Museums & Galleries Qld

Dealing with Disaster

Posted on: 29 June 2011

In the opening plenary, Liza Dale-Hallett, Senior Curator of Sustainable Futures, who led the Victorian Bushfires Collection project will reflect on how museums can make a difference to people dealing with disasters.  Drawing on this experience and her visit to an international conference post Cyclone Katrina, Liza will provide powerful examples of how museums can provide healing, commemoration and remembrance through collections, art, oral history and videoed interviews. Their bushfires collection project started when affected communities across the state contacted the museum with offers of donations in the days after Black Saturday. One of these, the Kinglake chimney, the largest and most complex item of this collection, was disassembled brick by brick and re-laid at the museum as a permanent memorial to the lives and properties lost in the fires.

Invited delegates from the Queensland Museum and the State Library of Queensland will share the experience of Queensland disaster collections started post floods and cyclones. I was excited to catch one of those rare moments when the media feature the collections sector and to see Louise Denoon from the State Library of Queensland showing Premier Anna Bligh’s handwritten notes from her now famous speech and Jo Besley from the Queensland Museum showing a pair of muddy gumboots symbolic of the remarkable volunteer clean up effort. As many delegates as possible will be encouraged to share their experiences preparing for, dealing with and recovering from disaster.

At least two of the speakers in this session, Lydia Egunnike (Senior Conservator State Library of Queensland) and Christine Ianna ( instigator of Q-DIS) have been awarded the Queensland Disaster Heroes medal for showing outstanding community initiative, bravery, courage, resilience and strength during the 2010-11 floods and Tropical Cyclone Yasi


Ann Baillie

If you’ve got a disaster story to share please add a reply below.


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Museums & Galleries Queensland

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

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