Museums & Galleries Qld

Posts Tagged ‘Professional Development

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, Read the rest of this entry »

By Jo Evans

At the end of June, M&GSQ headed to the beautiful western downs town of Dalby to deliver the final in a series of six social media workshops to regional Queensland.

The workshop, held in partnership with the State Library of Queensland, (SLQ) was presented by SLQ staff Anne Scheu and Myles Sinnamon over two days and attracted participants from Dalby and surrounding towns including Tara and Miles.

The 13 participants ranged from absolute novices to tech savvy professionals, but what united them was the drive to use social media to best promote and communicate with their respective audiences.

Day one of the workshop focussed on the different social media platforms and, while there are many, we mainly discussed Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, and WordPress. Read the rest of this entry »

The Chicago History Museum covers the eclectic story of Chicago in many ways from its fur trade beginnings to its diverse immigrant stories. One thing I am learning here is the many ways these stories can be told. Here history is not just about what happened 50 or 100 years ago but it’s also about what happened yesterday. The Museum embraces the hard to tell story and the celebratory one.

Some of the pioneering story is told through dioramas.  I love the exquisite detail in the figures and the expansive vistas inside. Like big doll houses they have a charm that people are really attracted to, if the long lines in front of them are anything to go by.

Another great installation is photography based Read the rest of this entry »

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 »

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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Arrived at Newcastle Museum  on Monday Feb 3rd- what a great place, 3 heritage listed buildings with high ceilings, with heavy industrial beams, arched windows placed in exposed brick walls and joined unashamedly by new modern construction forming the reception foyer and link gallery.
Oriented myself with the exhibition spaces- there are permanent and changing exhibition spaces.
One gallery has Newcastle’s story- uses photos everywhere- no captions. Random photos from across the years narrate the heritage of the city.

Love their photowall – we can do this in Tambo!! Park side of the Carrangarra.

This Museum knows its community and designs its exhibitions to engage and interest them.
Key Idea: Interpreting local stories- objects and their stories need to have a connection to the ‘place’- not a random display of objects.

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Roped into Tuesday Tales- every Tuesday story reading for under 6 year olds, a great public programming initiative. I spoke with a few of the Mothers- they come every week, consider the Museum very welcoming, very child friendly and focused. Exhibitions and activities are often aimed at/interesting/engaging for children. Mothers may stay at Museum longer for children to go to miniova (science activities for small children), play or have a coffee, check out new exhibitions.
Later in the day I went on radio with Julie Baird, the Deputy Director. Julie has a monthly spot on the local ABC- Local Treasures. In this way the Museum connects with the community, puts call outs for assistance with information, engages interest in the exhibitions and maintains a high community profile.

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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Sadly, today is the final day of my placement at the Army Museum of North Queensland. During the second week of my placement, I have continued to work with Carol in the conservation room learning more conservation and preservation skills, while at the same time reinforcing knowledge learned regarding storage practices and collections management. Amanda offered her expertise on several occasions as we cleaned and reframed a photograph, readied a set of medals for display, and tackled the challenge of how to preserve and store AAF silk maps. These were just a few of this week’s projects.

Amanda has provided me with information on several topics, including display development and design, guidelines for small museums for writing a disaster preparedness plan, emergency planning and operation, conservation techniques for archives and objects, prevention conservation and notes on relative humidity and temperature, caring for wartime memorabilia and so much more. I have many hours of reading ahead, so my learning experience will be ongoing once I return home.

Participating in a volunteer internship has been rewarding and is probably a once in a lifetime experience. In view of this, I have done my utmost to observe and learn as much as possible during my placement, and as I reflect on the last two weeks, I realise that now it is my responsibility and challenge to share all I have learned with the staff at the Central Queensland Military Museum with the goal of improving this museum’s operation.

I would like to thank the Museum & Gallery Services Queensland and the Regional Arts Development Fund for this fabulous opportunity to gain new knowledge and skills, which have given me a better understanding of museum practice.

M&GSQ’s 2013/2014 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.

Big Things

Railway carriages, wagons and locomotives are big things. And with big things come some big challenges, not least of which is the responsibility to take care of these museum accessioned objects. The locos in the US are, on the whole, really BIG.  The diesel locos are amongst my favourite things – they are big, shiny, imposing and evocative of a place and time when railroads were important.

Added to the size of these objects is the sheer volume of wagons carriages and locos that a lot of railway museums hold in their collections.  Storage and display for rolling stock (as with any large transport items – buses, planes, boats) is therefore particularly challenging. Many museums have an enormous array of heritage rolling stock sitting on rail lines in yards, open to the elements and largely un-interpreted. And herein lies the challenge. How do you store, restore and interpret so that your responsibility to an accessioned object is met when there are so many and they are so big?

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For museums such as the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania, the B&O Railroad Museum and the Altoona Railroaders Memorial, there have all been variations on the theme of undercover storage. Large railway-styled buildings such as the climate controlled rail hall at the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania or the new Roundhouse being built at Altoona offer a mechanism by which care for the objects is enhanced by storage inside at the same time as visitor access is improved. But can and should you put all of your rolling stock inside?

With desirable space up for grabs, railroad museums here are beginning to look at their rolling stock collections with a critical eye. Many report that collection in the past has been ad hoc and consequently their holdings are variable, with some highly significant objects side by side with yet another (insert relevant wagon / carriage depending on context!). They simply have more rolling stock than inside space can fit. The opportunity to get items on display has meant that a more rigorous view of significance is being brought to focus on these items. This has also aided in assigning priorities on conservation and restoration and given rise to strategic decisions about what themes, pairings, eras and foci for display are to be used. In some cases, curators have gone a step further and are selectively de-accessioning a small number of locomotives and carriages not considered significant under their collection policies. These are generally donated to other organisations, thus maintaining heritage while slightly lessening the burden in a big collection. With the pressure of finances and the premium cost of storage and display of Big things, this critical eye is a step we could all learn from.


GERALDINE MATE is the Senior Curator, Transport and Energy at The Workshops Rail Museum, Ipswich, a campus of the Queensland 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.

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

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