11.00am – 12.30pm

Concurrent Session 6

Dr John Willsteed, Queensland University of Technology
Strangers, immigrants and bandits: activating recent sub-cultures

Phil Manning, Museum of Brisbane
100% Brisbane – Everybody has a story to tell

Art in the shifting museum landscape
Jessica Brainard, Dr Lucy Harper, Amy Wegerhoff, Western Australian Museum, Frith Williams, Museums of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

Concurrent Session 7

Amy Wegerhoff, Western Australian Museum
People first: how content became shaped by engagement

Craig Middleton, History Trust of South Australia, Dr Nikki Sullivan, Migration Museum
Is that everyone? Exploring and doing LGBTIQ inclusion in Museums

Recent research has shown that the stories and experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, and queer (LGBTIQ) people are largely absent in museums internationally, and that this negatively impacts LGBTIQ people, their families and allies in a wide range of ways. At the same time, there is a growing awareness in the GLAM sector that public facing cultural institutions have a duty to reflect diversity in all its forms, to take an active approach to inclusion, and to promote understanding between different groups, communities and cultures.

Over the last 18 months staff at History SA, particularly at the Migration Museum, have developed and implemented a range of LGBTIQ inclusion strategies. This has included collecting, community engagement and public programming activities. Through this the museum has had to navigate its ability to actively engage and include groups while at the same time challenge traditional practice.

This paper will, through critical evaluation of literature and case studies, explore what it actually means to engage with and represent individuals, groups and communities of diverse gender and sexuality in museums in Australia.

Our aim is to enable discussion around, and develop practical strategies for, maximising LGBTIQ inclusion in museums.

Lynne Seear, Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital
‘Will art cure my disease?’ Managing aspirations and expectations within a hospital based
arts programs

Concurrent Session 8

Fara Pelarek, Australian Museum
Climate change and the role museums play

Climate change (CC) is one of the key issues facing the world today. Museums, in particular, have a responsibility to inform, educate and engage all audiences on this current and pressing environmental concern. In its role as a leading scientific institution, the Australian Museum (AM) recognizes that climate change poses a serious environmental, economic and social threat to our current way of life and to the security of future generations across the globe.

This presentation focuses on the current state in CC education globally and provides a National perspective on cc education in Australia and, its standing in the Australian Curriculum and outlines some key challenges faced by teachers teaching climate change.

The AM, like other natural and cultural history institutions, plays a vital role in climate change education. We have set ourselves the goal to be a global leader in Climate Change education and all AM education programs integrate climate change and or aspects on sustainability education into their core. We will outline how this has been and will achieved now and into the future.

Elizabeth Marsden, Sovereign Hill Museums Association
Turning talk into action: Sovereign Hill and the green rush

The climate emergency is here. The time for talk is over. Unprecedented global temperatures have brought with it increased heatwaves, flooding, coastal erosion and extreme weather events, not to mention the possible destruction of Australia’s precious Great Barrier Reef. Museums have an ethical responsibility to respond.

This paper will explore the myriad of the ways The Sovereign Hill Museums Association is addressing this obligation. There is still so much we as individuals and as a sector can do to improve our environmental impact. We are all custodians of the planet but could initiatives such as the Green Museums Accord be one way of getting more museums on board?

Simone Ewenson, Museums Galleries Australia (Victoria)
The Museums Galleries Australia (Victoria) Green Museum Project

Climate change is a complex and powerful force that is not only disrupting global environments, resources, economies and human societies, but is also currently and will continue to directly and indirectly impact our tangible and intangible tangible cultural heritage assets as well as the organisations that manage them. The effects of climate change on both the natural world and human society in the state of Victoria are predicted to be substantial. Human society is also is now globally interconnected, and dependant on intricate supply chains. In this interconnected world, the effects of climate change anywhere in the world will be felt by the Victorian cultural-heritage sector in some way.

This presentation will introduce the ‘Green Museum Project’, a new sustainability initiative developed by Museums Australia (Victoria) created to help organisations save money, reduce their carbon footprint and strengthen their ability to respond to the impacts of climate change. The current focus of the initiative is the relationship between light energy, electrical energy, organisational sustainability, environmental sustainability and local communities.

The project involves the delivery of specially designed workshops that teach participants how to use energy and lux audits to jointly improve preventive conservation and environmental sustainability practices. Participants also learn about current conservation and curatorial research relating to the use of LED technology in museums and galleries. In early 2017, the Green Museum Project will introduce an Exhibition Lighting Upgrade Grant Scheme that will help, small, regional and community-run museums and galleries upgrade their exhibition lighting systems to LED technology.

Concurrent Session 9

Collection care and access frameworks: historical legacies meet contemporary
Maryanne McCubbin, Museum Victoria, David Reeves, Auckland War Memorial Museum & Tamaki Paenga Hira, Tim Sullivan, Australian War Memorial

Public museums have consistently aimed to be central to their cultural, social and learning landscapes, by making their collections accessible to present generations, and preserving their collections for access by future generations.

Today, these same museums hold thousands or even millions of collection items, collected over decades if not centuries. The items were collected for their historical, cultural, technological, scientific and exhibition values, to be realised in public landscapes, present and future. And yet lack of documentation and systematic care and preservation can render the collections value-less – they can’t be accessed because we can’t find them, they are in poorer conditions than we would like, and we may have forgotten their public values. Museums now also need to meet the expectations of a generation of communities that is diversifying and increasingly digital.

Some museums are making concerted attempts to address their past legacies, and to create new, sustainable legacies of collections we know and manage well, and whose values we in turn make accessible in cultural landscapes. Strategic thought and the recent professionalisation of collection care, along with technological developments, have provided significant enabling contexts in which to develop high-level institutional approaches and frameworks to turn existing collections into known, preserved, and extraordinarily valuable contemporary and long-term assets.

Three major collecting institutions, Museum Victoria, the Auckland Museum, and the Australian War Memorial, will identify the characteristics and contexts of each of their collections, and outline their recent approaches to driving transformative collection care, preservation and access strategies.

New collection care frameworks that transform existing collections into valuable contemporary and long-term assets.

Concurrent Session 10

Ethel Villafranca, University of Melbourne
Mapping pedagogical affordances of the museum environment

Museum curators and educators intentionally manipulate space and objects to curate learning. How can school teachers adapt this practice in their classroom pedagogy to improve student learning? This presentation will introduce a proposed taxonomy of pedagogical affordances of the museum environment.

Pea (1993) defines affordances as the perceived and actual functional properties of an object that determine how it could possibly be used. Identifying and mapping out affordances of the museum environment is an initial step in understanding how these can be effectively used and adapted to classroom pedagogy. Drawing inspiration from the taxonomy of ICT affordances put forward by Conole and Dyke (2004) the taxonomy will outline different categories that support teaching and learning within the museum context. The aim of the taxonomy is to investigate strategies for maximising features of the museum environment that facilitate students’ deep learning and explore the possibilities for transferring these strategies to classroom practices. It will also have important implications on how museum curators design exhibitions and how museum educators use elements of the exhibition to maximise potential for learning.

Mirna Heruc, University of Adelaide
Collection objects and their cultural capital

Many stories about the history, heritage and research success of the University of Adelaide are locked in within artefacts in its forty plus identified collections. Unlocking this cultural capital via tours, presentations or otherwise promulgating collection documentation ensures that such information is available to the broader community, strengthening its understanding of the complexity and rich history of the institution.

This research is an exciting part of our work at University Collections and I wish to share three examples of how an object reaches both into the past and future of the institutional development and excellence. These cultural objects are nothing if not diverse: the Sydney Olympic torch, the philosopher U T Place’s brain and a rock from the bottom of the Southern Ocean in the vicinity of Antarctica.

Julian Bickersteth, International Conservation Services
Is entrepreneurism a required personal quality for museum staff?

A recent UK Museums Association and Arts Council report identified that a wide ranging set of business and management skills are those that are most needed now and in the immediate future for museums. It highlighted the increasing importance of the value of particular personal qualities including entrepreneurism.

On the face of it this would appear somewhat at odds with the more traditional conservative view of a museum professional. Where does entrepreneurism fit into the working life of a museum and why is it being seen as having value? This paper will highlight the role of entrepreneurism in museums, looking at various examples and try to predict what this means for the future of the museum professional.

Karen Kindt, Queensland Museum Network
Step away from the headdress! Get out of MY collections!

In 2016 Queensland Museum Cultures and Histories program, commenced a series of State Government funded collection storage upgrade projects. Whilst these projects produce beneficial outcomes, the road travelled to achieve them, is not without its potholes along the way.

Assistant Collection Manager, Anthropology, Karen Kindt, provides a light-hearted, self-effacing character analysis of her experience of coping with an invasion of external Project Contractors working in her collection store. Uncannily, Kindt identifies that the very traits and behaviours that personify a good collection manager, conspire to be her unravelling when coping with the realities of a storage upgrade.

What are the attributes of a good collection manager? Top of the list would be ‘door bitch’ a phrase originally coined by Shepparton Art Museum Curator/Registrar Lilian Yong, at the 2014 Australasian Registrar Committee (ARC) Conference. Within the profession, this badge is worn with pride by most registrars /collection managers. They are the collection’s ’gate keepers’ known for their autocratic traits they are, process driven, proprietorial, pedantic, perfectionists and anal to a tee.

When a horde of contractors descend on the Anthropology collections store to move and relocate thousands objects; Kindt struggles to cope. The little voice inside her head screams “Step away from the Dhari! And get out of MY collections”. Hear how she prevails through strained collegial relationships; complete strangers invading her space pawing and touching her objects. Revealed are some less than admirable moments, as she strives to come to terms with the upheaval and change.

Shane Breynard, Canberra Museum & Gallery
Crowd curate: live social media as museum exhibit

The inclusion of social media content within a museum display is not a new phenomena. And conversations about museum experience routinely take place through social media. Indeed museums encourage such discussions as a means of engaging public discourse on their work. But including live social media as part of a museum exhibition is far from commonplace – and it is considered a risky thing to do.

Live social media can punch a hole through the museum wall, challenging some of our most basic assumptions about the ‘voice’ of the museum, the role of the curator and how museums serve their visitors. Once there is one hole more are bound follow. It is getter harder to stay on message. Something has to give.

Mick Bolognese, National Motor Museum
Augmented reality dreaming: using emerging technologies to explore a jukurrpa

The National Motor Museum has developed ‘Bush Mechanics: the exhibition’ based on the popular ABC TV series of the same name. It is a showcase of bush ingenuity that draws on the special role of the car in Central Australia to explore Aboriginal life in the Central Desert.

Opening in March 2017, one of the exhibition’s main feature is the ‘Rainmakers Fairlane’, a 1973 Ford painted by Warlpiri man Thomas Jangala Rice with a ‘ngapa jukurrpa’ – a water Dreaming. The exhibition will feature tablets loaded with a bespoke Augmented Reality app that brings to life the paintings on the Rainmakers Fairlane ‘jukurrpa’. Thomas Jangala Rice has created a schematic of its symbolism, from which an animator has created 3D animations of its elements. Visitors will be encouraged to use the app as a fun, interactive way to gain an understanding of Warlpiri imagery and narratives and to learn about the Dreaming, ceremony and relationship with country.

The pecha kucha will focus on the process of creating the app as well as draw on evaluation from the first few weeks of the exhibition’s run to invite discussion on the viability and effectiveness of using this technology to interpret ‘jukurrpa’.