Museums Galleries Australia

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Museums Galleries Australia
vol 26 (2) autumn­-winter 2018 $15.00

Museums Galleries Australia
Australia in the Great War, Australian War Memorial, Canberra ACT
Australia in the Great War is the new permanent exhibition in the First World War Galleries at the Australian War Memorial.

It is the first major refurbishment of the galleries in over 40 years and one of the key contributions to commemorating the centenary of the
conflict. Principal exhibition designers Cunningham Martyn Design, developed probably the most challenging gallery re-configuration
project Designcraft have ever delivered. The complex Joinery and Showcase package pushed our fabrication ability and facility to the limit.
The result is a world class gallery experience. Designcraft are proud of our association with this flagship Australian project.

                                                                     Exhibition design: Cunningham Martyn Design.   Photography by John Gollings.

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Museums Galleries Australia
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Join us at the very heart of the nation in Alice Springs (Mparntwe) for the

Combining elements of our most recent conferences that focused on Museums and Galleries in their
Cultural Landscapes (Brisbane 2017) and Museums and Galleries as Agents of Change (Melbourne
2018), in 2019 we travel to the geographical centre of the nation to tackle some of the biggest thematic
areas that occupy much of our national conversation. Museums and Galleries are situated at the very
centre of that conversation in relation to our place within our communities and the way we are deeply
implicated in both a local and national understanding of Australia’s past, present and shared future.

 And while focusing on our people, places and practices, there will be opportunity to consider purpose,
relevance, diversity, equality, national identity, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander agency, our various
publics and the nature of co-creation, generational transfer of knowledge and much more. Delegates
will also be able to explore the majesty and wonder of the Central Australian landscape (with cultural
tours and opportunities for day/weekend trips to Uluru, Kata Tjuta and other incredible places) and the
people, communities, museums and galleries that call the desert home. Plan to stay a few extra days
to enjoy all that’s on offer in the NT!

 As a very special bonus, delegates will experience the vitality of Contemporary Aboriginal Desert
Art. A four-hour Desert Mob Art Fair on the closing afternoon of the conference will see hundreds
of Aboriginal artists and artworkers making their way to Alice Springs from remote Aboriginal
communities and art centres across the NT, SA and WA with thousands of artworks for sale and the
opportunity to become immersed in not only the art but also among the artists who share their culture
through their art to keep their communities strong.

• For sponsorship and exhibition opportunities email:
• Call for abstracts and registration opens in late 2018
• To stay updated, express your interest online at
Museums Galleries Australia
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Museums Galleries Australia Magazine – Vol. 26(2) – Autumn-Winter 2018 7


In this issue
                                                                                                                                  Museums Galleries Australia National Council
                                  President's Message. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8
                                                                                                                                  Dr Robin Hirst PSM
                                  From the National Director . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10                         (Director, Hirst Projects, Melbourne)

                                  MAPDA awards for outstanding achievement                                                        Simon Elliott
                                                                                                                                  (Deputy Director, Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art, Brisbane)
                                  in design. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
                                                                                                                                  Margaret Lovell
                                  How to win a MAPDA for catalogue design . . . . . . 17                                          (Contract Project Manager Canberra)

                                  MAGNA 2018 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18               Carol Cartwright
                                                                                                                                  ([retired] Head, Education & Visitor Services, Australian War Memorial, Canberra)

                                  Indigenous 10-Year Roadmap for Museums
                                                                                                                                  Paul Bowers
                                  Galleries Australia: 2018 update . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21                           (Director, Exhibitions & Collections, Australian Centre for the
                                                                                                                                  Moving Image, Melbourne)
                                  Digital Access to Collections: a GLAM Peak                                                      Dr Mark Crees
                                  project for sharing Australia’s regional heritage .  26                                         (Director, Araluen Cultural Precinct, Alice Springs)
                                                                                                                                  Suzanne Davies
                                                                                                                                  ([retired] Director, RMIT Gallery, Melbourne)
                                  Introducing the Women of Museums Australia
                                  (WoMA) Network. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  32                     Dr Lynda Kelly
                                                                                                                                  (LyndaKellyNetworks, NSW)

                                  How it really was: Collecting the story                                                         Craig Middleton
                                                                                                                                  (Curator, Centre of Democracy, Adelaide)
                                  of the Roe 8 protest in WA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  34
                                                                                                                                  Debbie Sommers
                                                                                                                                  (Volunteer, Port Macquarie Historical Society, Port Macquarie)
                                  Reinvigoration through exhibition renewal . . . . .  38
                                                                                                                                  ex officio member
                                                                                                                                  Alec Coles OBE
                                  Permaculture and the practice of restorative                                                    Chair, ICOM Australia; CEO, Western Australian Museum
                                  museology. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  42            public officer
                                                                                                                                  Louise Douglas, Canberra
                                  Shake the Foundations. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  46                      state/territory branch presidents/ representatives
                                                                                                                                  (subject to change throughout year)
                                  Towards an online museum of languages:                                                          ACT Rowan Henderson
                                  Digitising records of the world’s 7,000 languages .52                                           (Senior Curator, Canberra Museum and Gallery, Canberra)
                                                                                                                                  NSW Rebecca Pinchin
                                                                                                                                  (Collection Manager, National Trust of Australia NSW)
                                            COVER IMAGE: (detail) Kungkarrangkalnga-ya Parrpakanu                                 NT Dr Ilka Schacht
                                            (Seven Sisters are Flying), Tjanpi Desert Weavers, as seen                            (Curatorial Manager, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory,
                                            in the dome in the Songlines exhibition at National Museum
                                            of Australia, Canberra. Photo: George Serras, NMA.
                                                                                                                                  QLD Emma Bain
                                                                                                                                  (Director (Exhibitions & Programs), Redland Art Gallery, Cleveland)

                                                                                                                                  SA Pauline Cockrill
                                                                                                                                  (Community History Officer, History Trust SA, Adelaide)
                                           © Museums Galleries Australia and individual authors.
                                                                                                                                  TAS Janet Carding
                                           No part of this magazine may be reproduced in any form
                                           without written permission from the publisher.
                                                                                                                                  (Director, Tasmanian Museum & Art Gallery, Hobart)

                                           Museums Galleries Australia Magazine is published biannually (from Volume              VIC Lauren Ellis
                                           25 onwards) and online on the national website, and is a major link with               (Programs Manager, Museums Victoria, Melbourne)
                                           members and the museums sector. Museums Galleries Australia Magazine is a
                                           forum for news, opinion and debate on museum issues.                                   WA Soula Veyradier
PO Box 24, Deakin West ACT 2600                                                                                                   (Program & Communications Manager, International Art Space, Perth)
Editorial: (02) 6230 0346                  Contributions from those involved or interested in museums and galleries are
                                           welcome. Museums Galleries Australia Magazine reserves the right to edit,
Advertising: 02) 6230 0346                 abridge, alter or reject any material. Views expressed by contributors are not
Subscriptions: (02) 6230 0346              necessarily those of the publisher or editor. Publication of an advertisement
                                           does not imply endorsement by Museums Galleries Australia, its affiliates or             employees.
                                           Museums Galleries Australia is proud to acknowledge the following
Editor: Bernice L. Murphy                  supporters of the national organisation: Australian Government Ministry
Cover design: Selena Kearney               for the Arts; Australian Library and Information Association; Museums
                                           Victoria (Melbourne Museum); and Western Australian Museum.
Content layout: Stephanie Hamilton
                                           Print Post Publication No: 100003705 ISSN 2207-1806
Printer: Adams Print, Melbourne
Museums Galleries Australia
8 Museums Galleries Australia Magazine – Vol. 26(2) – Autumn-Winter 2018

President's Message

                                                riting this in the days following the            expressing their views at the Alice Springs conference
                                                National Conference held in Melbourne            next year — which will take us to the Northern
                                                in June, I feel buoyed by the whole              Territory and bring, amongst other discussions,
                                                experience. I’m encouraged by the                a special regional focus, including on Indigenous
                                                collective strength of those who attended,       peoples and culture, in 2019. Our National Director,
                                   and I’m impressed with the way the sector is variously        Alex Marsden, has provided more details of the
                                   leading, adapting and responding in the currently             Strategic Review in her neighbouring column in this
                                   complex social and political environments we all face         Magazine issue. I can assure you all that the National
                                   in different ways.                                            Council is listening carefully to understand our
                                     Conferences like ours are vital. The opportunities          membership, to capture its diversity, and to make sure
above:   Dr Robin Hirst.           they provide vary for delegates coming from such              we include special encouragement and support for
                                   diverse backgrounds. The museums and galleries                our oncoming younger colleagues. We have special
                                   sector is a very broad church, and our national               tasks to continue to make the organisation a relevant
                                   conferences provide a way that we can embrace our             one for both institutional and individual members,
                                   differences and learn from each other.                        from both large and smaller organisational settings,
                                     I have had different motivations for attending              spread across this huge country and the multiplicity of
                                   conferences throughout my own career in museums               communities we serve.
                                   and galleries. Initially it was to learn all I could
                                   from the experts. Then I understood that I too had            The Indigenous resolution at the recent AGM
                                   something to say. Now I understand the need to make
                                   and strengthen connections with fellow professionals             Our Annual General Meeting for 2018 was held,
                                   as a reinforcement of our work. Building a network            as is our tradition, to coincide with the annual
                                   of colleagues who can inform, share differences, and          conference. At the meeting on 6 June in Melbourne,
                                   alert us to new issues and possibilities is critical in our   the following resolution was adopted by members.
                                   fast-changing world.
                                     The Melbourne conference was sold out. Judging by               ‘Members of Museums Galleries Australia meeting
                                   the level of conversations at the breaks, the responses           in annual conference on 6 June 2018 in Melbourne
                                   to each presenter and the questions asked during each             express their support for Indigenous Australians
                                   session, the program had good reach and was enjoyed               in their aspiration for a 'Voice to the Parliament',
                                   and appreciated by delegates. The conference market               as proposed by the meeting at Uluru in May 2017
                                   is changing, with external for-profit providers now               in the Statement from the Heart and endorsed by
                                   becoming significant players. Our annual conference               the Referendum Council, and urge all museums
                                   remains important to our sector. It is developed by               to familiarise themselves with the Statement and
                                   and for our membership, moves around our huge                     its background since establishment of the Council
                                   country (and opens up to our Pacific region, with our             for Aboriginal Reconciliation in 1991, and engage
                                   more regular interaction over a decade or more with               their audiences to promote understanding of the
                                   New Zealand/Aotearoa). Meanwhile the conference’s                 Statement.’
                                   format of different strands and concurrent sessions
                                   allows many to contribute and be heard. It is another           In 1993, a forerunner to Museums Galleries
                                   way we can develop our future leaders.                        Australia (the Council of Australian Museum
                                     Beginning with the Brisbane conference in 2017,             Associations/CAMA) embraced a co-consulted
                                   we established a Members Forum within the annual              Indigenous policy, namely Previous Possessions,
                                   conference program — to provide a dedicated space             New Obligations. This became our founding policy
                                   to allow members in attendance to voice their                 even before a broader Ethics policy covering many
                                   opinions on a variety of issues. As a result of the           other issues of good conduct was adopted under
                                   Brisbane Forum, the incoming MGA Council decided              the new association’s National Council. So when
                                   to conduct a strategic review, and to consult the             our organisation was incorporated in January 1994,
                                   membership and stakeholders about changes they                the special urgency of forging respectful relations
                                   consider important for our association to address. It         with Indigenous peoples, of acknowledging their
                                   was a pleasure to present to the Melbourne Forum              authority in interpretations of their heritage held
                                   the results of the association’s Strategic Review,            in museums, of repatriating ancestral remains and
                                   which had already been endorsed by the Council on             seeking to right the wrongs of collecting in the past,
                                   the eve of the conference. The National Council had           provided an important new framework for the sector
                                   also ratified the Strategic Plan 2018–2020, which has         at the time. The 1993 policy was subsequently revised,
                                   drawn on the results of the review.                           after further national consultation with Indigenous
                                     We will continue this tradition of members                  leaders, and replaced by Continuous Cultures, Ongoing
Museums Galleries Australia
Museums Galleries Australia Magazine – Vol. 26(2) – Autumn-Winter 2018 9

Responsibilities in 2005, which continues today.
   As many members would be aware, we are currently
undertaking a consultative process which will
result in the development of a 10-year Indigenous
Roadmap. This project is an initiative to facilitate
discussion on how best to advance the participation
and representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait
Islander peoples in museums and galleries across the
country. Self-determination is crucial to the rights of
Indigenous people, as expressed in the 2007 United
Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous
Peoples, Articles 3–5.4.
   The Indigenous-focused resolution adopted at the
recent AGM in Melbourne is consistent with the
underlying principles that have been embodied in
our previous policies. And it is particularly timely. I
urge all members to read the background paper on
the Uluru Statement from the Heart, provided as
information for the recent resolution, and to discuss
this with colleagues. (The resolution and background
paper have now been uploaded to MA’s national
website, which provides a convenient go-to summary
of recent events for all members to consult about the
issues raised.)
   I warmly congratulate all those who entered the
MAPDA and MAGNA Awards this year. We had some
very worthy winners, who are featured in this issue of
the Magazine. I would like to say that the overall 2018
winner in the MAGNA Awards, Songlines: Tracking the
Seven Sisters — the remarkable project and exhibition
achieved recently by the National Museum of
Australia —­ showed the extraordinary results that can
come from truly deep engagement with Aboriginal
communities. The Songlines project demonstrated
what can be gained through handing the authority of
interpretation to rightful custodians, including the
knowledge they have nurtured for millennia in their
stories of the environment, the diversity of the earth’s
resources, and the astronomical dramas that fill the
night skies and still guide vast journeys across our
huge continent.
   In conclusion, what I found so encouraging during
the recent conference was the way many speakers
were prepared to share what didn’t quite go to plan in
their work, alongside that which did. Many speakers
were posing questions, not answering them. I took
this honesty and vulnerability as a very positive sign
of a sector that is confident, not only to share what
it knows, but to be honest about what it is struggling
with. To me, that is a mark of success.
   I look forward to meeting many of you again, in
Alice Springs, next year. [ ]

Dr Robin Hirst PSM
National President, Museums Galleries Australia
Museums Galleries Australia
10 Museums Galleries Australia Magazine – Vol. 26(2) – Autumn-Winter 2018

From the National Director

                                           he first 6 months of each year is always a        The National Office will also prepare guidance and
                                           hugely busy time of planning for the year,        a toolkit on final name change, including a style
                                           punctuated by express-train deadlines of          guide and usage rules for all branches and networks,
                                           projects to be completed by the end of June,      so that we have a coherent identity nation-wide. In
                                           and organising the plethora of moving parts       the meantime, feel free to give us any feedback on
                                   that is MGA’s National Conference.                        any part of the Strategic Review’s outcome report.
                                     Many thanks to the incredible number of people          Needless to say, our program of activities, events and
                                   who were instrumental in making the 2018 National         advocacy at national, state and territory branch and
                                   Conference held in June in Melbourne work so well         network levels proceeds apace while this review work
                                   — I really got the sense of MGA as a living network of    is being carried out.
                                   committed contributors to the common good.                  At the Members’ Forum on 6 June, in addition to
above:   Alex Marsden.               I wish everyone who wanted to could have been           reporting on MGA’s strategic review, the President
                                   able to come to the conference, the RR&C day, the         outlined the focus for National Council’s Strategic
                                   National Network meetings, Awards night, and the          Plan for 2018–2020. The plan recognises some
                                   Members’ Forum, but I understand the challenges for       important insights from the recent review and sets a
                                   many. I am pleased that we were able to offer more        number of priorities for the organisation as a whole to
                                   than 50 bursaries, and we are working to secure more      work on over the next 2-to-3 years.
                                   for next year. The plenary speakers were recorded,
                                   and the recordings are now available through our
                                   website. I hope these recordings, along with some
                                   papers, articles and project update reports published
                                   in this edition of the National Magazine, provide for
                                   all some useful ideas and the affirmation that you are
                                   part of the MGA community.
                                     Our Strategic Review of the organisation is now            Adopted by National Council 3 June 2018
                                   largely complete, with a report including data and
                                   analysis from our research and consultation now
                                   publicly available.                                          Vision
                                     Majority opinion on the name and brand of the
                                   organisation, expressed both by members and by               Inspiring Australia’s cultural life through a
                                   stakeholders, was that ‘galleries’ should be included        thriving and valued museums and galleries
                                   in the name, but that the interim business name of           sector.
                                   Museums Galleries Australia needed revision to fix
                                   issues of brand confusion. Returning to the former
                                   name of Museums Australia would be counter-                  Mission
                                   productive as it does not include galleries and would
                                   also appear as a retreat from both inclusiveness and         Support, promote and advocate for our
                                   modernisation. Finally, it was clear that members            members to strengthen Australia’s museums
                                   value the relationships and networking provided by           and galleries sector.
                                   being part of a national association, and there was
                                   significant support for reintroducing the concept of an
                                   association or network into the name.                        What We Do
                                     Therefore, National Council is proposing (for
                                   consultation) the updated name Australian Museums            As a national membership association we
                                   and Galleries Association (AMAGA). Following the             provide advice, representation, support
                                   President’s presentation at the Members’ Forum after         and services to enable organisations and
                                   the AGM in Melbourne, where no concerns were                 individuals to thrive; and as a peak body
                                   raised, the next steps have been to discuss the review       we advocate on behalf of the sector to
                                   further with branches and key stakeholders, and to           communicate the value of museums and
                                   continue work on specifications for the name change          galleries, raise professional standards, inform
                                   and branding. National Council intends to put the            policy, and promote ethical practice.
                                   new name to a vote through a formal resolution put to
                                   members later this year.
Museums Galleries Australia Magazine – Vol. 26(2) – Autumn-Winter 2018 11

The online Membership survey revealed that there is       Finally, the President has written about the
much agreement about the main priorities that MGA         Resolution in support of Indigenous Australians that
should be focusing on in the future, with the top four    was passed by members at the recent AGM. The
priorities being to:                                      Resolution is particularly timely for the association,
 • Increase advocacy for museums and galleries;           given the work underway on developing the 10-year
 • Deliver a larger range of training and skills          Indigenous Roadmap, reported on previously in the
   development via different channels;                    Magazine — and updated in the present issue. The
 • Make the National Conferences more accessible;         Roadmap project is going exceedingly well, with
   and                                                    strong responses and recognition of its importance,
 • Provide more advice on funding and other               and growing excitement and commitment to its
   opportunities.                                         realisation. We have extended the time-frame for
                                                          completion from June to October this year, to meet
  All these objectives are now in train. Meanwhile        the desire for increased consultations – as more
the foundational focus is you — the membership,           workshops and discussions were held; and more
both individuals and organisations. The plan will be      groups, particularly Indigenous cultural workers,
available soon on our national website.                   were seeking further input. It is critical to the success
  The need for more advocacy also loomed large in         of the Roadmap that these voices are heard, respected
the consultation carried out by state and territory       and included while the suite of recommendations is
branch committees, and in many of the discussions         being developed.
I have held over the last year. There is great concern      We are currently also seeking some funding to
about a lack of public/government/mainstream media        employ an Indigenous Engagement Officer over the
appreciation and understanding of what museums            next three years, to help give life to the Indigenous
and galleries offer. There is also much anxiety about     Roadmap through communications, advice and
decreased operational funding for many institutions,      guidance to museums, galleries and communities.
despite the welcome news of capital spending on             So, a lot is going on. It is a time of challenges and
new buildings by several state governments. In            opportunities for the national association and the
this light, we submitted a response in May to the         sector we serve. As always, please feel free to contact
Commonwealth Parliament’s Inquiry into Canberra’s         me with your views at any time. [ ]
national institutions, in which we concluded that:
                                                          Alex Marsden
• The national cultural institutions in Canberra          National Director, Museums Galleries Australia
  play a vital role for Australia and are delivering in
  the main on core national responsibilities to high
  standards, despite deep funding cuts over many
• However, the current story is one of significant
  unrealised potential.
• Current research is revealing the deep value of arts,
  culture and heritage to society and the economy in
  an increasing number of ways, including business
  innovation, tourism generation, and health and
  wellbeing outcomes.
• The Commonwealth needs to develop a more
  coherent and long-term policy framework for arts,
  culture and heritage that includes greater levels of
  support for the national cultural institutions.

 This submission is also available on our national
12 Museums Galleries Australia Magazine – Vol. 26(2) – Autumn-Winter 2018

Museums Australasia Multimedia & Publication Design Awards 2018

MAPDA awards for outstanding achievement in design

             TAR R

                     AF T


                            the display specialists

21 YEARS OF                                           MAPDA 2018 at a glance:                                           ver the past couple of years we have been
MAPDA                                                                                                                   testing new categories in the MAPDAs. Last
                                                                                                                        year we tried Exhibition Label, which was
  2019 was the 21st                                   •   74 organisations from Australia and New Zealand               quite popular, though logistically problematic
anniversary of the                                        • 54 Level A                                                  when it came to actually receiving the entries.
Museums Australasia                                       • 2 Level B                                        This year we included App, to reflect the new ways
Multimedia and                                        •   157 entries                                        institutions are engaging with audiences. This new
Publication Design                                    •   80 shortlisted entries                             category was hugely popular and we will likely keep
Awards.                                               •   19 winning entries                                 it going forward. When the Awards were reviewed
  To commemorate this                                 •   28 commended entries                               several years ago, we changed a few categories and
milestone, we gathered                                •   Best in Show:                                      removed others due to poor entry numbers. One
every Best in Show                                        Publication: Book Club (Lake Macquarie City Art    that was removed was Information Brochure. Due to
winning entry from the                                    Gallery)                                           popular demand, we will re-introduce this category
past 14 years and had                                     Multimedia: Tjungunutja (Museum and Art            for 2019 as a test, but we will be removing Poster. We
a special exhibition                                      Gallery of the Northern Territory)                 have struggled for a number of years to get entries
at the Museums                                        •   Judges’ Special Award:                             for the Poster category – with little success. We know
Galleries Australia                                       Little Books of Art (Christchurch Art Gallery Te   there are still incredible posters being produced for
National Conference in                                    Puna o Waiwhetu)                                   exhibitions and encourage you all to keep using this
Melbourne.                                            •   Sponsored by Australian Book Connection            foundation method of visual communication when
  We would like to thank                                  ( and Showfront                considering your advertising and engagement. And
all the institutions and                                  (                             you never know, it might be back in the future.
individuals who tracked                               •   Judges:                                               An exciting trend is a resurgence in magazines.
down copies of these past                                 Suzie Campbell (arts marketing consultant)         It is heartening to see so many institutions who
winners to loan us for                                    Brendan O'Donnell (Corvus Creative and artist)     had previously discontinued their magazines now
the exhibition. See the                                   Rick Cochrane (Bytes + Colours and artist)         publishing once again. You may notice that the
website for a full list of                                Brett Wiencke (National Portrait Gallery)          winners in the magazine category are familar. Both
past winners at                                           Jude Savage (Art Gallery of WA)                    Bulletin and Portrait feature regularly in the finalist                                          Jonny Brownbill (Museums Victoria)                 list, as both publications continue to re-invent,
                                                          Selena Kearney (Nomat)                             innovate and adapt.
Museums Galleries Australia Magazine – Vol. 26(2) – Autumn-Winter 2018 13

  The Awards were presented at a ceremony at the
Meat Market in Melbourne as part of the MGA2018
National Conference. Photographs from the Awards
can be found on our Facebook.
  Following the list of finalists below, we feature an
article from the 2018 judges on how to win a MAPDA
for catalogue design. Check it out.
  MAPDA will return in 2019, with a call for entries
on 1 February. []


Highly Commended
Jervis Bay Maritime Museum App
Jervis Bay Maritime Museum, Huskisson
Daniel Pesu, Zac Stanford, Tom Masterson, Gregoire Katz

Royal Botanic Garden Sydney App
Royal Botanic Garden Sydney, Sydney
Ram Bhat (Royal Botanic Garden Sydney)


Highly Commended
National Portrait Gallery, Canberra
Jake MacMullin (Stripy Sock) and Alice Carroll

                                                          CHILDREN'S BOOK
                                                          LEVEL A
Highly Commended                                          Lionel’s Place | story book (pictured)
Art Gallery of Ballarat: Stories from the Collection      Maitland Regional Art Gallery, Maitland
Art Gallery of Ballarat                                   Clare Hodgins (Maitland Regional Art Gallery)
Ben Cox (Art Gallery of Ballarat)
                                                          LEVEL B
Unconstrained Passions. The Architect's Hoouse as
Museum                                                    Highly Commended
Lyon Housemuseum, Melbourne                               Where's Dot?
Yanni Florence (Lyon Housemuseum)                         Museums Victoria Publishing, Melbourne
                                                          Jacob Tolo (Museums Victoria)
Winner and Judges' Special Award
Little Books of Art (pictured)
Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu, NZ           EXHIBITION BRANDING PACKAGE
Aaron Beehre (Ilam Press)
                                                          LEVEL A
                                                          Highly Commended
Highly Commended                                          The Corsini Collection: A Window on Renaissance
Underworld: Mugshots from the Roaring Twenties            Florence
Sydney Living Museums, Sydney                             Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, NZ
Bruce Smythe (Sydney Living Museums)                      Imogen Greenfield (Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki)
14 Museums Galleries Australia Magazine – Vol. 26(2) – Autumn-Winter 2018

Museums Australasia Multimedia & Publication Design Awards 2018

                                   ON For Ron fundraising campaign                        EXHIBITION CATALOGUE (MAJOR)
                                   Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu, NZ
                                   McCarthy and Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o        LEVEL A
                                                                                          Highly Commended
                                   Lionel’s Place | Lionel Lindsay from the MRAG          Gordon Walters: New Vision
                                   Collection                                             Dunedin Public Art Gallery and Auckland Art Gallery
                                   Maitland Regional Art Gallery, Maitland                Toi o Tāmaki, NZ
                                   Clare Hodgins (Maitland Regional Art Gallery)          Neil Pardington (Neil Pardington Design)

                                   Winner                                                 Closer: Portraits of Survival
                                   Centre of Democracy                                    Sydney Jewish Museum, Sydney
                                   Centre of Democracy, Adelaide                          Paul Clark (Alphabet Studio)
                                   Jesse Hanlon & Nicki Duance (Arketype)
                                   LEVEL B                                                Romancing the Skull (pictured)
                                                                                          Art Gallery of Ballarat, Ballarat
                                   Highly Commended                                       Ben Cox (Art Gallery of Ballarat)
                                   NGURRA Branding Package
                                   South Australian Museum, Adelaide                      Open Spatial Workshop: Converging in Time
                                   Mia Prerad/Jeremy Green (South Australian Museum)      Monash University Museum of Art | MUMA, Melbourne
                                                                                          Designed by Paul Mylecharane and Žiga Testen, Concept
                                   Rembrandt and the Dutch golden age: masterpieces       by Open Spatial Workshop (Terri Bird, Bianca Hester, Scott
                                   from the Rijksmuseum                                   Mitchell)
                                   Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney
                                   Analiese Cairis (Art Gallery of New South Wales)       LEVEL B

                                   Ground Up Exhibition                                   Highly Commended
                                   Museums Victoria, Melbourne                            Del Kathryn Barton: The Highway is a Disco
                                   Jacob Tolo / Scott Parker (MV Studio)                  National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
                                                                                          Jackie Robinson (National Gallery of Victoria)
                                   Pipilotti Rist: Sip my Ocean                           NGV Triennial 2017
                                   Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, Sydney           National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
                                   Alex Torcutti (Museum of Contemporary Art Australia)   Dirk Hiscock (National Gallery of Victoria)
                                                                                          Bill Henson
                                                                                          National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
                                                                                          Thomas Deverall (National Gallery of Victoria)
Museums Galleries Australia Magazine – Vol. 26(2) – Autumn-Winter 2018 15

                                                                                         This catalogue is gold. Very clever
                                                                                              format for presenting lots of
                                                                                          information and a diverse range
                                                                                             of content. The typography is
                                                                                        exquisite, well-resolved, with great
                                                                                             leading. Beautifully executed.
                                                                                                                   Judges' comments for Book Club

Winner                                                  INSTITUTION WEBSITE
Dempsey's People: A folio of British street portraits
1824-1844                                               LEVEL A
National Portrait Gallery, Canberra
Brett Wiencke (National Portrait Gallery)               Highly Commended
                                                        The new Public Record Office Victoria website
EXHIBITION CATALOGUE (SMALL)                            Public Record Office Victoria, Melbourne
                                                        Kate Follington, Project Manager (Public Record Office
LEVEL A                                                 Victoria) and Dave Morony, Designer (Fluid)

Highly Commended                                        BAMM
BLOOD: Attract & Repel                                  (
Science Gallery Melbourne, Melbourne                    BAMM - Bank Art Museum Moree
Ford + Nicol                                            Headjam

Board Sheet                                             Winner
Lake Macquarie City Art Gallery, Lake Macquarie         Botanic Gardens and Centennial Parklands
Stephen Goddard (Project Two)                           (
                                                        Royal Botanic Garden Sydney, Sydney
Winner and Best in Show (Publication)                   Ram Bhat (Royal Botanic Garden Sydney)
Book Club (pictured)
Lake Macquarie City Art Gallery, Lake Macquarie
Stephen Goddard (Project Two)                           INVITATION

LEVEL B                                                 LEVEL A

Highly Commended                                        Highly Commended
Love is - Australian Wedding Fashion                    MAGNT Fundraising Dinner 2017
Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences, Sydney             Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory,
Filip Bartkowiak and Lucy McGinley (Museum of Applied   Darwin
Arts and Sciences)                                      Maria Mosquera Design + Illustration and Museum and Art
                                                        Gallery of the Northern Territory
16 Museums Galleries Australia Magazine – Vol. 26(2) – Autumn-Winter 2018

Museums Australasia Multimedia & Publication Design Awards 2018

                                                                                              Winner and Best in Show (Multimedia)
                                                                                              Tjungunutja film
                                                                                              Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory
                                                                                              David Nixon (Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern

                                                                                              LEVEL B

                                                                                              ACMI Code Breakers Steph Plays
                                                                                              ACMI, Melbourne
                                                                                              Field Carr & Rob Cordiner (ACMI Design)

                                                                                              PROGRAM WEBSITE

                                                                                              LEVEL A
                                                                                              Highly Commended
                                   LEVEL A                                                    National Quilt Register
                                   Highly Commended                                           National Wool Museum, Geelong
                                   Muse                                                       Nathan George (Pixeld)
                                   University of Sydney (Sydney University Museums)
                                   Brand and Marketing Services (Marketing and                Winner
                                   Communications) (University of Sydney)                     City Collection website
                                   Winners                                                    City Gallery, Melbourne
                                   JAM Magazine                                               Laura Cornhill (Studio Binocular)
                                   JamFactory, Adelaide
                                   Sophie Guiney (JamFactory)                                 LEVEL B

                                   Bulletin (B.187, B.188, B.189, B.190) (pictured)           Highly Commended
                                   Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu                Collections Care Manual
                                   Aaron Beehre; Editorial design: Ilam School of Fine Arts   (
                                   Graphic Design Department                                  Western Australian Museum, Perth
                                                                                              Digital Services Team (Western Australian Museum)
                                   LEVEL B
                                   Highly Commended                                           Songlines: tracking the Seven Sisters interactive
                                   MAAS Magazine - Winter & Summer                            (
                                   Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences, Sydney                National Museum of Australia, Canberra
                                   Filip Bartkowiak (Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences)     Jasmin Wong, Andy McCray, Nick Binnington (Icelab)

                                   Winner                                                     Starstruck: Australian Movie Portraits
                                   Portrait, issues 56 to 58                                  (
                                   National Portrait Gallery, Canberra                        National Portrait Gallery and National Film and Sound
                                   Brett Wiencke (National Portrait Gallery)                  Archive, Canberra
                                                                                              SOAP Creative

                                   LEVEL A
                                                                                              LEVEL A
                                   Highly Commended
                                   TiNA 2017 Promotional Video.                               Winner
                                   Octapod - TiNA (This is Not Art), Newcastle                16 Days of Activism Free to be Every Me
                                   Headjam                                                    Warrnambool Art Gallery
                                                                                              Sinéad Murphy (Lovelock Studio)
Museums Galleries Australia Magazine – Vol. 26(2) – Autumn-Winter 2018 17

The challenges of good catalogue design for museum exhibitions

How to win a MAPDA for catalogue design

Suzie Campbell with Brendan O'Donnell, Brett                  is the usual metaphor for how our catalogue needs
Wiencke, Jude Savage and Rick Cochrane                        to sell. In fact, they’ve already forecast the total

                                                              sales essential to the success of the show, which —
  f you too were disappointed when it turned out              coupled with tickets – is now the keystone of the
  the reports of the death of Facebook were greatly           whole exhibition budget. That profit margin has
  exaggerated then you, like us, probably get a thrill        predetermined the unit cost of our catalogue well
  when a fine publication is available at the conclusion      in advance — so, best to tell the offshore printer to
  of a satisfying exhibition experience.                      sharpen their pencil. But hey, no pressure!
  The MAPDAs, awarded for museums’ and galleries’               Our museum’s director is writing her foreword
print and digital design work put out in 2017,                and asking us at the same time when our catalogue
were judged in April. So, while we waited for the             will be back from the printer. She can’t wait to send
announcement of the winners at the annual National            complimentary copies out to her rival directors — it’s
Conference in June — for the highly commended,                a form of sanctioned skiting in the gallery game.
all the category winners, who got the gong for ‘Best            The presenting partner also gets a foreword, and
in Show’ — and anticipated what the best of 2017              a swag of free copies for their office’s many coffee
in design would look like, there were some wider              tables. Their Business Development department has
conundrums.                                                   stitched up that deal — but they’re not sure who'll be
   Let’s consider: ‘Who does the graphic designer             writing the sponsor's bit yet — stay tuned.
design for?’ How about imagining we're the graphic              The museum’s marketing department wants to send
designer of that ‘servant of many masters’, the               copies of our catalogue out with the comp tickets to
exhibition catalogue.                                         get the exhibition reviewed. (Don’t get our design
   First of all there’s the curator. They’ll want to          hopes too high, though — we know the reviewer won’t
present their research (read: hard work and brilliant         even mention our catalogue’s design in the article.)
insights); and don’t forget, this could be their                The library wants exchange and deposit copies
magnum opus — years in the making on a treasured              to mail out — and we need to remember that a big
subject. They’ve written the lead essay (as big as a          catalogue costs more to post.
small thesis), and they’ve probably commissioned                And we haven’t even mentioned the visitor to the
a couple of essays from other notables in the field.          exhibition yet, or what their purchase rate is likely to
When requesting loans, they’ve told the lenders from          be. Let’s ask ourselves again, ‘Who are we designing
international collections that there’s going to be a          for?’
major publication accompanying the show, and that               It turns out, we’re not really designing for anyone
their work will feature in a full-page, full-colour plate,    specifically. We’re packaging content, conveying the
with an extended caption.                                     message, choosing the means for the meaning. We’re
   Now the head of commercial operations is on the            arranging type, form, and image. We’re trained
phone wanting to try for pre-sales (‘Can we get an            to deploy the language of design in the service of
image of the cover up on the website?’). ‘Hot cakes’          communication, and we well know our institution’s
                                                              vernacular. We are designing for meaning. And, if we
                                                              get it right, no-one will notice in the end. Great design
                                                              remains hidden in plain sight.
                                                                So, the next time a curator or director or marketing
                                                              wonk says they want to see three ideas for poster
                                                              designs, or three concepts for a room brochure, or
                                                              three versions of that invitation, we'll be firm and say,
                                                                Why? Firstly, we're not working for Don Draper.
                                                              And secondly, there is only one great design
                                                              response, not several versions of pretty good. We
                                                              are professionals, and along the way we’ve made
                                                              hundreds of choices, and iterated, presented, and
                                                              scrunched up and thrown into the bin all those half-
                                                              good ideas.
                                                                That’s how we worked out the right one. And that's
                                                              the one we’ll present — and that's the one that just
                                                              might win ‘Best in show’ at the next MAPDAs.                                      left: 2017 Best in Show winning
                                                                See you there. [ ]                                                              Exhibition Catalogue from
                                                                                                                                                Auckland Art Gallery Toi o
                                                                                                                                                Tāmaki’s Gottfried Lindauer's New
                                                             Text citation: MAPDA Judges, ‘How to win a MAPDA for catalogue design’, Museums    Zealand — The Māori Portraits
                                                             Galleries Australia Magazine, Vol. 26(2), Museums Galleries Australia, Canberra,   (a collaborative design between
                                                             Autumn–Winter 2018, p. 17.                                                         Neil Pardington (Base Two) and
                                                                                                                                                Auckland University Press.
18 Museums Galleries Australia Magazine – Vol. 26(2) – Autumn-Winter 2018

Museums & Galleries National Awards 2018

MAGNA 2018

The MAGNAs are sponsored by:                 he Museums & Galleries National Awards, or         Sisters custodians from across the Central and
                                             MAGNAs, were first awarded in 2011, and have       Western deserts. The elders were compelled by an
                                             gone from strength to strength. The MAGNAs         urgent need to track the songlines, and preserve the
                                             recognise excellent work nationally in the         knowledge of their communities.
                                             categories of exhibition, public programs            The exhibition itself was hugely popular. Visitor
                                     and Indigenous projects. The MAGNAs are open               feedback indicates the exhibition’s power to
                                     to all Australian cultural collecting institutions         transform people’s thinking, and supports its claim as
                                     who are members of Museums Galleries Australia.            a pioneering exhibition about foundational Australian
                                     These awards set out to encourage the continuous           history. The Songlines project demonstrated what
                                     improvement and development of Australian                  can be gained through handing the authority of
                                     museums and galleries; to inspire and recognise            interpretation to those who best understand what
                                     best practice and innovation in the collecting sector;     they need to convey.
                                     and to enhance the profile of museums and galleries
                                     in local and wider communities. The awards were            INTERPRETATION, LEARNING &
                                     presented at a ceremony, hosted by comedian Andrew         AUDIENCE ENGAGEMENT
                                     McClelland, at the Meat Market in Melbourne, as part
                                     of the MGA2018 National Conference.                        Level 1

                                                                                                Highly Commended
                                     NATIONAL WINNER                                            Canberra Museum and Gallery
                                                                                                The Art Box
                                       The National Winner is selected from all the
                                     winning entries from each level of each category. The      National Wool Museum + Barking Spider Visual Theatre
                                     2018 National Winner went to the National Museum           In the Shadows of Giants
                                     of Australia, Canberra, for Songlines: Tracking the
                                     Seven Sisters. Songlines took visitors on a journey        South Australian Museum, Adelaide
                                     across the Australian desert in an Aboriginal-led          Young Explorers Early Years Learning Program
                                     exhibition about the epic Seven Sisters Dreaming.
                                     The exhibition included stunning artworks, a state-        Winner
                                     of-the-art digital dome and a vibrant art centre. The      Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne
top:Margo Neale accepting the        project was the first of its kind, attempting to tell in   Sidney Nolan Unmasked
award on behalf of the National      an exhibition space an Indigenous founding narrative       Level 2
Museum of Australia for Songlines:
Tracking the Seven Sisters, which    by using Indigenous ways of passing on knowledge.
was awarded National Winner at       The project was initiated in 2010 by Anangu Elders         Highly Commended
the 2018 MAGNAs. Photo: Joel         from the APY (Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara)       Australian National Maritime Museum, Sydney
Checkley, Tiny Empire Collective.
                                     Lands in central Australia and led by senior Seven         War & Peace in the Pacific 75
Museums Galleries Australia Magazine – Vol. 26(2) – Autumn-Winter 2018 19

                                                         INDIGENOUS PROJECT OR KEEPING
Winner                                                   PLACE
National Portrait Gallery, Canberra
Headhunt!                                                Level 1

Level 4                                                  Winner
                                                         John Curtin Gallery, Perth
Highly Commended                                         Virtual Field Trips through the Carrolup Collection
Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery, Launceston
The First Tasmanians: Our Story                          Level 2

PERMANENT EXHIBITION OR GALLERY                          Australian National Maritime Museum, Sydney
FITOUT                                                   Gapu-Monuk Saltwater: Journey to Sea Country

Level 1                                                  Level 3

Highly Commended                                         Winner
Holdfast Bay History Centre, City of Holdfast Bay, SA    Queensland Museum, Brisbane
Cabinet of Curiosities                                   unsettle

Level 2                                                  Level 4

Highly Commended                                         Highly Commended
Migration Museum, Adelaide                               Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery, Launceston
Superdiversity: Migration in the twenty-first century    The First Tasmanians: Our Story

Law Society of Western Australia, Perth                  Winner
Small Court House, Big Stories                           Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory
                                                         Tjungunutja: from having come together
Australian War Memorial, Canberra
Art of nation

Level 3

Highly Commended
Sydney Jewish Museum
The Holocaust and Human Rights

Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House
PlayUP – the right to have an opinion and be heard

Level 4

Highly Commended
Arts Centre Melbourne
Australian Music Vault

Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery, Launceston
The First Tasmanians: Our Story

Museums Victoria, Melbourne                                                                                               left: Alethea Beetson from Digi

Ground Up: Building Big Ideas, Together                                                                                   Youth Arts accepted the award for
                                                                                                                          unsettle and called for a moment
                                                                                                                          of silence for their ‘ancestors
                                                                                                                          currently being held in museums
                                                                                                                          and institutions in Australia and
                                                                                                                          all around the world’. Photo: Joel
                                                                                                                          Checkley, Tiny Empire Collective.
20 Museums Galleries Australia Magazine – Vol. 26(2) – Autumn-Winter 2018

Museums & Galleries National Awards 2018

right: Valerie Napaljarri Martin       SUSTAINABILITY
from PAW Media who produced
the original Bush Mechanics series
and worked with National Motor         Level 2
Museum on the development
of the exhibition travelled from       Highly Commended
Yuendumu, NT, to accept the
award for Level 3 Temporary or         Museums Victoria, Melbourne
Travelling Exhibition. Photo: Joel     Collection Risk Assessment and Management Initiative
Checkley, Tiny Empire Collective.

bottom:  In 2015 the National          Level 4
Museum of Australia collaborated
with Tjanpi Desert Weavers to
create a significant and unique        Winner
work inspired by the Seven             The Sovereign Hill Museums Association, Ballarat
Sisters songlines. More than           Sustainability Initiatives Program
400 Aboriginal women of the
Ngaanyatjarra Pitjantjatjara
Yankunytjatjara (NPY) Women’s
Council, from across some 350,000
square kilometres of the Central
                                       TEMPORARY OR TRAVELLING
and Western desert region, work        EXHIBITION                                             Winner
with Tjanpi Desert Weavers,                                                                   Immigration Museum, Melbourne
usually making baskets and             Level 1                                                They Cannot Take the Sky: Stories From Detention
smaller sculptural works. They
are also known for their life-sized
sculptural groups and installations.   Highly Commended                                       Level 3
The Tjanpi Desert Weavers              Hurstville Museum & Gallery, Hurstville
created these sculptures with          All things great and small                             Highly Commended
artists from Papulankutja, in
the Blackstone Ranges between                                                                 Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, Hobart
the Western and Great Victoria         Winner                                                 The Remarkable Tasmanian Devil
deserts. During a two-week camp        Islamic Museum of Australia, Melbourne
at Kuru Ala, a remote Seven Sisters
site in Western Australia, 14 Tjanpi   Between Inscription & Gesture                          Winner
weavers wove the Seven Sisters                                                                National Motor Museum, Birdwood SA
into life. They then moved to a        Level 2                                                Bush Mechanics: the exhibition
campsite just outside Papulankutja
to finish the Tjanpi Sisters. Each
figure was made by two artists.        Highly Commended                                       Level 4
For many of the figures, a senior      Maitland Regional Art Gallery
artist paired with a younger
emerging artist so that the act of     Lionel's Place                                         Highly Commended
creation was also one of passing                                                              South Australian Museum, Adelaide
on skills to a future generation       Mosman Art Gallery, Sydney                             Yidaki: didjeridu and the sound of Australia
of Tjanpi artists. Photo: Annieka
Skinner, Tjanpi Desert Weavers.        Tokkotai | Contemporary Australian and Japanese
                                       Artists on War and the Battle of Sydney Harbour        Winner
                                                                                              National Museum of Australia, Canberra
                                       Tasmania Museum and Art Gallery, Hobart                Songlines: Tracking the Seven Sisters [ ]
                                       The Derwent
Museums Galleries Australia Magazine – Vol. 26(2) – Autumn-Winter 2018 21

Building Indigenous employment, safe spaces, and reciprocal, respectful relationships with communities

Indigenous 10-Year Roadmap for Museums
Galleries Australia: 2018 update

                             Terri Janke and Sarah Grant                                3. Where are we now?

                                                                                          An urgent question from the start of our project has
                                                                                        been: How do things stand right now?
                             1. Introduction                                              It soon became clear that there is a serious disjunct

                                                                                        between how museums and galleries represent their
                                    erri Janke and Company have been                    Indigenous engagement and how Indigenous people
                                    commissioned by Museums Galleries Australia         themselves want to be represented and engaged. At
                                    to undertake the MGA Indigenous Roadmap             the heart of this situation are different value systems:
                                    Project. The Project is an eighteen-month           one is based on a knowledge system that values
                                    assignment that has been looking at how             objects, and the other is based on the living culture,
top:   Terri Janke.          Indigenous people are represented in museums and           the relationships, the processes.
above:   Sarah Grant.        galleries, and how they are engaged in the sector.           Many people have said that Australian museums
Photos: Jamie James, James   This understanding will help in developing a 10-year       started out well in the 1990s in their approach to
Photographic Services.       Roadmap for the future. The aim is to get to a place       improving Indigenous participation and engagement
                             where there is a seamless recognition of Indigenous        in museums. There has been some exceptionally good
                             participation at all levels of museum and gallery          work that has come about due to the policies Previous
                             practice, and that this extends across the sector          Possessions, New Obligations (PPNO) of 1993, and the
                             nationally.                                                consultatively revised version, Continuing Cultures,
                               The Roadmap project was funded by a Catalyst             Ongoing Responsibilities (CCOR) of 2005. The positive
                             grant from the Commonwealth government, and we             progress has included significant permanent and
                             are working with an Indigenous Advisory Group as           temporary exhibitions which have set high standards
                             guides to shape our progress. All can find out about       for presenting Indigenous viewpoints.
                             what we are doing by going to the project website —          However, many people felt that the increased
                                              participation and engagement has been sporadic
                                                                                        or piecemeal. There is a sense that the general
                                                                                        momentum and effort of the 1990s has subsided,
                             2. The consultation process                                leaving only a handful of committed players today.
                                                                                          When Indigenous people in the sector were
                               Extensive consultation is key to this project. We        consulted, they spoke about how the changes are
                             have met with many people around the country,              not sufficiently systemic. They are not working right
                             including bodies such as the Council of Australian         across institutions or the sector, but often consist of
                             Museum Directors (CAMD) and Indigenous advisory            limited actions, cultural safety and tokenism.
                             committees of cultural institutions. We have also            For non-Indigenous professionals working in
                             heard from experts from abroad. Meanwhile we               the sector, many were supportive of Indigenous
                             have conducted 12 public workshops including               viewpoints and were champions for change — they
                             in Perth, the Sunshine Coast, Brisbane, Adelaide,          were doing their bit in their own areas. Others
                             Melbourne and Hobart, to achieve broad feedback.           consulted noted resistance to the affirmative action
                             We have prepared an extensive literature review as         changes, which are often misunderstood. There is
                             background, and conducted a survey and audit of            a recognised need for new sets of skills required
                             major institutions. The results are all available on the   for Indigenous engagement, but these are not being
                             MGA website.                                               taught at universities. There is also a fear — often
                               The results from these varied consultations have         stemming from lack of knowledge — of doing the
                             been used as the foundations for the Roadmap. The          wrong thing with the wrong people; a fear of seeking
                             present article discusses some findings and alludes to     consent or consulting in inappropriate ways. The
                             likely recommendations. Any further thoughts on the        complex protocols, and the difficult social, cultural
                             findings to date would be well received by Terri Janke     and political landscapes involved often exacerbate
                             and Company. Contacts are welcome at , if readers have any additional         the processes, contacts, or protocols appropriate to
                             thoughts or recommendations.                               consultation — particularly in smaller institutions — is
                                                                                        also a factor.
22   Museums Galleries Australia Magazine – Vol. 26(2) – Autumn-Winter 2018

Building Indigenous employment, safe spaces, and reciprocal, respectful relationships with communities

                                                                                              Indigenous stories within stories being told
     Cultural material is incredibly                                                          of ‘national’ history. The way we can do this in
                                                                                              museums is by effective engagement with Indigenous
     important to Indigenous                                                                  communities, transforming the way we do things from
                                                                                              an objects-based focus to a relationships-based focus.
     communities, and demonstrating                                                             3.2. Engagement
     understanding and respecting its                                                           How do museums engage with Indigenous people?
     value should be central to museums’                                                      26% of museums and galleries rate their engagement
                                                                                              with Indigenous people as ‘Excellent’, with 51%
     and galleries’ policies and programs                                                     saying ‘Fair’ and 22% ‘Poor’. Museums engage
                                                                                              Indigenous people in various ways: by having RAPS,
                                                                                              outreach projects, employment programs, internships,
                                                                                              and Indigenous advisory groups. However, in the
                                                                                              recent audit, 85% of Indigenous people said that
                                      Returning to the varied experiences of Indigenous       they wanted a deeper engagement. Meanwhile, the
                                    communities: many spoke about museums and                 consultations across the country have provided strong
                                    galleries as colonial institutions. They wanted to        indications of what this deeper engagement would
                                    know what’s inside collections, how they can get          mean.
                                    access to them, how they might repatriate ancestral
                                    remains and important objects, and generally see            3.3. Employment
                                    collections interpreted with their own stories and
                                    understandings. Returning material to country               Increasing Indigenous employment has been a
                                    for purposes of cultural revitalisation was a key         central concern of many policy documents across the
                                    aspiration. However, conditions for such return can       sector over the last 25 years. It is worrying, then, that
                                    be strict on the one hand and lack uniformity on the      employment still remains at the forefront of so many
                                    other.                                                    museum and gallery people’s concerns. Our surveys
                                      Lack of access to funding for in situ collections on    suggest that people are right to be concerned: 59% of
                                    country is another barrier. Digitisation presents an      respondents to our Audit report noted that they had
                                    opportunity for reconnecting cultural knowledge           no Indigenous staff at all, while 79% of museums and
                                    and authority to objects, country, ancestors and their    galleries recorded having no Indigenous staff at an
                                    descendant communities today. However, there is a         executive level.
                                    lack of institutional coordination around digitisation.     Further to this, grievances were voiced among
                                    Meanwhile, it may be useful to develop a set of           Indigenous people around working environments.
                                    protocols for putting information up online — and for     The staff that are in museums and galleries don’t
                                    taking it down when required.                             always feel supported. Cultural safety is a big issue
                                      So where are we now? What representation and            for many. They have unique roles, as being part of
                                    engagement do we currently have in operation?             the Indigenous community while also working for
                                                                                              museums and galleries — and for many Indigenous
                                       3.1. Representation                                    people outside museums this opens up a long history
                                                                                              of distrust. Indigenous people working in museums
                                      On the issue of representation, the Roadmap audit       and galleries have strong emotional connections
                                    asked the question: How would you rate Australian         with community, and there are fundamental social
                                    museums and galleries in the way that they represent      and cultural reasons why they work in the sector:
                                    Indigenous material (culture, history and art)?           for cultural maintenance; for righting the wrongs of
                                    Encouragingly, 40% of respondents said museums            the past; and for enabling cultural connections and
                                    and galleries are doing ‘Good to Excellent’ work. Yet,    Indigenous voices to be heard in the stories conveyed
                                    disturbingly, just under a quarter of respondents felt    by museums to wider audiences.
                                    museums and galleries’ performance is ‘Poor’ in this
                                      Representation of Indigenous history must also          4. Limitations of the current approach
                                    embrace a recognition that this is a history that is
                                    often hard to tell — filled as it was with experience       Currently, the Indigenous engagement that is
                                    of massacres, stolen generations, abusive policy and      occurring is on a surface level. There is a heavy
                                    general violence. However, museums and galleries          reliance on individuals, who are not supported
                                    should be encouraged to embrace these histories,          adequately in a museum context. Meanwhile
                                    recognising the need for such traumatic stories to be     engagement often occurs transactionally — when the
                                    told in order for reconciliation and healing to take      museum or gallery has an idea or a particular issue
                                    place.                                                    raising engagement — rather than institutionally
                                      There is a general need for us to amplify the           embraced on a continuing policy basis. Engagement
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