Museums & Galleries Qld

These delightful photos were taken at the Swedish American Museum and they feature the opportunities children have to explore being a pioneering Swedish child about to become an immigrant and resident in America. Children prepare for this big event by dressing up as immigrant children, buying a ticket in a child’s size ticket booth and going up one side of a big boat ready for departure. They leave from Sweden and arrive on the other side of the boat in America. Read the rest of this entry »

Chicago is a city with a big history and a lot to say. My international Fellowship has provided me with the opportunity of exploring the way the Chicago History Museum tells this story through its exhibitions, education and school and public programs. This takes in tours, talks, food, architecture, games and theatre and I’m sure there are lots of other ways this is done that I am about to learn about in the next little while. Not only am I lucky to be here I’m lucky with the weather – it’s not windy and it’s not cold, in fact it’s humid!

I have been on a walking tour of OLD TOWN and the name gives it away. The city is treated as an artifact with a story to tell. This is told very well because the tour is well researched and the story given life by our volunteer guide, Henry Wykowski . There are gorgeous buildings and quirky aspects to them, bears in wall niches, grand staircases leading to timber homes perched on brick bases, and stories linking them to the introduction of the sewerage system. Our guide knows his city and its stories so well we hung on his every word. Walking tours, tours with strollers, tours with dogs (called pup tours as opposed to pub tours), train tours, just about every kind of tour becomes a part of the public program and this and most of the other outdoor activities are programed for summer as winter here is incredibly bitter. Read the rest of this entry »


Posted by Jo Evans, Communications Officer

On Wednesday, May 21, Creative Partnerships Australia organised a free forum with New York-based international arts, philanthropy and management expert, Ben Cameron, and I was fortunate enough to attend.

The forum was held at QAG|GOMA and was an opportunity to learn about how to manage grants and philanthropic donations in these cash-strapped times.

Ben has a pedigree when it comes to philanthropy, managing a special, one-time $50 million allocation, in addition to an annual $14 million grants program for theatre, contemporary dance and jazz at New York’s prestigious Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (DDCF).

He specialises in arts funding, philanthropy and grants, although the DDCF also donates funds to medical research and environmental groups.

While Queensland is a long way from New York, there were many parallels between the work Ben does and the work we do in the museum and gallery sector. Read the rest of this entry »

Post by Deannah Vieth, Training and Professional Development Manager


On Sunday, 18 May I was fortunate to present a paper at the Museums Australia National Conference in Tasmania.

I presented in partnership with Chrissi Theodosiou from the State Library of Queensland and we discussed how social media can be used by people working in museums, libraries, archives and heritage spaces to communicate with stakeholders and boost the profile of their organisation.

Queensland is a geographically vast state with a thriving cultural heritage scene. The state has more than 400 historical societies and community museums, 70 plus regional galleries and public exhibition spaces, 319 public libraries and 21 indigenous knowledge centres.

When you have this many cultural heritage collections over a geographically broad area, social media is an ideal way for staff and volunteers to communicate with their stakeholders.

M&GSQ partnered with the State Library of Queensland to deliver across the state six social media workshops, with a further one in Dalby planned for June.

The workshops gave an introduction to social media and engaged participants in hands-on opportunities to create a blog or set up their own Facebook, Flickr, Twitter or History pin account.

What grew out of the workshops, are some true success stories including:

  • The Yugambeh Language Centre and Museum in Beenleigh staff started a twitter account at the workshop and one tweet was picked up by an ABC journalist, who retweeted it to his 10,000 followers. What followed was a tangible rise in the organisation’s profile.
  •  A Charters Towers Archivist who was unconvinced about the benefits of social media who now blogs regularly and has his blog linked to a local newspaper each fortnight. Again, this has raised the profile of his organisation within the region.
  •  A staff member at an historical village at Herberton was shown how to use Facebook more efficiently and now uses the platform as their primary means of promotion and communication, such is its success in reaching key stakeholders.

Being a part of this in Queensland is truly gratifying.


David Bowden, Researcher for the Roma RSL Sub-Branch, attended the Heritage Leaders Workshop, run by the State Library of Queensland (SLQ) in Brisbane from 1–4 April. He was the recipient of a SLQ Heritage Leaders bursary, administered by Museum & Gallery Services Queensland. David acknowledges the assistance of Jacqui Burns from the Maranoa Regional Council.

He writes about his experience of the workshop:

L-R: David Bowden, Researcher for Roma RSL Sub-Branch, with Gary Oakley, Indigenous Liaison Officer for the Australian War Memorial at the Heritage Leaders Workshop held at the State Library of Queensland in Brisbane.

L-R: David Bowden, Researcher for Roma RSL Sub-Branch, with Gary Oakley, Indigenous Liaison Officer for the Australian War Memorial, at the State Library of Queensland’s Heritage Leaders Workshop.












“The purpose of the Heritage Leaders Workshop is to gather information from all over Queensland relating to World War One – in particular those items in suitcases under beds and in sheds throughout Queensland. There is a realisation that most of the people directly connected with these items have passed away. Even the ranks of their children are thinning rapidly. There is a thirst for knowledge among the originals’ grandchildren and later generations to be informed.

This information is not only about war stories. There is a need to know what happened in Brisbane, the Provincial Cities and all the little town Communities throughout Queensland. In particular, how did the Communities cope while their young men were away for so long? What was the effect of war on those who returned to their homes and jobs after the war? After all, this is the war that changed completely the way that wars were fought, with mechanisation etc used for the first time.

Kate Evans, the Workshop Facilitor, encouraged everyone to search out old photos, letters,  diaries, pamphlets that are stored in many homes. Also to seek out the “War Souvenirs” hiding in many sheds. All are of interest in the local Communities. More importantly they may well assist the full-time researchers in libraries and museums to find an important link for the many projects that will be worked on from 2014 to 2018.

Those attending were able to see people working on a number of projects at the Queensland State Archives, State Library Queensland and the Queensland Museum. Working sessions on: “What are Queensland’s World War One and ANZAC Stories?”; “A Guide to Researching World War One Content”; “Conserving ANZAC Treasures”; “Caring for Memorials and Monuments”; and “Creating and Using Digital Resources and Social Media” assisted those attending to better understand keeping Queensland World War One History alive locally and within our State.”

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Mary Low from the Cairns & District Chinese Association Inc ( writes from her M&GSQ internship at the State Library of Queensland:

One of my stated objectives during this internship was to learn more about digital imaging.  During week one, I got to spend time with the Digital Imaging and the Microfilm Unit at Cannon Hill.  I learnt about the types of photographic equipment used: SLR cameras, overhead camera stands, book cradles and scanners, including a beaut wide-bed scanner which takes oversized images such as architectural plans and maps.  I am lucky to receive hands-on training to use the equipment and software to photograph, scan, process, and file images in digital format on both Mac and PC systems. The digital imaging team is currently digitising material for the Q Anzac 100 Project and an on-line exhibition about Qld architecture, Hot Modernism.

The training and conversations I have had with SLQ digitisation staff have given me deeper understanding of the processes involved in digital preservation, and the knowledge to begin to digitise our community’s collection of historical and contemporary photos, news clippings, ephemeral and other objects.

SLQ has developed a number of useful resources which are available on line to encourage and assist groups and individuals to digitise and preserve their collections. See links below:

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.

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Mary Low from the Cairns & District Chinese Association Inc ( writes from her M&GSQ internship at the State Library of Queensland:

The State Library is the largest collecting institution in Queensland, with 1.7 millions of books, one million photographic images and millions of ephemera objects, maps, musical scores and works of art. From day one I quickly get an idea of what that looks like and the volume and wealth of material that the SLQ conservation unit processes in order to preserve and make its collections accessible to the public through loans and exhibitions online.

Day one, I meet my mentor, senior conservator Rachel Spano who gives me a tour and overview of the SLQ conservation unit which is located on level five. Rachael takes time to explain the work of the three main teams within the unit: visual media, collection conservation, and digitisation and microfilm (located at Cannon Hill.)

I am shown the labs and dedicated work spaces where various tasks such as digital imaging, photographic copying, box making, book binding, and paper preservation and restoration are carried out. I meet some of the staff.  I also accompany Rachel to the quarantine, in the basement where a new significant acquisition, the Rechabite Collection has just been delivered and will proceed to be, surface cleaned, and checked for mould and treated for bug infestation by freezing or   placing in the mobigas chamber before being catalogued.  I am impressed by the equipment, resources and established systems in place. I feel privileged to have this opportunity to observe best practices in action  and learn as much as I can during my time with the conservation unit.

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.

Demounting and installing an exhibition at a large gallery has been an interesting exercise.
Basically the system is the same as we undertake in our ‘little’ space (compared to MRAG!)
But there are a few tips and new techniques I have learnt- the laser level being the best idea.

I love the works hanging without wires – but think this would be difficult in our situation as it is more time consuming and in a smaller space the walls could begin to deteriorate in appearance with the constant ‘bogging’ – even if you are a master painter!
Had a ‘fun’ time yesterday with the foam core- I have always struggled to use it but will return with a new attitude towards this substance- get a new craft knife and keep it clean & sharp!

Placement of the wall labels is simplified with a purpose built stick – we need to make one of those!

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.

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A week at the Maitland Regional Art Gallery began by demounting an exhibition of works that are insured for $4.4million! – Master pieces from the Peter Elliot collection.
The systems used by the team are pretty much what we do at the Grassland Art Gallery but they do have a couple of nifty ideas that I will take home and implement.
My favourite thing is the laser level – no red wool stuck up with blue tack! We want one of those – soon as!!!
I do like their blocks of wood covered in carpet used to prop work off the floor and their cleaning trolley which is loaded with all the tools and materials needed for an installation.
Eight people all knowing what they are doing – what a breeze. Everything down, packed away, walls painted, the next exhibition works framed, placed and up on the wires.

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.

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Perc Tucker Regional Gallery’s current exhibition Brick by Brick has broken all manner of attendance records since it opened on 13 December, with over 60 000 enthusiastic visitors already recorded. The Gallery’s previous visitation record, which was set during the 2011 Xstrata Children’s Exhibition Zookini, stood at 17 121.

Shane Fitzgerald, Manager of Townsville’s Gallery Services and the exhibition’s Curator, said the exhibition “was a triumph for the Gallery and the region.”

LEGO® products are obviously an icon of popular culture and have had a lasting impression on so many of our lives, as evidenced by the show’s popularity. Brick by Brick showcases historic LEGO® items for the first time in Australia, while tracing the development of the toy throughout the generations.


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Developed by Perc Tucker Regional Gallery with information and materials provided by The LEGO® Group, Brick by Brick explores the origins of LEGO® bricks, bringing together the history, design and impact that these products have played upon popular culture.

The exhibition features 53 historical items which have been sent directly from the LEGO® Idea House in Billund, Denmark. These items include early products such as the pull-along duck (1945) and assorted wooden toys, the Ferguson Tractor (1952), the original System of Play set, through to more recent special edition, limited edition, and memorable LEGO® sets.

These items are complemented by a LEGO® building room and video game room, a host of interactive activities, and large-scale sculptures by the Southern Hemisphere’s only LEGO® Certified Professional Ryan McNaught, aka The Brickman.

Brick by Brick is the largest ever exhibition of LEGO® history and products in Townsville, and will continue to thrill the young and young at heart until 23 February.

LEGO, the LEGO logo and the Minifigure are trademarks of the LEGO Group. © 2013 The LEGO Group. All rights reserved. Historical information and material provided by The LEGO Group.

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
Morgan Bundy-Wright, Information Officer
Deannah Vieth, Training and Professional Development Manager
Leisha Lawrence, Training and Professional Development Program Officer
Donna Davis, Exhibition Program Officer
Bonnie Melrose, Exhibition Program Officer
Andrea Higgins, Exhibition Program Officer

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