Museums & Galleries Qld

Dianne Smith, Cardwell Museum blogs again from internship at Redland Museum

Posted on: 9 December 2013

This 2nd week at Redland Museum it’s been more about the people that make this community not-for-profit museum work.

I’ve had the opportunity to watch more closely the relationships between museum staff,  management and volunteers and it is obvious there is a good measure of respect between everyone here at Redland Museum, of course that’s not to say there is always agreement, but healthy discussions do foster informed decision-making!

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What I have also observed in my two weeks is that no matter how large or small the museum is the challenges for this largely volunteer sector are very similar, even the challenges Cardwell faces due to distance are no more or less challenging than those experienced by Redland Museum in what we would consider the “city”.

I’ve spent some time this week with staff & volunteers around the collections management data base, including the photographic collection, which will help us in our endeavour to improve our own data base and processes and everyone was more than happy to point out the aspects that do work well, as well as those areas that could be improved upon or done differently.

I have not only expanded my skill and knowledge in the  many aspects of Museum & Collections Management from my time at Redland Museum but have also thoroughly enjoyed the experience and would highly recommend other volunteers working in the field of history & museums to think about applying to the Volunteer Mentorship Program offered by Museum & Gallery Services Qld.

I will go back to our committee armed with a considerable amount of information, so much in fact the challenge will be to formulate the best way to present this coherently to the management committee.

I would sincerely like to thank the Redland Museum staff and volunteers, in particular the President Ross Bower for his patience with all of my questions but also to the staff and volunteers (of which there are too many to name for fear of missing someone) who so freely gave of their time to speak with me and show me how and what they are currently working on.

I have come away with some administrative strategies which I hope will help the Cardwell & District Historical Society move forward into a position of having sufficient organisational skill and knowledge to ensure it achieves sustainable museum management practices and to continue in its endeavours as both keeper and protector of local community history into the future.

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.

See M&GSQ’s website, for more information about the 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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Rebekah Butler, Executive Director
Debra Beattie, General Manager
Melissa Fletcher, Information Officer
Deannah Vieth, Training and Professional Development Manager
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Donna Davis, Exhibition Program Officer
Bonnie Melrose, Exhibition Program Officer
Andrea Higgins, Exhibition Program Officer

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