11.00am – 12.30pm

Concurrent Session 20

Position vacant: a skills statement for the future
MGA Emerging Professionals Network. Speakers: Dr Tim Kurylowicz, Emily Sykes, Stephanie Chinneck, Felicity Harmey, Deannah Vieth, Katrina Ross and Kate Morschel

Concurrent Session 21

Zoe Rimmer, Liz Tew, Tasmanian Museum & Art Gallery
Collections and cultural resurgence

As the second oldest museum in Australia, the basis of the TMAG’s collecting practices of pakana (Tasmanian Aboriginal) cultural material was the principle that Aboriginal people would soon no longer make anything – the rarity of objects, and emphasis on the colonial collector documenting a supposedly dying culture. This thinking was re-enforced over a 140-year period of exhibitions that enacted pakana cultural material as a metaphorical ‘last breath’. As attitudes have changed over the past few decades’ museums have been forced to diversify from merely collecting, preserving and locking away cultural artefacts in a static past. This change and the increased involvement of Aboriginal people within the museum sector has made many positive outcomes for the institutions, Indigenous communities and the visitor.

In recent years, the Tasmanian Aboriginal community has been working with TMAG to give voice (and life) back to the collection and reclaim the colonial space through the development of contemporary Community-driven exhibitions and cultural revival projects. Using the collection for both inspiration and technical guidance, TMAG have facilitated a number of projects that have seen the revitalization of canoe building, basket making and most recently shell stringing. This presentation will discuss the development of ‘kanalaritja: An Unbroken String’, from cultural and community engagement project to a touring exhibition honouring Tasmanian Aboriginal shell stringing practices. The exhibition is the culmination of a 6 year Tasmanian Aboriginal Community-driven cultural resurgence project through which senior shell stringers mentored the next generation. It will highlight the changes in Indigenous museology and the broader shift in perspective from colonial past to Indigenous futures through the process and realization of this Community exhibition, accompanying publication and documentary film.

Lucy De Kretser, Department of Premier & Cabinet
Aboriginal intangible heritage in Victoria: recognising cultural custodianship

On 1 August 2016, Victoria introduced new legislation for the protection of Aboriginal Traditional Owners’ custodianship over their intangible cultural heritage. Traditional Owners in Victoria can now register stories, songs, language, craft practices, ecological knowledge, dance, ceremony and other cultural knowledges, cultural expressions and cultural adaptations on the Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Register, and so gain legal recognition of their custodianship, and control over whether, how and under what circumstances culture can be used by others for commercial purposes. The new legislation has also opened up new possibilities for understanding, recording and protecting cultural landscapes and cultural places, based on Traditional Owners’ understandings and perspectives surrounding value. This move away from an archaeological approach mirrors transitions occurring in the museum sector. This presentation will explore the unique challenges and opportunities in dealing with issues of cultural custodianship and inherent cultural rights within a legal framework at State level.

Wayne Coolwell, Meanjin Heritage & Remembrance Centre
First Nation in Brisbane

Brisbane has been a somewhat culturally diminished city for many decades because of the absence of a centre or building which will finally bring to life the traditional stories and history of our first nations people from Brisbane and throughout the wider South east Queensland region. this proposed centre is all about highlighting the culture, history, language,identity and aspirations of the traditional owner groups to promote this beautiful story to the wider tourist market, and of course to educate our local friends and visitors. continuous state sanctioned prejudice and ignorance over the last 40 years or so has been a determining factor in the resistance to such a centre. people power and common sense will overcome all of the discrimination and offer up a showpiece which this country will be proud of!

Concurrent Session 22

Emma Hill, Bathurst Regional Art Gallery
Generation art: future-focused connections between youth, art and art galleries

This presentation showcases an innovative program piloted at Bathurst Regional Art Gallery in 2016. Delivered as a 14-week program for secondary students in Year 10, Generation Art involved a series of after school workshops focused on cultural engagement and learning in the gallery. It culminated in the creation of digital stories re-visioning the art gallery and its collection from a youth perspective. The aims of the program were: to engage secondary students in the work of a regional art gallery to promote future cultural engagement; to engage secondary students in the world of art beyond the classroom; to develop a collaborative educational relationship between a regional gallery, local artists, a university and secondary schools; and to develop engaging educational resources for youth audiences utilizing digital technologies. Action research was undertaken to document and evaluate the program and the underpinning partnership model. Findings from this research will be shared to illustrate how the aims were achieved along with identifying additional and unexpected outcomes informed by prioritization of the voices of the participants. The presentation will include a screening of the digital stories created by Generation Art participants. These digital stories are now being used as educational resources for youth audiences.

Andrew Fong, Fiona Young, Hayball
Learning lens: merging education and exhibition design for life-long learners

This presentation will explore the cultural shift from traditional learning contexts to a more relevant 21st century learning landscape. The juxtaposition of education and exhibition design will be discussed as a driver for the engagement of a broad spectrum of learners.

The benefits of blurring the lines between education and museum environments will be addressed in the pursuit to create meaningful and engaging places for our students – making learning authentic and relevant through real world connections.

Through a series of school, tertiary and museum case studies that bridge learning and culture we will showcase a range of architectural responses to learning environments which are grounded in design principles developed over many years of research, design and delivery of learning environments.

Jessica Simmons, National Trust of Australia
Arrested development – bringing social justice into a heritage precinct

How do you engage Yr 9 students, who think they know everything, within a historic legislative precinct?

This was the problem the National Trust faced when it took over the Former Magistrate’s Court 2 and old City Watch House in 2006 and instigated an adaptive re-use of these heritage listed buildings. The solution lay in bringing contemporary social justice issues to life through immersive role-play and engagement, to revitalise this historic site. This has been a successful enterprise and has resulted in increased visitation and engagement with today’s youth.

The Former Magistrate’s Court now hosts both historic and contemporary mock trials which focus on legal issues of social relevance to today’s youth. The culpable driving and ‘sexting’ trials NTVIC created have challenged the image of what a historic property can offer to the next generation.

Students find themselves enrolled as the characters in a trial; based on real cases and utilizing actual court transcripts. This reincarnation of these old buildings has driven an influx of over 35,000 education students annually. Legal advice and partnerships with the Gippsland Legal Service, County and Magistrate’s Court judges and the Victoria Law Foundation has ensured legal accuracy in the scripts and lent authenticity to the process.

The immersive experiences that were created in this former Magistrate’s Court has engaged young people with issues of real concern to them. Through this revitalization a heritage-listed building has found a new purpose to engage today’s youth in the potential for behavioural change.

Concurrent Session 23

James Dexter, Western Australia Museum
Yurlmun exhibition: reconnecting cultural object collections, people and place

Museums are re-positioning as relevant, mindful institutions with strong social purpose and as agents for change. Better engaged with social, cultural and environmental contexts of the places and communities they belong to, they are part of a cultural landscape. This paper will showcase a project that reconnected heritage with people, place, performance, story, and meaning, creating powerful outcomes for museums, objects and their communities.

From November 2016 to April 2017, 14 objects were the focus of an exhibition entitled Yurlmun: Mokare Mia Boodja (Returning to Mokare’s Home Country). These objects originated from the Menang Noongar people of Albany, Western Australia and had been carefully stored in the British Museum’s collections since the 1800s.

The loan of the objects from the British Museum back to home Country and community was unprecedented in Australia. The exhibition allowed opportunities for the Menang community to share knowledge and stories, to compare techniques in crafting such objects, to reflect on the relationships between early colonists and Menang leaders and to enter new dialogue with museums. Upon returning to collection at the British Museum, these objects were imbued with new layers of performance, story and meaning. For the museums and the community, there has been a shift in understanding of one another’s approaches to cultural heritage which will form the foundation of many further discussions. This project has redefined the museum’s relationship with, and identity within, its community and context, and the significance of these discussions is felt across all facets of the organisation.

Amanda Hayman, State Library of Queensland, Carol McGregor, Griffith University
Art of the Skins: cultural revitalisation, community co-creation and collaboration

Building relationships, overcoming barriers and creating tangible outcomes between communities of interest and institutions are critical factors that contribute to the success or failure of collaborative projects. How can communities retain self-determination over their cultural knowledge and objects when undergoing a major project in collaboration with institutions?

This paper examines the unique Art of the Skins project, presenting a best practice model of navigating consultation in a collaborative project among independent artists and academics, institutions and three Aboriginal communities, announcing the re-activation of South East Queensland’s possum skin cloak making.

Partnering with kuril dhagun, a dedicated Indigenous space and public programming team unique to State Library of Queensland, independent artists and researchers Carol McGregor and Glennys Briggs elevated the scope of the Art of the Skins project through acknowledging their shared vision of fostering partnerships with Indigenous communities, building capacity and further a greater understanding and awareness of Indigenous knowledge, history and culture.

By exploring the meaningful collaboration with the three communities at each stage of the project, I aim to investigate the manifestation, implementation, successes, challenges and outcomes of this model; including research, community consultation and adhering to cultural protocols, overcoming unawareness and the inaccessibility of cultural information in institutions, facilitating workshops and creating new content, and the intangible legacies of healing, empowerment, pride and the continuation of culture.

Emma Bain, Freja Carmichael, Stephanie Lindquist, Redland Art Gallery
Gathering Strands: preserving and promoting fibre art traditions through community-driven curatorship

Developed over a two-year period at Redland Art Gallery, the Gathering Strands exhibition project focussed on preserving and promoting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander fibre art traditions in South East Queensland through an extended curatorial process of engagement, consultation and collaboration. The project was initiated to highlight the enduring significance of fibre art in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and brought together a collective of Quandamooka weavers, practising fibre artists, and established and emerging visual artists through participant call-outs, direct liaison with community members and skill sharing weaving workshops.

Curated by Quandamooka woman Freja Carmichael, this co-presented paper with Redland Art Gallery Directors, Stephanie Lindquist and Emma Bain discusses how community-driven approaches were implemented in the exhibitions development, delivery and public programs to support both a continuation of practices, stories and histories and encourage the activation of knowledge and traditions.

Concurrent Session 24

Travelling across the country – Part 1

Philippa Rogers, Western Australian Museum
Connecting the nation for 100 years

Jane Palmer, Dr Celmara Pocock, University of Southern Queensland
Slow down, stop, listen reflect: rendering the invisible visible in self-drive heritage tourism

Tony Martin, Qantas Founders Museum
A view from above: aerial landscapes in the context of transport