Museums & Galleries Qld

Elisabeth Gondwe blogs her first impressions from M&GSQ Exchange

Posted on: 17 July 2012

I travelled to Cherbourg on the second week of the school holidays to begin my exchange with Robyn Hofmeyr.  It was a preliminary visit and coincided with the opening of the Cherbourg Timeline and the Cherbourg community NAIDOC celebrations.

Subjective Impressions.

It provided me with a good introduction to the Ration Shed and the community that it reflects and services.  I was surprised that many of the committee members and workers arrived on the days that I was there at 6.00am!  The Ration Shed has a feel of a community space. It is a living space, alive with the complexities of community.  The buildings all work together with discrete spaces for different purposes.  The verandahs, paths and outdoor seating, fireplaces and performance areas all contribute to this feeling and workability.  The kitchen in particular is well designed and centrally located.  The sharing of food and cuppa makes the community and visitors feel comfortable and welcome.


The Ration Shed, as a living community hub, transcends the majority of small museums that tend to be very shut and quiet.  In contrast, there were community members from children and youth to elders working and all age groups reflected in the community that were attending and enjoying the events.


The Cherbourg Timeline works well in the Ration Shed space.  It is obviously the result of extensive community consultation and consensus.  In particular, I like the use of language.  Language of the past from each era was used.  This is a powerful and effective way to represent attitudes of the past.


The most important aspect of my visit was meeting and getting to know the people.  I am looking forward to working with Aunty Sandra Morgan and many others.

Soon Robyn Hofmeyr and Sandra Morgan will be doing their initial visit to the North Stradbroke Island Historical Museum.

M&GSQ’s 2012 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.

See the M&GSQ website, for an announcement about the recipients of the 2012 Mentorship, Exchange and Fellowship Program.


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Museums & Galleries Queensland

122 Gerler Rd, Hendra QLD 4011

Phone: 07 3059 9740

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.

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