Just Released: Local Government and Cultural Collections Report

Posted 1st June, 2016


We're delighted to announce the release of our 'Local Government and Cultural Collections in Victoria' report.

The report is the first of its kind in Victoria and is the culmination of a two-year research project into Victorian local government activities with art, public art, history, and civic collections. All 79 Victorian councils participated in the project.

The report illuminates the important contributions to Victorian cultural life made by council collection activities, and identifies opportunities for enhancing this work. It includes findings about council collections and displays, and draws attention to how councils assist community collecting groups such as Historical Societies. The report also brings to light some of the challenges faced by council staff working with cultural collections, and recommends actions and resources to help councils make the most of the cultural collections they care for.

The report is being launched today at our Local Government Collections Custodians Networking event.

> Download the full report

Cover image
: Australian made commercial ceramic. From the Shepparton Art Museum (SAM) collection. On display at the SAM exhibition 'Cornucopia', 27 February - 22 May 2016. Photo: Chris Hawking.

Green Museum Project Training: Call for Expressions of Interest

Posted 25th May, 2016

The Green Museum Project is a new sustainability initiative developed by MA (Vic) and made possible by the generous support of Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation with additional support from Creative Victoria.

Commencing July 2016, our Green Museum Project Manager will be offering practical training in Melbourne and regional hubs to staff and volunteers of Victorian museums and galleries on preventive conservation and environmental sustainability practices.

Workshop participants will gain the tools and knowledge to reduce energy use, save money, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve lighting facilities, reduce the risk of collections to light and ultraviolet damage, and position their organisation as a local leader in sustainability.

Participants will be trained on how to:

  • Conduct an energy and lighting audit to establish baseline measures.
  • Measure and adjust exhibition and display lighting to meet conservation standards.
  • Ensure long-term preservation of collection material through object rotation schedules.
  • Create and implement an Environmental Sustainability Policy.
  • Design an Action Plan for sustainable operations.

We are now calling for expressions of interest from organisations interested in taking part in the Green Museum Project training program. Expressions of interest close 15 June.

> Go to the Green Museum Project page for more info and to register your interest


The Green Museum Project is generously supported by Lord Mayor's Charitable Foundation and Creative Victoria.

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Registration Now Open: Victorian Museums & Galleries Conference 2016

Posted 18th May, 2016


Registration is now open for the Victorian Museums & Galleries Conference 2016.

The Conference will be held in beautiful Phillip Island at the Cowes Cultural Centre on 6 and 7 October.

Under the central theme of Future-proofing, the Conference will consider the challenges facing museums and galleries, and focus on innovative ways to achieve financial, social, and environmental sustainability.

The event will include traditional keynotes, interactive discussions, lightning talks, focused parallel sessions, and a discussion panel.

An optional pre-Conference get-together will take place on Wednesday 5 October in the evening, and a Cocktail Dinner will be held on Thursday 6 October at Churchill Island Heritage Farm.

Detailed speaker and program information will be added to the Conference webpage as we progress with our planning.

> View the Conference webpage

> Super Earlybird now available for MA members (save $120 over the standard Member rate – be quick, Super Earlybird registration closes 30 May 2016 and numbers are strictly limited!)

Tickets are priced to encourage membership of Museums Australia.
> Become a member

: Parallel Session, 'Experience', at the 2015 Victorian Museums & Galleries Forum, Melbourne Museum. By Joel Checkley.

The 2015 MA (Vic) Annual Report Is Here!

Posted 27th April, 2016


The 2015 MA (Vic) Annual Report is now available online. Download your copy and get the full details about what our various programs have achieved last year, our financials, who our partners and supporters are, and much more.

2015 highlights include:

  • 1,166 people attending our workshops, seminars, and other professional development and sector events.
  • 755,993 visits to our website and 36,642 total views for our online training videos.
  • 5 museums involved in the Roving Curator program.
  • Our Roving Curator provided advice and support for the (re)development of 4 permanent and temporary exhibitions.
  • 4 issues of INSITE Magazine.
  • 98 museums participating in the peer review Museum Accreditation program (MAP).
  • 5,763 kilometers travelled by our MAP Managers to visit organisations throughout Victoria.
  • 24 Victorian Collections cataloguing workshops attended by 322 people.
  • More than 15,000 items uploaded to the Victorian Collections catalogue, bringing the total number of objects on Victorian Collections to 74,000+.

> Download the 2015 Annual Report

Now Calling for Nominations: Victorian Museum Awards 2016

Posted 21st March, 2016


We're very excited to announce that nominations for the 2016 Victorian Museum Awards are now open.

The Awards recognise and celebrate individuals and organisations whose commitment and passion contribute to the excellence of the Victorian museum and gallery sector.

The nomination process is simple, free, and open to both members and non-members, so why not nominate? Nominations are invited in the following categories:


  • Museums Australia (Victoria) Award for Excellence (Volunteer)
  • Museums Australia (Victoria) Award for Excellence (Paid Staff)

Individual award winners receive a professional development pack valued at over $400.


  • Archival Survival Award for Volunteer-Run Museums (up to 1 EFT paid staff) – Prize: archival supplies valued at $1,000
  • Archival Survival Award for Small Museums (2-7 paid staff) – Prize: archival supplies valued at $1,000
  • Museums Australia (Victoria) Award for Medium Museums (8-50 Paid Staff)
  • Museums Australia (Victoria) Award for Large Museums (51+ paid staff)

> Guidelines and nomination forms

Nominations close Friday 20 May. We look forward to receiving your entries!

Photo: State Library Victoria facade (by Andrew Lloyd, courtesy State Library Victoria). The 2016 Awards Ceremony will be held at the Library on Thursday 14 July.

Just Released: MA (Vic) Annual Program 2016

Posted 8th February, 2016


Our Annual Program for 2016 is here, packed with professional development and networking opportunities for the Victorian museum and gallery community.

This year the Victorian Museums & Galleries Conference returns and will bring together MA members and the wider sector in Phillip Island around the theme 'Futureproofing'. Sessions will consider the challenges facing museums and galleries and innovative ways to become sustainable.

A new series of workshops and seminars, Museum Practice, generously supported by the R E Ross Trust, will be focusing on preventative conservation, museum governance, and financial sustainability.

Other highlights include an exhibition viewing and curator's talk of 'Andy Warhol & Ai Weiwei' (NGV), a behind-the-scenes tour of the Melbourne Museum studios and workshop areas, an in-depth masterclass on loans and deaccessioning, Victorian Collections workshops, the Victorian Museum Awards, and much more.

> Click here to view the full program

We look forward to seeing you at one of our events!

Museums Australia (Victoria) is supported by the Victorian Government through Creative Victoria.


Recipients Announced for the 2016 Roving Curator Program

Posted 7th December, 2015


We're delighted to announce the Roving Curator Program participants for 2016!

The Roving Curator Program supports the development of quality cultural exhibitions in Victoria. The program provides small museums and galleries with exhibition development assistance from MA (Vic)'s Roving Curator, including several days of professional on-site advice as well as follow-up support.

There was strong competition this year with a record number of applicants and the Exhibition Services Advisory Sub-Committee had some difficult choices to make. The four successful applicants are:

City of Moorabbin Historical Society for assistance with the development of a display highlighting the works of sculptor August Rietman, monument carver of WW1 memorials, who lived and worked in the original Box Cottage from 1917 to 1951.

Emerald Museum and Nobelius Heritage Park for advice on developing a contemporary high quality exhibition about the nationally significant Carl Axel Nobelius/Gembrook Nursery archive.

Tatura Irrigation & Wartime Camps Museum for advice on enhancing interpretation for the permanent exhibition on the WWII internment camps in the Tatura area.

Upper Yarra Valley Historical Society for advice about current display facilities and assistance with planning a temporary exhibition.

An information session with tips for applying to the next round of the Roving Curator Program will be held on Thursday 18 August 2016, 12.30pm - 1.30pm, at Melbourne Museum – email Sarah Craven for more information.

Congratulations to all!


The Roving Curator Program is supported by the Victorian Government through Creative Victoria.


Image: Sketch by Winkler, Camp 3. From the collection of the Tatura Irrigation & Wartime Camps Museum.

Exhibition Opening: 'Mini, Maxi & More: Styles of the 1970s'

Posted 20th October, 2015


We're very excited to announce the opening of 'Mini, Maxi & More: Styles of the 1970s', an exhibition designed and curated by the Benalla Historical Society with the support of MA (Vic)'s Roving Curator Program.

The exhibition features outfits and accessories from the Benalla Costume and Kelly Museum collection, plus photographs and stories of Benalla's local 1970s fashion escapades.

Mini, Maxi & More: Styles of the 1970s
Opens Sunday 25 October, 5pm – with Guest speaker Mrs Pauline Messenger
Dress Code: 1970s inspired
Entry: Museum members $5, non-members $8
Address: Benalla Costume and Kelly Museum, 14 Mair Street, Benalla VIC 3672

: Benalla Fashion House, c. 1970s, from the collection of the Benalla Costume and Kelly Museum.

The Roving Curator Program is supported by the Victorian Government through Creative Victoria.


Applications Now Open: Roving Curator Program 2016

Posted 11th August, 2015


Are you looking for professional assistance on an exhibition idea or project? Would you like to develop your team’s exhibition skills? The Roving Curator Program could be your answer!

The Roving Curator Program provides small museums and galleries with exhibition development assistance, including several days on-site advice as well as follow-up support. See guidelines for the types of projects and support available.

Applications are now open and close 13 October 2015.

> Guidelines and application form

For further information or to discuss your application, please contact Kitty Owens, Manager, Exhibition Services, on 03 8341 7342 or by email.

Image: Roving Curator Kitty Owens working with Uta Wiltshire, Secretary/Treasurer of Wodonga Historical Society, on the exhibition "Discovered: The Louis Hauesler Photographs and Family Collection". The exhibition will be showing at Arts Space Wodonga from September 4 to September 26, 2015.

The Roving Curator Program is supported by the Victorian Government through Creative Victoria.


Winners Announced: Victorian Museum Awards 2015

Posted 7th August, 2015


The 2015 Victorian Museum Awards were held on Thursday 6 August in the Clemenger auditorium at the National Gallery of Victoria. Hosted by the multi-talented performer, actor, and writer, Tegan Higginbotham, the Ceremony also featured special guests Martin Foley MP, Minister for Creative Industries, Emily McCulloch Childs, Co-Director of McCulloch & McCulloch, and Andrew Abbott, Deputy Secretary, Creative Victoria.

The Victorian Museum Awards celebrate the wonderful achievements of the museum and gallery sector. This year the celebration kicked off with drinks and canapés in NGV's stunning Persimmon dining room.



2015 Victorian Museum Awards Recipients

Museums Australia (Victoria) Individual Award for Excellence (Volunteer)

John Lindsay

John received the Award for his outstanding contribution over 42 years as a founding member and driving force behind the creation of the Accredited Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village in Warrnambool (FHMV). John drove the development of the FHMV Master Plan that included the restoration of the Lady Bay Lighthouses and Warrnambool Garrison, and the development of a maritime museum and village overlooking Lady Bay. The judges recognised John for his strong political lobbying over time and were impressed with his support for a recent major deaccession from the collection, which demonstrated that he was able to deal with the difficult decisions museums have to make to be sustainable and relevant.

Highly Commended: Paul Fuller (ACMI) and Michelle Stevenson (National Alpine Museum of Australia)


Museums Australia (Victoria) Individual Award for Excellence (Paid Staff)

Due to the outstanding quality of nominations, two Awards were given out this year:

Geoffrey Edwards
Geoffrey received the Award for his outstanding contribution in developing the significant collection at the Geelong Art Gallery over his 15 years as Director. The collection numbers over 5,500 works of art including $7 million of new acquisitions secured through ambitious fundraising programs. These new acquisitions in a range of media have enhanced the Gallery’s holdings of images of Geelong and the wider region. Geoffrey has led the management of numerous programs including conservation initiatives, improved storage facilities, an online database, a bequests program known as the Hitchcock Society, and capital works. The judges recognised Geoffrey's amazing contribution, over his career, to the Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museum sector.

Deborah Tout-Smith
Deborah Tout-Smith received the Award for her work on the exemplary Love & Sorrow exhibition at Melbourne Museum, and for involving people and communities. As lead Curator for Love & Sorrow, Deborah used soldiers’ diaries from Museum Victoria’s collection to make contact with descendants, collect their stories for the exhibition, and reveal the personal and generational impact of war. The judges recognised Deborah’s commitment to this project and her use of personal voices to create an exhibition that is vastly different from traditional displays memorialising war. The judges praised her for: tirelessly mobilising staff and volunteers, forming specialist advisory groups to acquire and further document the collection, and for her contribution to delivering related lectures, symposiums and public programs.



Members of the Caulfield RSL Sub-Branch receive the Archival Survival Award for Small Museums from Martin Hallett (left), Senior Arts Officer, Creative Victoria.

Archival Survival Award for Volunteer-Run Museums

The Phillip Island and District Historical Society
The Historical Society has received the Award for the Phillip Island and San Remo Oral History Radio Project. Working with the South Gippsland Community Radio Station 3MFM, the Phillip Island and District Historical Society produced a series of 17 talks about the area for broadcast. The Society’s Secretary, Christine Grayden, co-ordinated the project with assistance from a Public Records Office of Victoria (PROV) Local History Grant. The judges were delighted to award this beautifully conceived and delivered project. They thought it was innovative in its use of contemporary media and its collaborative engagement with people in the wider community. The judges praised the training undertaken by the volunteers, the focus on stories rather than objects, the realisation of the importance of recording intangible heritage, and the fantastic selection of topics. The judges admired the availability and promotion of the stories that made them more accessible. The project was regarded as a wonderful way to involve people in the community.

Highly commended: Kiewa Valley Historical Society


Archival Survival Award for Small Museums

Caulfield RSL Sub-Branch
The Caulfield RSL has received the Award for the Back to Gallipoli exhibition that opened on Anzac Day. Approximately 20,000 visitors to the exhibition were transported back to Turkey in 1915 with recreated Gallipoli trenches, 2,599 sandbags, replicated scenes using wall-mounted photographs, and simulated artillery with hundreds of props. Kevin Sheedy presided over the exhibition’s media launch and commented on 3AW, “I implore everyone to get down to Caulfield RSL and take this amazing exhibition in. You can smell it. One of the best things I’ve seen done anywhere.” The Awards judges were impressed with this timely exhibition and the huge construction effort that took place in a short space of time. They thought the nature of this exhibition was fabulous, that it was contemporary and fresh, that “it had a sense of cinema.” The dedication of the staff and volunteers involved was highly praised. The judges applauded the museum for the visitation levels to the exhibition, the huge number of schools who visited and the level of media attention it received.

Highly Commended: The Johnston Collection



John Tatoulis (middle) and Penni Pappas, receiving the Museums Australia (Victoria) Award for Medium Museums from Hugh Brideson, Arthur J. Gallagher Insurance.



The Museums Australia (Victoria) Award for Medium Museums

The Hellenic Museum

The Museum received the Award for the Gods, Myths and Mortals exhibition launched in September 2014 for display over the next 10 years. In 2013, the Hellenic Museum secured a long-term loan from the Benaki Museum in Athens, Greece. Over 150 artefacts from the Benaki Musuem, spanning 8,000 years of Greek history and culture, relate key moments and aspects of the Greek experience. The Gods, Myths and Mortals exhibition is divided, chronologically, into four periods in a design inspired by the labyrinth, from the myth of Theseus and the Minotaur. The judges recognised the ambitious and complex undertaking of the Hellenic Museum in bringing this exhibition to Melbourne. They were impressed by the quality of the loaned objects and the curatorial ambition and ingenious transformation of the interior spaces of the museum for the new displays. The judges admired the multicultural links that were developed for this exhibition that will be the foundation for future projects.

Highly Commended: Shrine of Remembrance



Adrienne Leith (right) and Priscilla Gaff, Museum Victoria, receiving the Museums Australia (Victoria) Award for Large Museums from Andrew Abbott, Deputy Secretary, Creative Victoria.



Museums Australia (Victoria) Award for Large Museums

Museum Victoria

Museum Victoria received the Award for the Autism Friendly Museum Project, which aims to welcome and include people with an Autism Spectrum Disorder at all three Museum Victoria sites: Melbourne Museum, Scienceworks, and Immigration Museum. Since 2013, Museum Victoria has been working with AMAZE, the peak body for Autism Spectrum people in Victoria, and the Department of Early Childhood Development, to provide staff awareness and training, and online resources including social scripts and sensory maps. The judges were moved by this project and praised the Museum for its initiative in developing it. The judges commended Museum Victoria for working with peak bodies and state networks to achieve a very worthy outcome. "This project takes us into different territory where audiences are being thought of in a more granular way and the special needs of particular groups are now being seriously considered." The project was recognised as ground-breaking and innovative.

Highly Commended: State Library of Victoria


Victorian Collections Awards for Excellence in Museum Cataloguing


Members of the Geelong RSL Sub-Branch.

This year three Victorian Collections Awards for Excellence in Museum Cataloguing were given out. These Awards acknowledge the hard work undertaken by organisations that are cataloguing their military memorabilia collections online using Victorian Collections and are judged on the number of artefacts catalogued, the quality of the records and photographs, and the depth of historical research involved. The recipients are:


Victorian Collections Award for Excellence in Museum Cataloguing (Volunteer-Run Organisations)

Kiewa Valley Historical Society

The Kiewa Valley Historical Society was chosen as winner of the Award for the standard of their records, which was excellent, with detailed historical information and significance statements.


Victorian Collections Award for Excellence in Museum Cataloguing (Organisations with Paid Staff)

Victoria Police Museum

The Victoria Police Museum was chosen as winner of the award for its amazing collection which includes fascinating ‘behind-the-scenes’ images and good historical information.


Victorian Collections Award for Excellence in Museum Cataloguing (Military Memorabilia Collection)


Geelong RSL Sub-Branch
The Geelong RSL was chosen as winner of the award for their outstanding records in terms of their images, historical information, and significance statements.


Museum Accreditation Recipients


Martin Foley MP, Minister for Creative Industries, with staff and volunteers of the Geoffrey Kaye Museum of Anaesthetic History.

Martin Foley MP, Minister for Creative Industries, presented certificates to museums who have completed the gold-standard Museum Accreditation Program: the Duldig Studio Museum + Sculpture Garden, the Geoffrey Kaye Museum of Anaesthetic History, the National Alpine Museum of Australia, and Running Rabbits Military Museum.


Congratulations to all Awards and Accreditation recipients, to all the Highly Commended, and to all the Nominees. The outstanding quality of the nominations received this year testifies to the extraordinary vitality of the Victorian museum and gallery sector.

> Download the 2015 Awards Media Release

For all media enquiries please contact:
Raphael Fiorese, Communications Manager, Museums Australia (Victoria)
Laura Miles, Executive Director, Museums Australia (Victoria)


Thank You to Our 2015 Victorian Museum Awards Sponsors

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Inaugural Victorian Museums & Galleries Forum: Provisional Program Released

Posted 14th July, 2015

We're pleased to unveil the provisional program for the inaugural edition of the Victorian Museums & Galleries Forum.

To be held on Tuesday 15 September at Melbourne Museum, the Forum will consist of a morning plenary session, three parallel sessions, and conclude with a panel discussion. Lunch will be on the Museum plaza with a selection of food trucks to choose from.

The program also includes a special lunchtime networking event for students to meet like-minded people already working in the sector, get helpful hints, and make some great contacts.

Join us afterwards for informal drinks at the Pumphouse Hotel (128 Nicholson Street, Fitzroy) to continue the conversation. First drink is on us!

Bookings are now open. Early bird rates close 21 August and registration starts at $75 for students.

> More info and provisional program

> Book your place now

MAPDA and MAGNA Winners Announced

Posted 1st June, 2015

Winners of the Museums Australia Multimedia & Publication Design Awards (MAPDA) and Museums & Galleries National Awards (MAGNA) were announced last week at the MA National Conference in Sydney. We were delighted to see Victoria so well represented. Congratulations to all Victorian winners:


  • National Wool Museum ('Reminiscence Cottage')
  • Museum Victoria (Field Guide Apps to Australian Fauna and 'WWI Love & Sorrow')
  • The Dax Centre ('Healing Ways: Art with Intent')
  • Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka (M.A.D.E) (Eureka Stockade 160th Anniversary Program)
  • The Gallery @ BACC ('Grommets, Grinds & Gnarly Dudes')


  • Centre for Contemporary Photography ('The Sievers Project')
  • Australian Centre for the Moving Image ('China Up Close' trailer, 'ACMI Year in Review', and ACMI Website)

For the full list of winners and highly commended, check out the MAGNA and MAPDA websites.

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