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.

Announcing Two Exhibitions Curated by Roving Curator Program Participants

Posted 6th May, 2015


We're very excited to announce the opening of two exhibitions designed and curated by recipients of MA (Vic)'s Roving Curator Program: 'Bright New Nation – Talbot’s Leading Lights', and 'They Couldn’t Get Home Quick Enough: B-24 Liberators and the Repatriation of Former POWs, 1945'.

Presented by the B-24 Memorial Liberator Fund, 'They Couldn’t Get Home Quick Enough: B-24 Liberators and the Repatriation of Former POWs, 1945' is a pop-up exhibition to be held in a historic aeroplane hangar in Werribee. The exhibition shows the compassionate role that B-24 Liberator aircraft crews played in the repatriation of POWs from Japanese camps in Southeast Asia at the end of WW2.

The event will include:

  • Display of photographs of former POWs returning to Australia on B-24 flights.
  • Personal stories from ex crew members about transporting the former POWS home; this will be the first time these stories have been presented to the public.
  • Four speakers including ex crew members and a former nurse from a hospital ship.
  • Guided tours of the B-24 Liberator plane onsite (the only one in the Southern Hemisphere), including viewing the conditions inside.

Lyn Gorman, President of the B-24 Memorial Liberator Fund, says that the exhibition was initially inspired by a comment by her father, that she read in an oral history transcript in the National Library of Australia’s archives: "I never ceased to admire the wonderful courage and moral of the POWs that we flew back after the surrender”.

Presented by the Talbot Arts and Historical Museum, 'Bright New Nation – Talbot’s Leading Lights' tells the stories of 25 Talbot locals who, inspired by the possibilities that the Federation would provide for their local community, donated funds to purchase a copy of Charles Nuttall's painting, 'The Opening of Federal Parliament 1901'. The exhibition shows the aspirations and community building activities of a country town at the turn of the century.

 “One of the new things we have done for the exhibition is to construct flexible and demountable display boards using some recycled locally available materials. We also learnt more about the diversity of the community at the time” said Marie Kau, Secretary of the Talbot Arts and Historical Museum.

The B-24 Memorial Liberator Fund and the Talbot Arts and Historical Museum received support from MA (Vic)'s Roving Curator Program for exhibition development and planing.

Image: one of the sponsors of the purchase of the Charles Nuttall's painting, Gunnar Peterson, presumed far left. Peterson opened a pharmacy in Talbot in 1901. Image courtesy of the Camperdown Historical Society.

They Couldn’t Get Home Quick Enough: B-24 Liberators and the Repatriation of Former POWs, 1945
The pop up exhibition special event will take place on 16 May, 10.30am - 12pm, Cnr Farm Road and Princes Highway, Werribee. Costs: $5 per person or $18 per family. Bookings essential as places are limited: (03) 97311263. The event is part of the National Trust Heritage Week festival, which has the theme ‘Conflict and Compassion”.

The display will be up until 31 May, open Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays, 9.30am - 3.30pm. Entry by donation. A booklet of stories by former crew about their role repatriating POWs will be for sale.

Bright New Nation – Talbot’s Leading Lights
Opens Sunday 17 May at 2:00pm
Talbot Arts and Historical Museum
Open: Sundays: 1:00pm - 4:00pm; Tuesdays & Wednesdays: 10:00am - 4:00pm
Address: 17 Camp Street, Talbot VIC 3371
Cost: $5.00 entry
Contact: 03 5463 2167 or


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


The 2014 MA (Vic) Annual Report Is Here!

Posted 21st April, 2015


The 2014 MA (Vic) Annual Report is now available online. Download your copy and get the full details about what our various programs have achieved this year, how we have worked with budget adjustments, who our partners and supporters are, and much more.

2014 highlights include:

  • 79 events attended by 1,905 people.
  • 18 videos on our YouTube channel generating 7,741 views in 2014.
  • 5 museums involved in the Roving Curator program and in the Victoria Then exhibition.
  • 5 issues of INSITE Magazine.
  • 92 museums participating in the peer review Museum Accreditation program (MAP).
  • 5,246 kilometers travelled by MAP Managers to visit organisations throughout Victoria.
  • Number of objects catalogued on Victorian Collections reaches 50,000+.
  • 20 Victorian Collections cataloguing workshops.
  • A new Trove/Victorian Collections partnership.

> Download the 2014 Annual Report

Nominations Open: Victorian Museum Awards 2015

Posted 20th April, 2015


We're very excited to announce that nominations for the 2015 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.

> Guidelines and nomination forms


  • 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 12 June.

We look forward to reading about your projects and achievements!

Just Released: MA (Vic) Annual Program 2015

Posted 16th February, 2015

Our Annual Program for 2015 is here! Packed with professional development and networking opportunities for the Victorian museum and gallery community.

New this year will be a one-day Forum in Melbourne designed to bring together members of the sector for a day of discussion, thinking and ideas.

Other Highlights include exhibition viewings and curator talks at two of this year’s blockbusters: 'David Bowie is' (ACMI) and 'The WW1 Centenary Exhibition' (Melbourne Museum), an in-depth masterclass about copyright, Victorian Collections workshops, 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 2015 Roving Curator Program

Posted 12th January, 2015


The Roving Curator Program supports the development of quality cultural exhibitions in Victoria. The program is administered by Museums Australia (Victoria) with funds received from Creative Victoria.

Designed to provide onsite training, advice and assistance, the Roving Curator program offers an exhibitions professional (Roving Curator) to work with a museum or gallery on an exhibition-related project.

The assessment panel recently met to select the five organisations that will receive assistance from the Program in 2015. The recipients are:

Benalla Historical Society for onsite training on exhibition development, label writing, and help with planning for a new temporary exhibition for 2016.

B-24 Liberator Memorial Restoration Fund for assistance with exhibition development for a pop-up exhibition about the role of the B-24 in repatriating WW2 prisoners of war.

Birchip Historical Society for facilitating display development for a new community facility.

Dromana Historical Society for assistance with exhibition development, label writing, and advice on design and production.

Knox Historical Society to help enhance interpretation in permanent and temporary exhibitions, and advice on exhibition marketing.

Congratulations to all!


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


Photo: Benalla Historical Society’s Benalla Costume and Kelly Museum, a successful applicant for the 2015 Roving Curator Program.

National Standards Version 1.4

Posted 5th January, 2015

The National Standards Taskforce has just released version 1.4 of the National Standards for Australian Museums and Galleries – with updated resources and links.

Collecting organisations of all kinds are invited to use the National Standards as a practical resource.

The Standards are structured in three parts. ‘Managing the Museum’ focuses on museum management, from governance to day-to-day operations, resource management and future planning. ‘Involving People’ addresses the role of the museum in engaging and involving visitors and the wider community. ‘Developing a Significant Collection’ focuses on collection management and conservation.

The release of this latest version continues the Taskforce’s commitment to continually review the document so that it remains relevant to the needs of Australian museums and galleries.

This document is intended to be freely available to Australia’s many museums and galleries.

> Download a copy of the National Standards 1.4

Exhibition Opening: 'Victoria Then'

Posted 1st December, 2014


Photo: Newport Workshops interior; building of an A Class Steam Locomotive, c. 1910, VPRS 112800/P1, item H1172, AHRS 11.752.

We're delighted to announce the opening of 'Victoria Then', an exhibition of displays from five Victorian Museums working with MA (Vic)'s Roving Curator Program.

The exhibition highlights some of the wonderful collections cared for by volunteer groups and regional cultural staff and provides a fascinating glimpse into Victoria's past.

Objects featured include a telescope from a nineteenth century shipwreck, the writing desk of market gardener Ah Foy, scissors used by a Princess in Wodonga in 1959, 1960s surf memorabilia, and a 1970s Victorian Railways cup and saucer.

Museums featured include Arts Space Wodonga & Wodonga Historical Society, Australian Railway Historical Society Victorian Division, Queenscliffe Maritime Museum, Surfworld Museum Torquay, and Talbot Arts and Historical Museum.

Victoria Then
8 December 2014 - 5 February 2015
Arts Victoria Foyer Art Space
Level 6, 2 Kavanagh Street, Southbank Vic 3006
Free entry

> Download the Exhibition flyer

The Roving Curator Program is an initiative developed by MA (Vic) and funded by Arts Victoria. The Program provides small museums, galleries, archives, libraries and community groups with the support of a Curator for an exhibition-related project.



Applications Now Open: Roving Curator – Exhibitions 2015

Posted 14th October, 2014


Are you looking to create exhibitions which are engaging and dynamic? Do you need help developing new ideas and building skills in your museum or gallery? The Roving Curator – Exhibitions Program could be your answer!

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

Applications for the Roving Curator – Exhibitions Program 2015 are now open and close 25 November 2014.

> Guidelines and application form

For further information or to discuss your application, please contact Kitty Owens, Manager, Exhibition Services.

The Roving Curator – Exhibitions Program is supported by the Victorian Government through Arts Victoria.


Photo: MA (Vic) On-Demand training: Buloke Shire Council volunteers preparing case layouts for the "Strong Roots, Resilient Communities" exhibition.

Victorian Collections and Trove Partnership

Posted 30th September, 2014

In very exciting news, Victorian Collections is implementing a partnership with Trove. Run by the National Library of Australia, Trove is a data and resource aggregator that helps you find and use resources relating to Australia.

Trove brings together content from libraries, museums, archives and other research organisations, and Victorian Collections users now have the opportunity to share their records alongside the millions of newspaper articles, photographs and other resources available online.

Once an organisation becomes a Trove contributor, their publicly available collection records become searchable on the Trove website. Sharing collection records with Trove is thus a great way to increase the discoverability of those records and greatly enhances their potential as an educational and research resource.

For more on Trove, see pages 24-25 of the current issue of the Museums Australia magazine.

Contact Belinda or Cameron if you have questions or would like to discuss this exciting new development.

2014 Victorian Museum Awards Winners Announced

Posted 12th August, 2014


The 2014 Victorian Museum Awards were held on Thursday 7 August at Melbourne Museum. Hosted by Adam Ford, presenter of ABC TV’s 'Who’s Been Sleeping In My House?', the Ceremony also featured special guests Hon Heidi Victoria MP, Minister for the Arts, and Dr J Patrick Greene OBE, CEO, Museum 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 Birrarung and was followed by an exclusive viewing of the 'First Peoples' exhibition.

2014 Victorian Museum Awards Recipients

Museums Australia (Victoria) Individual Award for Excellence (Volunteer)
: Ms Lurline Knee

As the World War II Camps Researcher for the Tatura & District Historical Society, Ms Knee, 88 years old, received her first donation to the collection in 1989, and has been responsible for the collection of the thousands of items, photographs, and records which tell the story of the World War II prisoners of war. The Awards judges commented: “We were very impressed by the way the winner of this highly competitive Award has taken a relatively unknown local story and built something marvellous around it which has now touched the lives of people worldwide. Her excellent research skills, the high standard of the museum displays and her lifelong commitment need to be recognised”.

Museums Australia (Victoria) Individual Award for Excellence (Paid Staff)
: Mr Patrick Watt

As the Manager of the Burke Museum in Beechworth for the past two years, Mr Watt has made an important contribution in a short amount of time, increasing visitation by 32% in his first year, thanks to the development of innovative exhibitions, public programs, and school education programs. Mr Watt has secured ongoing Council funding for museum repairs and staff, and started working closely with local historical societies. The Awards judges commented: “Mr Watt has made a huge difference to his organisation in a short space of time and has already made a substantial impact on the schools and community groups of the area. Mr Watt has raised the overall standard of the museum to a new level, increased visitation, and has made the museum a place people look forward to working at and visiting”.

Archival Survival Award for Volunteer-Run Museums
: Creswick Museum for the exhibition 'Spirit of China in Creswick'

The exhibition opened in March this year and highlighted the contributions made by the Chinese in the Creswick area from circa 1854 onwards. The exhibition featured a mixture of artefacts, storyboards, and artworks from both the collection of the Creswick Museum and other museums and private sources around Victoria. The Awards judges commented: We feel the winner of this Award was a standout nomination. We are impressed with how the exhibition has uncovered a mostly unknown story of the area, and how the volunteers have unearthed stories and artefacts from the local community as well as secured loans from the larger museums in the State”.


Left to right: Geoff McIntyre of Archival Survival, with Margaret Fullwood from the Creswick Museum and Angela Henricksen of Archival Survival.

Museums Australia (Victoria) Award for Small Museums
: The Johnston Collection for the exhibition 'David McAllister Rearranges Mr Johnston's Collection'

McAllister, Artistic Director of The Australian Ballet, transformed the interior of the museum into a series of spaces inspired by ten classical ballets, conveying the stories and exploring the themes of each work using the items from the collection. The Johnston Collection volunteer guides presented tours and there was also a series of 'Walk & Talks ‘with David McAllister as well as a Study Series, all initiated to engage more widely with audiences and interest groups. The Awards judges said: “We were impressed by how the curators always challenge themselves to reinvigorate and reinvent the collection and how the results are always captivating and very creative. The collaborations with other areas of Melbourne life were also seen as innovative and professional”.

The Museums Australia (Victoria) Award for Medium Museums
: National Wool Museum for 'Reminiscence Cottage'.

The 'Reminiscence Cottage' project, developed in collaboration with Volunteering Geelong and Alzheimer’s Australia, was envisioned as an immersive space which feels safe and familiar for visitors with dementia and prompts reminiscence through sight, sound, touch and smell. The cottage was designed to replicate a 1930s-1950s Australian household. Visitors are supported by volunteers to engage with furnishings and other items and encouraged to recount their memories. The Awards judges commented: “the project was a beautiful piece of work and a very powerful exhibition that benefited members of the community by recreating the familiar and bringing joy to visitors. It should be seen as a great case study in innovation and best practice for other museums by stepping outside their usual area of expertise”.

Museums Australia (Victoria) Award for Large Museums
: State Library of Victoria for the exhibition 'Rome: Piranesi's Vision'

Curated by Dr Colin Holden, the exhibition was presented at the State Library of Victoria in partnership with the University of Melbourne, and was the largest exhibition of works by Giovanna Battista Piranesi to be shown in Australia to date. The exhibition attracted 82,488 visitors, exceeding anticipated attendance figures by about 25,000 visitors. It was accompanied by a range of events and learning programs including 'Print-making and Piranesi', and the Italian language program 'Il Mondo di Piranesi'. The Awards judges commented: This beautifully designed exhibition is the absolute best execution of an idea. Through thorough research, it has uncovered one of the most important collections of eighteenth-century work held in the University and the State Libraries”.

Victorian Collections Awards for Excellence in Museum Cataloguing


Left to right: Major General David McLachlan (Retd.) with Jim McCann from Victoria Police Museum.

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): Orbost and District Historical Society

The Orbost and Districts Historical Society was chosen as winner of the Award for their wide selection of artefacts that explore many aspects of the region’s past, and for the quality of their research.

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 of historical prisoner records and its extensive array of Kelly Gang objects and photographs.

Victorian Collections Award for Excellence in Museum Cataloguing (Military Memorabilia Collection)
: Geelong RSL Sub-Branch

Geelong RSL Sub-branch was chosen as winner of the award for their commitment to photographing all of their objects and the quality of their research.

Museum Accreditation Recipients


Left to right: The Hon Heidi Victoria MP, Minister for the Arts, with Alison Raaymakers and Lorinda Cramer of the Australian Racing Museum.

The Hon Heidi Victoria MP, Minister for the Arts, also presented certificates to museums who have completed the gold-standard Museum Accreditation Program: the Australian Racing Museum, Burrinja Cultural Centre, Coal Creek Community Park & Museum, Echuca Historical Society Museum, and the Polly Woodside.

Congratulations to all Awards and Accreditation recipients as well as to all Nominees. This year we received a very large number of nominations, which certainly made it hard for our judges, but also testifies of the extraordinary vitality of the Victorian museum and gallery sector.

> Download the 2014 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 2014 Victorian Museum Awards Sponsors:

AS-2013.jpg                    MV_FOB_CMYK_POS_2.jpg

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