: its always important 
  2. Technology: its still shiny
  3. Manners: we like to be nice


VIVID Sydney is a festival that attracts thousands to its venues

This conference confirmed my belief that the best gatherings, festivals and indeed institutions arise from the place they are in and the communities that inhabit them. Sydney Town Hall was the central venue although the pre-conference regional and remote day was at the National Maritime Museum; the opening drinks at the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences (formerly known ad the Powerhouse Museum); the closing drinks at the Australian Museum; dinner at the groovy Ivy ballroom and no doubt I've forgotten somewhere... with the point being we were all over town. The Vivid light festival was glowing and at many sites including the frocked-up Town Hall. The Sydney Writers Festival was in full voice and indeed Rose Hiscock the MAAS Director (at the opening night) encouraged all delegates to play hookie and attend at least something else. I suspect some delegates may have been overwhelmed by the scale of the operation but I felt that the conference was embracing the city.

The sense of place was speaking to me and this is possibly why I leapt to my feet in a one woman standing ovation for keynote Jonathan Jones who was a complete standout speaker (see More). Jones is a Sydney-based Aboriginal artist and member of the Wiradjuri and Kamilaroi nations. He spoke of the historic basis for Australian identity and the grip of globalism upon us based on notions of memory and loss. The landscape is particularly pressing for him and in reading it both historically and culturally we can read ourselves differently. Winner of the Kaldor Art Prize Jones is basing a new work on Sydney's Garden Palace which has always been of interest to me. He wove so many stories around it including the loss of countless Aboriginal and South pacific items from the Australian Museum housed there and destroyed by fire.

Whether or no you believe all culture is local this point was strongly made in the presentation about Trove (see More) and the benefits of joining and showcasing local collections under its banner. The presentation by Kim Biggs and Bridget Guthrie from regional NSW (the Identity Project) was an impressive reminder of how collaborations between small museums can build a bigger picture.

The Reminiscence Cottage at Geelong's National Wool Museum uses familiarity to create engagement with all visitors including those with dementia. Sara Gillies outlined sensitive and useful strategies for any museums interested in extending.


Peter Mahony from MAAS outlining participatory programs using augmented reality

Despite the request to stop calling electronic technology 'new' we still struggled with what to call the digital realm and indeed finding a shared language about it and what it means. Technology still tends to be shiny and not that well integrated into normal museum business. The participatory promise still feels far away despite the rhetoric of sharing authority with visitors. Nevertheless the work in MAAS Thinkspace does just this coupled with the museum developing its own augmented reality application for children to work with whilst learning about coding and teaching their parents a thing or two. Jaye McKenzie Smith's presentation on making 3D models of archaeological specimens at Macquarie University in conjunction with medical imagining facilities was another foray into beyond my comprehension.

I chaired the very popular Digital session presented by Lynda Kelly, Michael Parry and Jonny Brownhill (see More) which exemplified the struggle with 00s and 11s that we still have. How to manage projects, where to locate them in the organisation, how to manage them and deal with the aftershocks.


The Humboldt Forum Berlin is moving into the city centre

Museum workers are nice and I don't think too polite although others have positioned that we need more debate at conferences (see Paul Bowers blog in More).  I think we could take our issues up a little more publicly or perhaps this is simply naive and its all about playing the long game. For example our disengaged response to Hon Arthur Sinodinos (standing in for the real Arts Minister) in his welcome explaining to us the benefits of the budget changes.  Similarly one of the Sydney elephants-in-the-room was finally addressed by Deputy Mayor Robyn Kemmis who built a wonderful argument for the importance of having major cultural institutions in the heart of cities and how they are part of their history and culture. She was speaking about the proposed move of MAAS to Parramatta and the sale of the city site. This was an ironic counterpoint to the presentations by Gunther Schauerte on the Humboldt Forum (getting slightly confused between millions and billions when outlining the budget) and Michael Lynch and the mega West Kowloon Cultural District Project in Hong Kong.

It is at this juncture that I can pop in my session entitled 'Thats just not normal" which looked at my research process in looking at the relationships between families and literacy in a museum. This was part of 'A socially inclusive cacophony' which really is NOT about being nice but about being a museum.  We seemed a funny crew to out together but I found it worked very well together. The presentation by Lindsay Farrell into art making and appreciation by marginalised groups was beautifully put and so too the exploration by the National Portrait Gallery who worked with emotion rather than form to present In the Flesh exhibition.

Twitter feed

I was part of a small group of people who used Twitter during the conference. I found it a great way to reflect on the papers and also connect with others. Here are all the tweets with the conference hashtag of  #MA2015syd complete with screen shots of key powerpoint slides. The # is a way of others finding your tweets about this conference in the deluge of daily tweets.


Here are sites where you can either hear a version of a presenter's talk, a related interview or useful resource referred to during the conference. 

BIG picture

Kim William AM speaking about the urgency of education reform. Banning the bland!

Alec Coles, the Director of the Western Australia Museum tackling whether  museums are indeed ‘safe places for unsafe topics?’ 

Regional Museums

An interview with Sally Waterson, a keynote at the regional and remote museums day who spoke about the importance of speaking the language of local government


Margot Neale from the National Museum of Australia talks about pathways of knowledge and songlines at the conference.

An interview with Keynote speaker Jonathan Jones about his take on Sydney's long forgotten but iconic Garden Palace and a vimeo. 


Interview with Xerxes Mazda from the Royal Ontario Museum on developing criteria to include narratives in exhibitions.

Tech stuff

A piece about Ingrid Mason's talk about GLAM data connected to digital humanities research. Ingrid is a eResearch Analyst and Data Specialist

A slideshare presentation by Paul Rowe on how to cope (onsite) when you open the digital doors to your collection

Lynda Kelly, Australian National Maritime Museum; Michael Parry, MAAS; and Jonny Brownbill, Museum Victoria hosted a discussion session about 'Getting digital done in museums? Not a presentation as such but two speakers used slides to prompt discussion. Lynda's slides are here and Michael's are here


Another on the spot conference interview by Geoff Barker with John Retallick on TMAGs Museum of ME Prison Project

Beautiful poignant work by multimedia artist Jayne Fenton Keane given access to the US Navy's marine audio archive. Extracts played as part of her presentation.

Useful resources

The Cultural Asset Mapping in Regional Australia ran from 2008 to 2013 as a partnership project. CAMRA aimed to provide an understanding of how a region's capacity for creativity and innovation can ensure its quality of life and its economic viability with legacy resources. Here are resources on cultural mapping.

Trove is a National Library of Australia initiative but not just for library s. It brings collection records together from institutions around Australia and the world making them available to the public in a single discovery service. This is how you can find out more about making your collection part of Trove

My Excursion App for any museum to use when organizing school excursions

Thinkspace augmented reality App for a glimpse into one possible museum future. Another glimpse is Tomography. 

Other thoughts on the conference

Marine Soichet a fellow attendee and ardent tweeter followed up with this blogpost on her experience of the conference and so too did Paul Bowers.

Please feel free to share your comments about the conference below or email thoughts for the next conference to MAT at

Friday, 12 June 2015

Diary date for Museums Australia Conference 2016

'In pursuit of Venus' by Lisa Reihana

The first joint conference of Museums Australia and Museums Aotearoa to be held in Auckland New Zealand 15-19 May 2016. Entitled 'Facing the future: local, global and Pacific possibilities'

Monday, 25 May 2015

Small Museums and Collections Program open

Inline Image
Image credit: Ship’s Log, T. Massey & Co., London, c.1857,
from the collection of the Burnie Regional Museum. Photographer: Rick Eaves.

The Small Museums and Collections program provides grants and loans to assist the curatorial and collection management practices of smaller public and community collections and museums. This program is particularly focussed on improving information about collections, increasing public access to information and enhancing curatorial practice and collection management. This program is unique in that you can apply not only for funding, but also for the time of Arts Tasmania’s Roving Curators who can assist with any projects that are concerned with the development, care and/or use of a collection.

Applications close 6 July 2015

"21 Objects-21 Stories" National Recognition

The Museums & Galleries National Awards, or MAGNAs, began in 2011 and recognises excellent work nationally in the categories of exhibition, public programs and sustainability projects. This year the entry from Arts Tasmania was:


21 objects - 21 stories: celebrating community collections displays a remarkable selection from 21 small museums and collections around the state, celebrating the important role that the community museum sector plays as storytellers and custodians of our state’s unique cultural heritage. The exhibition was curated by Arts Tasmania’s own Roving Curators, Melissa Smith and Veronica Macno.

Judges' comments: This is cleverly constructed project and exhibition and given the modest budget achieved considerable outcomes. The range of content, presentation and overall interpretation all demonstrate a thoughtful approach and it appears to have been a successful elaboration on the earlier exhibition of ten items. The context of the MA conference guaranteed a wider museum-interested audience for the exhibition while the local strategies to engage audiences through events and the education program were sound and the visitation appears to be fairly substantial. The lack of more formal evaluation of the exhibition with audiences was understandable given the small budget but it would have added to the overall standard of the project if undertaken. Overall, an innovative idea for engaging with regional collections and thereby audiences which seems to have achieved a high level.

These museums hold the objects displayed and also share the recognition:
·         Bass Strait Maritime Centre, Devonport
·         Beaconsfield Mine and Heritage Centre, Beaconsfield
·         Burnie Regional Museum, Burnie
·         Circular Head History Centre, Smithton
·         Friends of the Theatre Royal, Hobart
·         Furneaux Historical Research Association’s Museum, Flinders Island
·         Heritage Highway Museum and Visitor Information Centre, Campbell Town
·         Hobart Bellringers, Hobart
·         King Island Museum, Currie
·         Low Head Pilot Station Museum, Low Head
·         Australian Fly Fishing Museum – National Trust of Australia (Tasmania)
·         Penitentiary Chapel Historic Site – National Trust of Australia (Tasmania)
·         Pearns Steam World, Westbury
·         Sound Preservation Association of Tasmania, Hobart
·         Southern Midlands Council, Oatlands
·         St Helens History Room, St Helens
·         Tasmania Cricket Museum, Bellerive
·         Tasmanian Fast Ferry Museum, Hobart
·         Ulverstone History Museum, Ulverstone
·         Wilmot Museum, Wilmot
·         Woolmers Estate, Longford
·         Wilmot Museum, Wilmot.

If you missed the exhibition you can watch the AV here and/or download the catalogue here

Check out all the best and brightest from this year's awards here