Museums & Galleries Qld

DavidFlemingDr David Fleming OBE, Director, National Museums Liverpool, UK, is coming to Australia to present as part of the 2015 Museums & Galleries Queensland Conference.

In a presentation entitled ‘Creating the much-loved museum’, Dr Fleming will consider ways to create museums that their communities “love”; ways that are applicable to all museums, whatever their location, collections or subject matter and whatever their socio-economic-political context. Not only is Dr Fleming the international keynote speaker, he will also present a Masterclass entitled The Political Museum. Dr Fleming will argue that all museums are political, including those pretending not to be. He will explore what is meant by ‘political’ and try to tease out come Australian experiences of when politics meet museums.

Dr Fleming became the Director of National Museums Liverpool in 2001 and has overseen the development and opening of the International Slavery Museum and Museum of Liverpool alongside quadrupling visitation. Before his post in Liverpool, Dr Fleming was director of the multi-award-winning Tyne and Wear Museums for 11 years, where he led teams delivering major capital developments and massive audience growth. Prior to that he was principal keeper at Hull Museums and he started his museum career as founder-curator of the Yorkshire Museum of Farming, York.

The 2015 Museums & Galleries Queensland Conference is a major professional development initiative dedicated to the volunteer and professional workers in Queensland’s public gallery and museum sector. Held every four years, the Conference provides a forum for the sector to come together and discuss issues affecting contemporary regional and public museum/gallery practice at a local, national and international level. The Conference is being held at The Workshops Rail Museum, Ipswich on 6-7 August 2015.


Queensland artist Glen Skien talks to Bonnie Melrose, M&G QLD Exhibition Program Officer, about his touring exhibition, MYTHO-POETIC: Print and Assemblage Works by Glen Skien

MYTHO-POETIC: Print and Assemblage Works by Glen Skien, an exhibition of 35 artist books, assemblages, collages and installations has been touring to regional and remote centres around the country since 2013, immersing viewers in rich imagery, challenging them to navigate social histories and to answer vexing questions of Australian identity, place and myth.

We ask Artist Glen Skien about his experience of touring the exhibition.

Miscellaneous Book 1

Bonnie Melrose: How did the idea of touring your exhibition arise?

Glen Skien: I saw an opportunity for my work to reach a wider audience. Coming from a regional centre in Mackay in North Queensland, I am quite aware that regional centres don’t always get the opportunity to see new and interesting art. I met the Director of the Gympie Regional Gallery, Joolie Gibbs, and through conversations with her, the idea of touring a new body of work I was developing (in connection with my doctorate) to a wider audience became a real possibility. Once the potential of the exhibition to tour was established, I started to structure the exhibition according to how I wanted audiences to experience it – a museum-type experience. The potential for the exhibition to tour fed into the format that the exhibition would take.

Read the rest of this entry »

By Jo Evans

At the end of June, M&GSQ headed to the beautiful western downs town of Dalby to deliver the final in a series of six social media workshops to regional Queensland.

The workshop, held in partnership with the State Library of Queensland, (SLQ) was presented by SLQ staff Anne Scheu and Myles Sinnamon over two days and attracted participants from Dalby and surrounding towns including Tara and Miles.

The 13 participants ranged from absolute novices to tech savvy professionals, but what united them was the drive to use social media to best promote and communicate with their respective audiences.

Day one of the workshop focussed on the different social media platforms and, while there are many, we mainly discussed Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, and WordPress. Read the rest of this entry »

The Chicago History Museum covers the eclectic story of Chicago in many ways from its fur trade beginnings to its diverse immigrant stories. One thing I am learning here is the many ways these stories can be told. Here history is not just about what happened 50 or 100 years ago but it’s also about what happened yesterday. The Museum embraces the hard to tell story and the celebratory one.

Some of the pioneering story is told through dioramas.  I love the exquisite detail in the figures and the expansive vistas inside. Like big doll houses they have a charm that people are really attracted to, if the long lines in front of them are anything to go by.

Another great installation is photography based Read the rest of this entry »

These delightful photos were taken at the Swedish American Museum and they feature the opportunities children have to explore being a pioneering Swedish child about to become an immigrant and resident in America. Children prepare for this big event by dressing up as immigrant children, buying a ticket in a child’s size ticket booth and going up one side of a big boat ready for departure. They leave from Sweden and arrive on the other side of the boat in America. Read the rest of this entry »

Chicago is a city with a big history and a lot to say. My international Fellowship has provided me with the opportunity of exploring the way the Chicago History Museum tells this story through its exhibitions, education and school and public programs. This takes in tours, talks, food, architecture, games and theatre and I’m sure there are lots of other ways this is done that I am about to learn about in the next little while. Not only am I lucky to be here I’m lucky with the weather – it’s not windy and it’s not cold, in fact it’s humid!

I have been on a walking tour of OLD TOWN and the name gives it away. The city is treated as an artifact with a story to tell. This is told very well because the tour is well researched and the story given life by our volunteer guide, Henry Wykowski . There are gorgeous buildings and quirky aspects to them, bears in wall niches, grand staircases leading to timber homes perched on brick bases, and stories linking them to the introduction of the sewerage system. Our guide knows his city and its stories so well we hung on his every word. Walking tours, tours with strollers, tours with dogs (called pup tours as opposed to pub tours), train tours, just about every kind of tour becomes a part of the public program and this and most of the other outdoor activities are programed for summer as winter here is incredibly bitter. Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by Jo Evans, Communications Officer

On Wednesday, May 21, Creative Partnerships Australia organised a free forum with New York-based international arts, philanthropy and management expert, Ben Cameron, and I was fortunate enough to attend.

The forum was held at QAG|GOMA and was an opportunity to learn about how to manage grants and philanthropic donations in these cash-strapped times.

Ben has a pedigree when it comes to philanthropy, managing a special, one-time $50 million allocation, in addition to an annual $14 million grants program for theatre, contemporary dance and jazz at New York’s prestigious Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (DDCF).

He specialises in arts funding, philanthropy and grants, although the DDCF also donates funds to medical research and environmental groups.

While Queensland is a long way from New York, there were many parallels between the work Ben does and the work we do in the museum and gallery sector. Read the rest of this entry »

Post by Deannah Vieth, Training and Professional Development Manager


On Sunday, 18 May I was fortunate to present a paper at the Museums Australia National Conference in Tasmania.

I presented in partnership with Chrissi Theodosiou from the State Library of Queensland and we discussed how social media can be used by people working in museums, libraries, archives and heritage spaces to communicate with stakeholders and boost the profile of their organisation.

Queensland is a geographically vast state with a thriving cultural heritage scene. The state has more than 400 historical societies and community museums, 70 plus regional galleries and public exhibition spaces, 319 public libraries and 21 indigenous knowledge centres.

When you have this many cultural heritage collections over a geographically broad area, social media is an ideal way for staff and volunteers to communicate with their stakeholders.

M&GSQ partnered with the State Library of Queensland to deliver across the state six social media workshops, with a further one in Dalby planned for June.

The workshops gave an introduction to social media and engaged participants in hands-on opportunities to create a blog or set up their own Facebook, Flickr, Twitter or History pin account.

What grew out of the workshops, are some true success stories including:

  • The Yugambeh Language Centre and Museum in Beenleigh staff started a twitter account at the workshop and one tweet was picked up by an ABC journalist, who retweeted it to his 10,000 followers. What followed was a tangible rise in the organisation’s profile.
  •  A Charters Towers Archivist who was unconvinced about the benefits of social media who now blogs regularly and has his blog linked to a local newspaper each fortnight. Again, this has raised the profile of his organisation within the region.
  •  A staff member at an historical village at Herberton was shown how to use Facebook more efficiently and now uses the platform as their primary means of promotion and communication, such is its success in reaching key stakeholders.

Being a part of this in Queensland is truly gratifying.


David Bowden, Researcher for the Roma RSL Sub-Branch, attended the Heritage Leaders Workshop, run by the State Library of Queensland (SLQ) in Brisbane from 1–4 April. He was the recipient of a SLQ Heritage Leaders bursary, administered by Museum & Gallery Services Queensland. David acknowledges the assistance of Jacqui Burns from the Maranoa Regional Council.

He writes about his experience of the workshop:

L-R: David Bowden, Researcher for Roma RSL Sub-Branch, with Gary Oakley, Indigenous Liaison Officer for the Australian War Memorial at the Heritage Leaders Workshop held at the State Library of Queensland in Brisbane.

L-R: David Bowden, Researcher for Roma RSL Sub-Branch, with Gary Oakley, Indigenous Liaison Officer for the Australian War Memorial, at the State Library of Queensland’s Heritage Leaders Workshop.












“The purpose of the Heritage Leaders Workshop is to gather information from all over Queensland relating to World War One – in particular those items in suitcases under beds and in sheds throughout Queensland. There is a realisation that most of the people directly connected with these items have passed away. Even the ranks of their children are thinning rapidly. There is a thirst for knowledge among the originals’ grandchildren and later generations to be informed.

This information is not only about war stories. There is a need to know what happened in Brisbane, the Provincial Cities and all the little town Communities throughout Queensland. In particular, how did the Communities cope while their young men were away for so long? What was the effect of war on those who returned to their homes and jobs after the war? After all, this is the war that changed completely the way that wars were fought, with mechanisation etc used for the first time.

Kate Evans, the Workshop Facilitor, encouraged everyone to search out old photos, letters,  diaries, pamphlets that are stored in many homes. Also to seek out the “War Souvenirs” hiding in many sheds. All are of interest in the local Communities. More importantly they may well assist the full-time researchers in libraries and museums to find an important link for the many projects that will be worked on from 2014 to 2018.

Those attending were able to see people working on a number of projects at the Queensland State Archives, State Library Queensland and the Queensland Museum. Working sessions on: “What are Queensland’s World War One and ANZAC Stories?”; “A Guide to Researching World War One Content”; “Conserving ANZAC Treasures”; “Caring for Memorials and Monuments”; and “Creating and Using Digital Resources and Social Media” assisted those attending to better understand keeping Queensland World War One History alive locally and within our State.”

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Mary Low from the Cairns & District Chinese Association Inc ( writes from her M&GSQ internship at the State Library of Queensland:

One of my stated objectives during this internship was to learn more about digital imaging.  During week one, I got to spend time with the Digital Imaging and the Microfilm Unit at Cannon Hill.  I learnt about the types of photographic equipment used: SLR cameras, overhead camera stands, book cradles and scanners, including a beaut wide-bed scanner which takes oversized images such as architectural plans and maps.  I am lucky to receive hands-on training to use the equipment and software to photograph, scan, process, and file images in digital format on both Mac and PC systems. The digital imaging team is currently digitising material for the Q Anzac 100 Project and an on-line exhibition about Qld architecture, Hot Modernism.

The training and conversations I have had with SLQ digitisation staff have given me deeper understanding of the processes involved in digital preservation, and the knowledge to begin to digitise our community’s collection of historical and contemporary photos, news clippings, ephemeral and other objects.

SLQ has developed a number of useful resources which are available on line to encourage and assist groups and individuals to digitise and preserve their collections. See links below:

M&GSQ 2013 Mentorship, Exchange and Fellowship Program is funded by Arts Queensland through the Regional Arts Development Fund (RADF). RADF is a joint Queensland Government and Local Government partnership to support local arts and culture.

Museums & Galleries Queensland

Level 3, 381 Brunswick St
Fortitude Valley QLD 4006

Phone: 07 3215 0820

Museums & Galleries Queensland is the peak professional body for the public museum and gallery sector in Queensland.

Museums & Galleries Queensland promotes, supports and provides services to foster excellence in museums, galleries and keeping places. We strive to ensure a future where museums, galleries and keeping places are relevant, accessible and valued by their communities.

M&G QLD Staff

Rebekah Butler, Executive Director
Debra Beattie, General Manager
Morgan Bundy-Wright, Information Officer
Deannah Vieth, Training and Professional Development Manager
Leisha Lawrence, Training and Professional Development Program Officer
Donna Davis, Exhibition Program Officer
Bonnie Melrose, Exhibition Program Officer
Andrea Higgins, Exhibition Program Officer

M&GSQ's User Online Comments Policy


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