Museums & Galleries Qld

Archive for the ‘Cherbourg’ Category

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Sandra Morgan and Robyn Hofmeyr travelled to North Stradbroke Island on the 28th of September as part of a Museum exchange with Elizabeth Gondwe at the North Stradbroke Island Historical Museum (NSIHM). Elizabeth had invited Sandra  and Robyn to talk at their Museum’s AGM on the 29th of September. Sandra had never been to Stradbroke Island – despite having spent most of her life in South East Queensland and having relatives on the Island. There is a strong historical link between Cherbourg and Stradbroke as many Aborigines were moved between the two places during the years of the Aboriginal Protection Act.

The Museum on Stradbroke seeks to accommodate and reflect the diversity of the Island. The Pioneer room, the Aboriginal room as well as the current Whale exhibition all tell different stories of life on the Island. We were impressed with their storage facilities, cataloging, archiving system and database. For various reasons, this one aspect of the Ration Shed Museum in Cherbourg is still way behind and needs a lot more effort and attention. Elizabeth kindly offered to assist us with this.

We were surprised (and envious!) to learn that the Stradbroke Museum receives operational funding from the local Redland Council. At the Ration Shed Museum we receive no core government support for running costs and rely on visitors, tourists and various government grants to keep us going. Balancing our books is a constant struggle – as it is with so many of the museums in our country. Seeing the Stradbroke Museum gave us cause for hope.

On the day of the AGM, we were overjoyed when at the end of our talk the members of the Museum suggested that they hire a bus and visit the Ration Shed Museum in Cherbourg. Councillor Craig Ogilvie and Councillor Paul Bishop who both attended the AGM are clearly big supporters and champions of the North Stradbroke Island Museum.

The Ration Shed Museum look forward to building an on-going relationship with the North Stradbroke Island Historical Museum and the communities it reflects.


ROBYN HOFMEYR is a Coordinator/Filmmaker/Educator at the Ration Shed Museum, Cherbourg. She is undertaking a Co-Mentorship | Exchange with Elisabeth Gondwe, Curator/Ethnographer at 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 M&GSQ’s website, for more information about the Mentorship, Exchange and Fellowship Program.

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. Read the rest of this entry »

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On Tuesday 15 November a new exhibition was launched by the Cherbourg Ration Shed Museum.  The exhibition was a product of three days of workshops for twenty Cherbourg woman young and old, facilitated by Carol Low ( a community worker with expertise in commemorative processes for those who have difficult stories to tell) and Katina Leedie (a Cherbourg youth worker). Curated by Carol Low and designed by Peter Trail, the exhibition displayed a moving film of the process and the shadow boxes created by Cherbourg women as tributes to the strong women who gave them inspiration and hope. The Boys Dormitory was packed with participants and supporters and filled with music, laughter and pride. A performance of Cherbourg Girl by Lillian Gray brought the house down and many to their feet and young and old shared their memories. The inspiring project was funded by the Indigenous Women’s Program- Indigenous Co-ordination Centre at the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs.

Jo Besley, Senior Curator Social History, Queensland Museum, and Churchill Fellow 2009 was named one of the Friends of The Ration Shed at the NAIDOC celebrations in Cherbourg in recognition for her pro-bono work.

Sandra Morgan, Chairperson of Cherbourg Historical Precinct, thanked the Friends of the Ration Shed for assisting with their vision:

‘to give our community a strong clear picture of their history and a sense of pride in that history, to engage and to educate the people of Queensland and Australia about what life was like living under the Aboriginal Protection Act and to offer a positive vision of the future’.

See for Jo’s article  on worldwide examples of Contentious Histories: Museums as Site of Healing. Jo is a keynote speaker in the Agents of Change plenary at M&GSQ’s State Conference in Mackay which will feature public art, galleries, museums:  Museums as ‘crucible’ for identity, healing and recovery

 For more on Cherbourg’s celebration at The Ration Shed, see

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Day one of the NAIDOC events at the Cherbourg Ration Shed Museum was a wonderful celebration on a beautiful sunny day, with Cherbourg Historical Pecinct looking great, lots of positive community energy, the new Ration Shed high school mentors in attendance and plenty of good will from invited guests.

University of Queensland anthropologists Kim de Rijke, Tony Jefferies and their families were amongst those made special  Friends of the Ration Shed at the opening of  Caroline Tennant-Kelly exhibition that their donation of digital research materials had made possible. Peter Trail designed the exhibition complete with magnifying glasses for community members to write on the blackboard labels the names of the people they recognised in her photos from the 1930s. Read the rest of this entry »

Museums & Galleries Queensland

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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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