Museums & Galleries Qld

2015 Museums & Galleries Queensland Conference – a success

Posted on: 16 September 2015

M&G QLD held its 2015 State Conference from 6-7 August at the award-winning The Workshops Rail Museum in Ipswich. The Conference is a major industry event for people working throughout the public museum and gallery sector in Queensland and is held every four years.

Feedback from delegates was very positive with 98.6% of delegates, who responded to the evaluation survey, rating their overall satisfaction with the Conference as ‘excellent’ or ‘good’ and 100% of delegates rated the organisation of the Conference as ‘excellent’ or ‘good’.

Delegates were asked ‘What were the highlights of this Conference’?

  • “Being in Ipswich; Liverpool presentation; connecting with people in education and public programs.”
  • “David Fleming was amazing! Thank you for arranging such an incredible international speaker with rich knowledge and experience in the industry.”
  • “As always the organisers have successfully balanced topics relevant to museums and galleries, and addressed current issues – providing practical case studies.”
  • “I enjoyed all of it and found it incredibly worthwhile – especially the mix between blue sky thinking and actual results.”

At this Conference, participation and community engagement was the focus – to see what it is that makes people excited to get involved and be proud of their local galleries and museums and to see how best to tell the stories that engage communities in all their diversity.

Themes explored during the Conference included:

  • Participatory practice is community engagement
  • Co-creation, collaboration and community
  • Volunteers are visitors too
  • Programming for diversity
  • Demystifying the Australian Curriculum
  • What’s the story? Compelling narratives to engage audiences
  • Password fail – navigating digital engagement.

Dr David Fleming OBE, Director, National Museums Liverpool presented the keynote address Creating the Much Loved Museum. This presentation was inspiring and many delegates commented that it was the highlight of the Conference.

M&G QLD was able to secure high-calibre plenary speakers from the sector, including:

  • Alfredo and Isabel Aquilizan, Artists, presented Making Do
  • Alec Coles, CEO, Western Australian Museum presented Whose Museum is it Anyway?
  • Kiersten Fishburn, Director Community and Culture, Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre, Liverpool City Council NSW presented At the Heart of Everything: Casula Powerhouse and Community Centred Programming
  • Kirstin Sillitoe, Co-CEO, Arts Access Australia presented Access: It’s All About Breaking the Rules

Masterclasses and workshops were very successful with high participation rates. Presenters included:

  • Dr David Fleming OBE, Director, National Museums Liverpool, UK – The Political Museum
  • Richelle McClymont, Visitor Experience Manager, The Workshops Rail Museum – More than Playing with Trains – Creating Quality Visitor Experiences
  • Richard Harling, The Cultural Commerce Consultant – Successful Retail in a Cultural Environment
  • Rick Chen, Co-Founder and Director, Pozible – Let’s Talk Crowdfunding
  • Jop Haverkamp, izi.Travel & Brian Crozier, Crozier Schutt Associates – Your Heritage Stories Through Smart Phones, without any costs
  • Lucy Quinn, Children’s Program Officer, Ipswich Art Gallery & Michael Beckmann, Director, Ipswich Art Gallery – Child-Centred Creative Practice at the Ipswich Art Gallery

This Conference saw the addition of a trade show for delegates. Exhibitors included: Auctioneers and Valuers Association of Australia, Conservation by Design Australia, Deep Creek Digital Pty Ltd, Dexion, Eyeline Publishing, IAS Fine Art Logistics, Link Electronic Solutions, Museums Australia and ToadShow.

Pre-Conference Tours were held at state institutions, including Queensland Museum, State Library of Queensland, Queensland Maritime Museum and Queensland Art Gallery l Gallery of Modern Art.

A Historic Ipswich Bus Tour was held on Friday afternoon. The tour highlighted the history and architectural heritage of this unique Queensland city. Afternoon tea and a tour of Gooloowan, former residence of Benjamin Cribb, were included.

Delegates were able to join curators of The Workshops Rail Museum, David Mewes and Geraldine Mate, for a back-of-house tour of the collections and heritage rolling stock. The tour also went behind-the-scenes at the oldest operating railway workshops in Australia.

Social activities included an invitation to the opening night of local Ipswich art exhibition, embrace at Studio 188 followed by networking dinners at various Ipswich restaurants. These networking dinners were themed around areas of practice including Exhibitions and Display, Public Programs and Community Museum Volunteers/open to all.

The Conference Dinner was held on Friday night at the charming Darling St Chapel, former St Patrick’s Hall completed in 1879. Dinner began with a performance by acclaimed Aboriginal Dance Troupe Nunukul Yuggera, which was followed by a delicious meal with live entertainment from Grace & Beau acoustic duo.

Conference1 Crowd4 Fishburn2 Fleming2

Photos by LeAnne Vincent.

For more information on the Conference themes, to download the full Conference Program or to watch plenary presentations, please visit the M&G QLD website:

Conference images are available on Flickr:


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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.

M&G QLD Staff

Rebekah Butler, Executive Director
Debra Beattie, General Manager
Melissa Fletcher, Information Officer
Deannah Vieth, Training and Professional Development Manager
Leisha Walker, Training and Professional Development Program Officer
Donna Davis, Exhibition Program Officer
Bonnie Melrose, Exhibition Program Officer
Andrea Higgins, Exhibition Program Officer

M&G QLD’s User Online Comments Policy

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