May 7, 2016

World War One - Bruce Scates on 100 personal stories

Author Q&A: Bruce Scates on 100 personal stories of World War I

If you could track down one thing you haven’t yet managed to find out, what would it be?
Can I say that there’s a lost opportunity here. We did have an opportunity with the centenary, and I served on the Anzac Centenary Committee – these stories were originally commissioned by the Australian government. The government decided that these stories were too confronting, too uncomfortable, to be told.

There was one particular story, a story of Frank Wilkinson, a man who was a war hero. He was awarded the military medal in Passchendaele – he survived the war but he doesn’t survive the peace. He comes home and he killed himself – which is not uncommon with soldier-settlers who failed on the land. But he also killed his wife and his daughter.

And the moment that I related this story in Canberra, I saw this committee and the looks on their faces and the horror, but it was simply the truth. The truth of what war does to people. And today, of course, we look quite sympathetically towards Frank Wilkinson and recognise that this was a case of post-traumatic stress and not hasten to judge him, but it seems to me in Canberra what we had was judgment: this story was too confronting to be told. So for me as a historian that involved making choices.

Historians have no choice other than to tell the truth. And I think that we have to confront that, that brutal truth of what war did to people.
So to my mind, what the 100 Stories represent is clutching at a lost opportunity. The lost opportunity was that we as a nation could acknowledge the devastating effect on war. And that would’ve signalled, I think, our maturity. I don’t know that we’ve done that. I think that Canberra showed a degree of cowardice in its failure to acknowledge that true scale of loss. So yeah, to my mind, that’s what the stories signal – what they signal is the way that people wanted the truth to be told, despite the fact that those in positions of great power didn’t want those stories to be told. So I think it’s a triumph of a democratic style of storytelling.

Is there anything you’d like to add about the book?
And I think that the involvement of early career researchers in this book changed its nature and made it an immensely richer project. I think that it’s great to have those insights from a new generation of historians woven through the book. And I think that a collaborative endeavour is so much stronger than an individual statement, so I hope that what the book helps to do is to show that these great collaborations are actually possible even within a punishing timeframe. And that it helps promote that spirit of collaboration more widely in the profession, because we have to do this.

The other thing that Jay Winter said [at the book’s launch] is that if we don’t engage with what you might call the popular history of the war – if we don’t actually address the histories we write to as wide an audience as possible, then we really abdicate that space to the journalists, to the politicians, to the people who are really spinning slogans and who often lack any genuine historical insight. So we have to occupy this space and we’ve got to occupy this space in a different way.

So I think in a number of regards, 100 Stories was a great experiment. It’s not for me to say whether it succeeds or not. It’ll be very interesting to see what impact it has particularly out there with history teachers. If I was a history teacher, I would be looking at this book at a resource that is giving you a fresh take – I mean, we’ve had the old stories being spun by Canberra for so long and this really is a new take on everything and I hope it changes the agenda in some way.

Ref: Inside History 6 May 2016

April 13, 2016

Access to Funding

Successfully obtaining funds for your museum or gallery requires knowledge and creativity. Access to Funding is a workshop delivering specialist knowledge to make accessing funds a reality.

 This workshop by Museum & Galleries of NSW will provide you with a chance to talk about projects face to face with funding representatives and give you hints on writing winning grant applications.

For full details and registration form click here.

April 8, 2016

RAHS at the Kiama Family, Social and Local History Expo

RAHS at the Kiama Family, Social and Local History Expo

Saturday April 16 @ 9.30 am to 4.00 pm

Speakers various - FREE event 

For more information click here

Ref: RAHS Newsletter April 2016

February 16, 2016

Lithgow & District Family History Society celebrtes 30 years

Left to right. Nancy Draper, Esther Coleman-Hart, 
Yvonne Jenkins, Scott and Helen Taylor, Thelma Draper. 
Seated, Helen Tracy and Jan Saundercock.
In the Dungeon under Lithgow Library. 1986
Celebrating their 30th Birthday, the members of the Lithgow & District Family History Society are holding an Open Day at their Resource Centre on the corner of Tank & Donald Streets on Saturday 5th March 2016 between 10 am and 4pm.

The Society’s first meetings were held in 1986, in what was referred to as ‘the Dungeon’, a small room in the basement of the Charles H Hoskins Memorial Institute, underneath the then Lithgow City Library. The demand for more space saw a relocation to the LINC building on the corner of Padley Street and Railway Parade. Each Friday members of the committee put out the tables, set up the microfiche readers and ‘opened for business’.

The Society’s move from the LINC premises to the Ewen Smith Memorial Hall was due to the generosity of the Lithgow City Council. The building was relocated from another site by Apex Club Lithgow for the Civilian Widows Association. The Society was able to obtain a lease when the building became vacant in 1991.

Exclusive use of this Centre has allowed for permanent storage of the Society’s collection of books, microfiche, photographs and other resources. A network of computers has allowed the digitisation of and easier access to the Society’s many paper records, and to the many web-based records now available.

Donations of photographs, family trees, letters or copies of these items are always welcome and the Open Day provides an opportunity to share family stories or photographs or just check out some of the records in the Resource Centre at no charge.

Left to right - Kathy Brennan, Ian Irvine, Laurie Cook, Marcie Farr 
and Sandy Banks- Smith at the Resource Centre. 2016

February 8, 2016

Breakfast with Banjo

Add caption

On Sunday February 14th and 21st, a small bus will be leaving at 9am from the Orange Visitor Centre to
Retrace the steps of Banjos early years.
Visit to Banjo Park, Emmaville cottage, Boree Nyrang, Molong and Cumnock to Yeoval. Along the way see the ‘Animals on bikes’
Once at Yeoval join in the fun of ‘A Day with Banjo’ at the ‘More than a Poet Museum’.
Lunch will be at own cost at the B.B.Q. and admission to the Museum free.
Cost $50.00 for the day including returning to Orange
All proceed to the Regional Museum
Bookings required as numbers are limited.
For details contact Elizabeth Griffin 6361 1920 or 0437 868 595

December 19, 2015

Article by Andy Macqueen - Blue Mountains History Journal-December 2015


Andy Macqueen
P.O. Box 204,
Wentworth Falls, NSW 2782.

In 1823 Assistant Surveyor Robert Hoddle (later Surveyor General of Victoria) was ordered, as his first substantial job in the Colony, to survey the route of the Blue Mountains crossing defined by Archibald Bell, and then to establish whether a road to the Hunter Valley could be found by heading northward from the Bell area. In pursuit of the latter task he became embroiled in the sandstone pagoda country in the headwaters of Bungleboori Creek, but finally turned back at Birds Rock on Sunnyside Ridge. His brief descriptions of the pagoda rocks and ravines are almost poetic and thus unique in the early literature of the area. However, it is possible that the expedition was marred by an unreported event involving the death of Aboriginal people.

Read a good article by one of own.

Quarterly Newsletter of the Millthorpe & District Historical Society - Summer 2015

Read more . . .

December 13, 2015

Royal Australian Historical Society 
mentioned in NSW Parliament

Royal Australian Historical Society 
mentioned in NSW Parliament

Hansard online, the official record of the proceedings of The Parliament of New South Wales, contains details of commendations made to the RAHS and recipients of the Arts NSW Cultural Grants for 2015, by The Hon. David Clarke, MLC, Parliamentary Secretary for Justice on 11 November 2015, who presented grants winners with their certficates at the RAHS Conference in October. Click here to visit the Hansard website and read full details.

From L to R: Colleen O’Sullivan - Kandos Bicentennial Industrial Museum; Benita Parker - Karuah Working Together; Max Farley - Wyong District Museum and Historical Society; Carol Roberts - Kurrajong Comleroy Historical Society; Lorraine Neate - Illawarra Historical Society; The Hon. David John Clarke, LL B (Syd) MLC, Parliamentary Secretary for Justice; Peter Gissing - Wagga Wagga and District Historical Society; Lola Cormie - Narrabri and District Historical Society; Paul Convy - Randwick and District Historical Society; Angus McKernan – NSW Australian Football History Society; Max Rogers - Berrima District Historical and Family History Society; Vicki Stanton – Australian Golf Heritage Society. [Photograph Chris Maxworthy]

November 13, 2015

The British Museum: A Museum for the World

The British Museum: A Museum for the World

Neil MacGregor, Director, British Museum

The British Museum was founded in 1753 by an act of Parliament and is the embodiment of Enlightenment idealism. In a revolutionary move, it was from its inception designed to be the collection of every citizen of the world, not a royal possession and not controlled by the state. Over the succeeding 260 plus years it has gathered and exhibited things from all over the globe – antiquities, coins, sculptures, drawings – and made them freely available to anyone who was able to come and see them. Millions have visited and learned, and have been inspired by what they saw. Today the Museum is probably the most comprehensive survey of the material culture of humanity in existence.

The world today has changed; the way we access information has been revolutionised by digital technology. We live in a world where sharing knowledge has become easier, we can do extraordinary things with technology which enables us to give the Enlightenment ideal on which the Museum was founded a new reality. It is now possible to make our collection accessible, explorable and enjoyable not just for those who physically visit, but to everybody with a computer or a mobile device. Our partnership with Google allows us to further our own – extraordinary – mission: to be a Museum of and for the World, making the knowledge and culture of the whole of humanity open and available to all.

To read the full article click

Ref: Britsh Museum Blog

November 4, 2015

Meaning and significance

Recently Penrith Regional Gallery & The Lewers Bequest completed the significance assessment of their collection, following the receipt of a $4,000 Community Heritage Grant (CHG) last year.

you’ve been to the Lewers Gallery site, you’ll know that the Lewers’ family home, its place beside the Nepean River, the sculptures and garden are all part of the fabulous package offered by the Regional Gallery, and an important piece of Australia’s mid-century modern art and design heritage.

The Gallery houses an extensive collection of modern art, some of it made by Margo and Gerald Lewers themselves, some of it collected by them. It holds significant examples of Australian Modernism in particular Abstraction, Constructivism and Minimalism. More recently the collection has been expanded to include contemporary works, with examples from Islander, Aboriginal and Western-Sydney artists such as Greg Semu, Brook Andrew and Justine Williams, as well as work generated through the gallery residency program


Statements of Significance determine the financial, social, cultural value and importance of an item or collection.

Dr Sally Watterson, an independent consultant, was engaged to evaluate the cultural significance of the Gallery and its permanent collection. Waterson’s role was to coordinate and manage the application of Significance 2.0, the federal policy document used to determine the importance of our cultural collections. Determining the significance of a cultural object—be it a single work of art, a historic building, or an entire collection—demands detailed investigation into the provenance—or chain of ownership—as well as considerable historical research into how one work of art interrelates with another and with other collections.

atements of Significance determine the financial, social, cultural value and importance of an item or collection. Each statement presents an argument about how and why an object is important and underpins the policies around that object, prioritising them in terms of resources for curatorial, conservation, exhibition, research and access programs.

part of the project, Collection Manager Dr Shirley Daborn attended an intensive preservation and collection management workshop held in Canberra. “While the CHG provides the funds, the workshop offers the expertise to help us protect the collection, while also assisting us with our ambition to increase our engagement with scholars, students and the general public interested in researching this fascinating period in history,” Daborn said.

Ms Anne-Marie Schwirtlich, Director-General of the National Library of Australia, a strong advocate of the CHG program, said: “It is all about working together to help spread the message that if we don’t preserve our history now, it could be lost forever. Through sharing this knowledge, the information can be taken back to the communities where it is most needed to ensure that local heritage collections are still there for future generations.”

Gallery Director, Dr Lee-Anne Hall said the significance assessment process was a crucial step in fully honouring the history of the Gallery as a centre of artist activity in the mid-century period. So now when you drop into the fabulous gallery by the river, you’ll know you are looking at a collection with real significance.

Ref: News from M&G NSW - 4 November 2015

This email is being sent to all listed member Historical Societies, Museums and Individuals of the Central Tablelands Chapter of Museums Australia (NSW Branch) and other interested persons.
If you know of other Societies, Museums or Individuals who would like to be added to the list, please email Wal Pilz with name, address, phone no. and email address. 

October 7, 2015

M&G of NSW - Regional Stakeholder Forum 2015

This year’s forum will bring you up-to-date on issues affecting the regional heritage sector; discuss regional tourism and museums, crowdfunding and the role of consultants; and how the arts can ‘activate’ and energise your museum.
As always, this annual event is presented by MAAS, Regional Arts NSW and M&G NSW.

Download Stakeholder program (467.7 KB) 

Download Speaker profiles (1.2 MB)

August 30, 2015

"The Crossing" Premiere

The film will be shown on a giant outdoor screen on dusk.
Come along to relive history, learn a little and you won’t see the ending coming! It will be great night to see the film on a huge screen.
Ref: Scott Richadson

August 26, 2015

Australiam Charities and Not-for-profits Commission

Charities have a duty to notify the ACNC of changes to their details, including responsible people and governing documents. Once you are aware of the change, you must notify the ACNC of changes as soon as you reasonably can.
Ref: Australiam Charities and Not-for-profits Commission

If this applies, a good place to start is here.

Eskbank House

Eskbank House

Dear friends of Eskbank,

What an exciting month we have ahead of us.

Our next exhibition is Primary By Design – Cullen Bullen Public School where Eskbank and the school have partnered up to bring you an exhibition of the student’s photographs and their reinterpretation in a variety of mediums. The opening is 11am Friday 4 September 2015 and you are all invited to come and meet the artists and celebrate this exhibition with them. The exhibition will run from 3 – 20 September 2015.

Following this we will have our first “We All Stand on Sacred Ground” NAIDOC Art Exhibition organised by Mingaan Wiradjuri Aboriginal Corporation.  Mingaan is currently inviting the community to enter a work of art on the theme of “We All Stand On Sacred Ground”. This exhibition aims to promote learning and sharing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture within the community. Your art work may be 2D or 3D, traditional or contemporary so long as it relates to the theme. Please include a story for your art work to help share culture. Entry forms are on the website at  The exhibition will run from 24 September - 11 October 2015. With an official opening on Sunday 27 September2015 to which you are all invited.

And our 2015 LITHGOW HALLOWEEN FESTIVAL PROGRAM kicks of this month.

Vampire Scarecrow Workshop: 10am Thursday, 24 September, 2015. Primary school children are invited to join Ludwina Roebuck in the gardens at Eskbank House to create sizzling vampire scarecrows for the 2015 Lithgow Halloween Festival.  With fangs, decorations and flowing capes, the scarecrows will feature in the decorations on Main Street on 31 October 2015.  This is a free workshop, but places are limited. Booking forms on the website at

Create a Vampire Workshop: 9am – 4pm Thursday, 1 October, 2015. For ages 12 – 25, at this workshop you will create a cape and learn vampire make up, cat walk and drama skills. You will then model in our Halloween Fashion Show on Friday 23 October and perform at the Lithgow Halloween Festival on Saturday 31 October 2015. This is a free project but we only have ten places so get in quickly.  Booking forms are on the website at

Never dull here at Eskbank House! If you need any more information please visit our website at 


from the Eskbank Team and Wendy

Wendy Hawkes | Cultural Development Officer
Community & Culture | LITHGOW CITY COUNCIL
PH (02) 6354 9999 | FAX (02) 6351 4259

August 11, 2015

Virtual reality

See the New Post on British Museum blog below.

Could you do something like this at your Museum?
Much simpler would  be a Virtual Tour of your Museum with a series of slides plus text and/or voice description of what can be seen.

A Virtual Excursion to the Capertee Valley can be taken at any time by clicking here. 

It's  the Monday after the Samsung Digital Discovery Centre’s (SDDC) virtual reality weekend and we’re reflecting on the process of developing a virtual reality experience, which puts 3D scans of British Museum objects from our Bronze Age collection into the context of a virtual Bronze Age roundhouse. It’s been a really exciting project to work on, and lots of people have contributed – so we want to share the process behind making it happen.

The SDDC at the British Museum was created in 2009 in partnership with Samsung to provide a state-of-the-art technological hub for children and young people to learn about and interact with the Museum’s collection through school and family sessions. The Museum’s work with Samsung ensures that it remains at the forefront of digital learning, and when Samsung launched its Gear VR headsets we were eager to explore how virtual reality technologies could be used to engage a new generation with British Museum objects. When you put on a Samsung Gear VR headset you feel like you are in a virtual world. When you look up with the headset on, within the virtual world you also look up. You can also ‘walk’ forward and backwards, using a touch pad on the side of the headset. It is a mesmerising experience.

To explore the potential of virtual reality we decided to develop a bespoke experience of a Bronze Age roundhouse, which could be included across the SDDC’s programme for families and schools. We identified the Bronze Age for our virtual reality experience, because it presented a number of opportunities. Firstly, the Museum already has 3D scans available of some of our Bronze Age collection, created by the MicroPasts project. MicroPasts is a groundbreaking project that creates open data sources of scanned objects, and crowd sources ‘photo-masking’ to create 3D versions of them. Second, prehistory is a statutory requirement as part of the National Curriculum for primary schools, but we know that teachers sometimes find this subject difficult to teach. The difficultly experienced by teachers is mirrored by families too. We spoke with Dr Neil Wilkin, Curator of the Bronze Age Collection at the Museum, and together defined the potential values of virtual environments for exploring this period with our schools and families audience.
Virtual environments present an opportunity to address misconceptions about prehistory head on, and this period is particularly difficult to grasp for our younger visitors. For example, a virtual Bronze Age experience allows you to convey in a visual way that at this time people had developed complex settlement practices, that they advanced technologies for their purposes, like developing methods to manufacture bronze, and that they had talented craftspeople who created beautiful jewellery. Virtual environments also allow you to present the mysteries and multiple interpretations of objects in a visual way. Questions around the function, purpose and possible ritual practices associated with Bronze Age objects can be presented to the visitor in context, close up and in 3D. Across our SDDC learning programme we try to convey that interpretations of objects are never fixed – they develop and change as new research is undertaken. We often show that multiple interpretations and varied significances for one object can exist at the same time, but 3D virtual environments make conveying this much easier.

To create our virtual reality roundhouse, we recruited Soluis Group Limited, who are experts in creating virtual environments. We chose three fascinating objects from those that had been scanned in the MicroPasts project to be interpreted in our virtual Bronze Age roundhouse – the Woolaston gold (possibly a child's bracelet), a Sussex loop bracelet and a large dirk (a short dagger). The three objects are linked by the mystery that they share – there is no certain interpretation of how each was used, or if it had ritual significance.

Developing the experience was a collaborative process. The Museum worked closely with the virtual reality developers to ensure that the Bronze Age roundhouse depicted in our virtual reality experience was based on the latest curatorial research in this area. For this process, two students, Lydia Woolway and Emily Glynn-Farrell, assisted Neil in compiling a research document about Bronze Age settlements and roundhouses. This document included the fact that many roundhouses across Britain have been found with doorways facing in the same direction, seemingly in line with the sun’s path through the sky. Archaeologist Mike Parker-Pearson in particular has suggested that light and dark, and the alignment of roundhouses, had ritual significance to Bronze Age Britons. We were keen to incorporate this into our virtual reality roundhouse. The experience also contains audio content, which Neil recorded in the SDDC – turning it into a sound recording studio for an afternoon and using our green screen as a backdrop to get the best sound quality possible. We were delighted with the experience that was created, and the virtual reality weekend was testament to its success.
Today, we’re looking at visitor feedback from the event and considering how we can integrate their comments into our digital learning programme. But having been in the Great Court all weekend, talking to visitors and seeing their excitement at engaging with this experience, we’re delighted with what we’ve created, and how much our visitors have enjoyed it!

Thanks are due to everyone who has been involved in this project, and our amazing team of SDDC facilitators and volunteers who helped out over the weekend.

July 8, 2015

Welcome to Country and Acknowledgement of Country

Welcome to Country and Acknowledgement of Country

By Museums & Galleries of NSW


A protocol is defined as a behavioural code that people use to show respect to each other. Each culture has different sets of procedures and gestures that are understood to be polite. In working respectfully with Indigenous communities there are several important protocols worth knowing and understanding.
The first is the Welcome to Country and while there is no prescriptive Welcome to Country protocol appropriate for all communities, contexts or geographical locations, there are easy to understand guidelines. The Welcome to Country is usually conducted by an Elder of the Aboriginal language group who originate in the location of where your event is held. In some situations there may be more than one language group and this requires following a specific set of procedures to show proper respect to all.
The second and related protocol is the Acknowledgement of Country. This is used when no Indigenous leader or elder is present at a meeting, presentation or public event and is conducted by a non-indigenous person.


While these protocols should be followed out of general politeness it’s important to understand they have other roles which help to facilitate reconciliation and strengthen Aboriginal identity. This includes acknowledgment that:
  • Aboriginal Australia is recognised as the oldest living culture in the world. Originally consisting of diverse nations and languages, the Aboriginal people within NSW experienced massive change to their way of life as a result of European colonisation.
  • Indigenous cultural expression plays a major role in the revitalisation of cultural practices and continued strengthening of Aboriginal identity.
  • Indigenous culture is informed by the past, and that Indigenous cultural expression is a vital part of contemporary society.
  • Self-determination for Aboriginal communities is supported by setting cultural priorities and the adoption of appropriate cultural protocols in the public sector.
  • The public sector plays an important role in supporting, maintaining and nurturing Indigenous cultural heritage and expression.
  • Respect and visibility in public events especially in the arts and cultural community fosters goodwill and strengthens cultural identity.
  • Acknowledging the diversity within Indigenous communities and their different cultural bases of histories, geography, languages, political and social contexts is important.

Tips for success

Welcome to Country can be used in several ways - as an Indigenous formality to complement other formalities of an event or as a traditional welcome by the Indigenous community through dance and music.
The Welcome to Country is most effective when the host organisation consults with the local Indigenous community for these events.
Involving an Indigenous representative from the local area is highly recommended. This can be established by seeking the advice of the local Aboriginal Land Council, the Local Council or the Council’s Aboriginal Liaison Officer if one is available. If the Local Council has an Aboriginal Consultative Committee or group they will also be a useful resource.
Welcome to Country formats can be quite formal or complex–if there are several Indigenous Elders or groups in the area they may each want to present a Welcome to Country. They may also have their individual way in which they want to present it. This can be in the form of their own story about their life as an Indigenous person in Australia and their relationship to their family and the local area. It could be in the form of a symbolic gesture of reconciliation eg: an Elder offers a large branch of a tree with leaves to guests and asks guests to take a leaf from the branch away with them.
After an Indigenous representative gives an official Welcome to Country for an event, other speakers (both Indigenous and Non-indigenous) are encouraged to acknowledge the original custodians of the land before they commence their speech.
When there is more than one Indigenous language group in the area and you are not sure which group should be approached consult your Local Aboriginal Land Council or Local Council first.
If an Indigenous representative or an Elder of the original custodians is not available for the Welcome to Country, ensure the other Indigenous language group representative acknowledges the original custodians before introducing their own community.


In many cases Welcome to Country is performed free of charge as an act of generosity by the indigenous community. It is important to acknowledge this.
It is not customary for an Indigenous Elder or representative to request payment for a Welcome to Country though it is courteous to make an offer of an honorary payment.
Payment may be necessary in certain circumstances. If an indigenous person’s participation is needed for a relatively short period of time but requires significant travel for that person, their travel and meal costs should be covered.
If you need indigenous participation for more than half a day payment is necessary. This also applies for any formal consultation you may require regarding cultural protocols or Indigenous policy issues. Any travel, meal or accommodation costs should be covered.

You might also like ...

Museums & Galleries of NSW, Fact sheet: Prepare an Acknowledgement of Country Statement
City of Sydey, Welcome to Country
Australian Land Councils, Local Land Council lists

July 4, 2015

"Mount Canobolas – The mountain, the farms, the people"

Orange & District Historical Society

“Mount Canobolas – The mountain,the farms,the people”

Speakers: - Professor Warren Somerville and Morrie Dally

 A large group celebrates the first Cherry Blossom Festival in 1939 at the Dally family orchard, ‘Bryn Gobaith’, Nashdale. Photo courtesy Morrie and Joan Dally.

The next meeting of the Orange and District Historical Society’s History Alive series will focus on Orange’s very own mountain, Mount Canobolas.
Most people would not be aware that Mount Canobolas was one of the largest volcanos in NSW millions of years ago.
At that time, the ancient landscape was covered with a layer of basalt from the volcano and the mountain is one of the few remnant volcanos still in existence (Bathurst’s Mount Panorama is another).
Orange owes much of its horticultural and agricultural success to the legacy of the mountain, including rich basalt soils, a cool climate and relatively high rainfall.
This resulted in intensive settlement, and until recent decades there were hundreds of small orchards, dairies and mixed farms in the area.
Guest speakers will be geologist Professor Warren Somerville and orchardist Morrie Dally.
Professor Somerville, who grew up on a local orchard, will bring a wealth of knowledge about the geology of the mountain. He has had a life-long interest in geology, during which he built up a huge collection of fossils and minerals from throughout the world.
Much of his collection can be seen at the Australian Fossil and Mineral Museum in Bathurst.
He will give an illustrated talk on the geology of the mountain and will bring along rare specimens of rocks from the mountain.
Morrie Dally comes from a Nashdale orcharding family. His grandfather James Dally jumped ship in 1861 and headed to the goldfields at Bendigo. He eventually moved to the Orange district and bought ‘Tregeagle’, in the Canobolas area, in 1912. Morrie was born at Tregeagle, later moving to ‘Bryn Gobaith’, and has been an orchardist all his adult life. Morrie has a wealth of knowledge about the orchardists of the Canobolas area.
Everyone is welcome to attend the meeting, and a particularly warm welcome will be given to orchardists from the Canobolas area.
The meeting will take place at Orange Senior Citizens Centre (entry from Woolworth’s car park) on Wednesday, July 8 at 7 for 7.30pm.
There is a small charge of $3 for members of Orange and District Historical Society and $5 for non-members, to cover costs. Light refreshments will be served.
If you have any inquiries or would like to attend the meeting, please RSVP Phil Stevenson on 0402 412 188, email:  

June 17, 2015

BATHURST 2015 EXHIBITION & Bathurst BICENTENARY - e-newsletter - Issue 10-May 2015


May has certainly been another busy month as Bathurst celebrates the continuing activities of the 200th year since Governor Macquarie journeyed to the area to see for himself that the region was “truly grand, beautiful and interesting, forming one of the finest landscapes I ever saw in any Country I have yet visited. The soil is uncommonly good and fertile, fit for every purpose of Cultivation and Pasture.”

With his entourage Macquarie proceeded to explore the local landscape so he could report back to England on his return.

Bathurstians have supported the 2015 events in large numbers in attending the opening of the Flag Staff, two Colonial Fairs, Bicentenary Illumination and Street Festival, the Peoplescape, Reflections - 200 Years of Women’s Fashions, Snapshots in Time and the Wall of Valour, A Moment in Time, Mrs. Macquarie’s Cello, The Crossing, “Anzacs At Gallipoli” tribute and display and much more.

With these events over we will now concentrate on the BATHEX 2015 Bicentenary Collectables, Gem and Mineral Exhibition - Bathurst Remembers 200 Years of History being held at the Bathurst Showgrounds on Saturday and Sunday 26th and 27th September, 2015. It will be held in the three jammed packed pavilions and the surrounding showground on Sydney Road. This is the tenth such event with the first commencing in 1988.



The Bathurst District Historical Society has had a number of events under its umbrella with the first being the official opening of the Old Government Cottage Bicentennial Heritage Garden on Sunday 29th March. The opening was part of Bathurst’s Bicentennial celebrations. The impressive new garden is located at 16 Stanley Street down by the Macquarie River and is open every Sunday afternoon from 12 noon until 4pm.

The Bathurst Garden Club is responsible for the success of the garden which attracts an increasing number of visitors every Sunday. Members of the garden club professionally designed, set out and established the Bicentennial Heritage Garden. Their concept was to educate and show visitors who come to see the historic brick cottage the types of plants that would have been in a typical Bathurst household garden some 150 years and more ago. Our garden from the Georgian-Victorian era has herbs, vegetables, berries and fruit such as apricot, apples and pears as well as fragrant fresh flowers. 
View & download Full Newsletter 

May 29, 2015

Quarterly Newsletter of the Millthorpe & District Historical Society - Winter 2015

Download another good read.

Museums Australia conference - May 2015

Here are a few highlights from staff of Museuns & Galleries of NSW:

Tamara Lavrencic, Museum Programs and Collections Manager

A definite highlight for me was Lindsay Farrell’s presentation on social inclusion through art and museums. His paper reported on a research project with homeless and marginalised groups in Brisbane. One program run over 12 weeks involved homeless people visiting The Australian Catholic University art collection and the Queensland Art Gallery/GOMA. At the end of the program each participant gives a presentation about a particular artwork. Farrell showed an image of a homeless man standing in front of a 17th Century Dutch painting. The contrast between his poverty and the almost gluttonous display of food was marked.

Samantha Hamilton, a conservator with Museum Victoria gave an illuminating paper on a collaboration initiated with Gupapuyngu clan Elders from Arnhem Land in 2011. The project aimed to involve traditional owners in the decision making process about conservation treatment options for bark paintings in the Donald Thomas collection. Initial discussions with Jo, a Gupapuyna Elder indicated that Western concepts of preservation were foreign to them; deteriorated barks were normally buried and replaced by new ones.

Samantha made a film for the community explaining each treatment option for the bark, which was translated into their own language by Jo. This helped broker trust between Samantha and the Gupapuyna clan, who had initially expressed reluctance for a female conservator to work with the bark, along with their preference for a Gupapuyna man to repaint it with white pigments.  Through this process the community decided that Samantha had the appropriate skills to clean the barks, consolidate the flaking paint and support the bark by applying an aluminium splint.

Madeleine Brady, Gallery Programs and Touring Exhibitions Coordinator

Xerxes Mazda, Deputy Director, Engagement at Royal Ontario Museum, was a clear highlight for me with his keynote presentation addressing the need for museums to construct powerful narratives.

By utilising the basic principles of the dramatic arc, Mazda proposes that museums can create a full sensory experience, allowing viewers to connect with exhibitions and ultimately lose themselves in the narrative. 

The dramatic arc is a simple device behind all successful Hollywood films and consists of five parts: the exposition, rising action, climax, falling action and finally, the denouement, or 'resolution' for those of us with unconvincing French accents. Mazda argues that we need to actively address each of these stages during exhibition development.

When considering the flow of an exhibition, the interpretive materials, object placement and audience interaction, museums should be constantly assessing an exhibition against the criteria of the dramatic arc.

Mazda also stresses the need to interlink each stage of an exhibition with a cause-and-effect relationship. Museums need to ensure that viewers are being drawn from one object to the next, and consequently through the entire exhibition. Mazda quoted the British novelist, E.M Forster, stating, “The king died and then the queen died is a story. The king died, and then queen died of grief is a plot.”

The beauty of Mazda's keynote presentation was the pure simplicity of the concepts presented. And while it was ultimately aimed at museum exhibitions, I found it particularly interesting to consider how the power of the narrative could be applied to contemporary gallery exhibitions. Mazda challenged the audience to harness the universal concepts of storytelling in exhibition development and I will most certainly be taking him up on the challenge.

Steve Miller, Aboriginal Sector Programs Manager
The Indigenous Reconciliation session began with a reminder of a recommendation from the previous conference: that Indigenous people should be considered as foundational rather than a special interest group of Museums Australia.

It ended with a recommendation for an audit and evaluation of the level of engagement of Australian Indigenous people in museums and galleries. This followed earlier discussion around the uncertainty of the true impact of MA’s long standing policy Continuous Cultures, Ongoing Responsibilities, now a decade old.

Peter White, Senior Manager Indigenous Connections & Programs of the National Sound & Film Archive, did a great job chairing the session which was dense and diverse in its discussions.

Nancia Guivarra, Head of Communications with the National Centre for Indigenous Excellence opened the session by linking notions of excellence to Reconciliation. Genevieve Grieves reiterated the points from her earlier presentations about deep listening, cultural diplomacy, inter cultural work and generational vision. She also said that museums as institutions often don’t follow cultural protocols which causes tension when working with communities. The burden of this often fell on Indigenous staff.

Frank Howarth, speaking from the floor, said smaller museums were still afraid of making mistakes when presenting Australian Indigenous cultures and needed to stop ‘walking on eggshells’.  The audience reflected that a similar situation exists with Indigenous staff in major institutions who are equally afraid of making mistakes; that the building of trust took considerable time; and that one Indigenous worker per institution was not enough. Indigenous staff often wanted to work with remote communities in their state which did not necessarily translate into the desired exhibition outcomes for institutions.

Dr Robin Hirst, Melbourne Museum’s Director of Collections, Research and Exhibitions, suggested imagining what we’d like to see in ten years’ time. I replied that 10 years was a worthy objective but in a history of 40,000 plus years, it was not very long. I was concerned about the ‘thought bubble’ discussion when the industry is retracting – regional Aboriginal cultural centres in NSW are closing – which raises questions about how the sector can develop greater depth of Indigenous engagement. It would be good to think beyond conventional exhibitions and public programs, to create a long term legacy reaching into communities and involving them in development including technical skills, as our own Travelling Places program seeks to do.
The suggestion to audit the entire museums and galleries industry arose early in the discussion but it was Margo Neale, Principle Indigenous Advisor to the Director at the National Museum, who moved it as a recommendation. With this adopted, the session drew to a close. It was encouraging to see that the audience of more than 50 people felt the discussion significant enough that nearly all stayed until well past the 5pm listed finish

May 25, 2015

Dear Colleagues,
The Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences (MAAS) 2015 Regional Program targeting the regional museum and gallery sector is now on the MAAS (formerly Powerhouse Museum) website at

Applications for programs are due by 5.00pm, 9 September 2015.

The Regional Stakeholder Forum 2015 will be held on Friday 13 November between 9am – 4 pm in the theatrette at MAAS: Powerhouse Museum. The Forum is held in partnership with Museums & Galleries NSW, Regional Arts NSW and MAAS.

Yours sincerely,

Deborah Vaughan
Regional Program Producer.

May 22, 2015

RAHS Webinar: Beyond the Blue Mountains: Following the Road from Bathurst

May 27 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm | RAHS Members $10/Non-Members $12

Take a tour ‘Beyond the Blue Mountains’ and follow the road from Bathurst with Suzanne Holohan, RAHS General Manager and Graham Sciberras, RAHS Digital Media. Explore photographs, manuscripts and audio/visual content, plus some of the recently uncovered gems that make up this newly launched grant-funded project. Find out what is still to come, our plans for its future and how you can become involved.
Click here to register.

 This email is being sent to all listed member Historical Societies, Museums and Individuals of the Central Tablelands Chapter of Museums Australia (NSW Branch) and other interested persons.
 If you know of other Societies, Museums or Individuals who would like to be added to the list, please email Wal Pilz with name, address, phone no. and email address.

April 23, 2015

Succession Planning - Article by Patsey Moppett - 2015

Succession Planning 

The Succession Planning Workshop held by BMACHO in February at the Lithgow Mining Museum provided an opportunity for organisations and committees to find out the many ways to make their tasks easier and more effective and ensure their volunteers get the most out of their roles. (See Heritage January-February p.14). The day commenced with a tour of the museum site.

Lithgow Mining Museum workshops

BMACHO Vice President Ian Jack opened the proceedings. Those few who were able to attend were treated to very worthwhile presentations by the speakers, Emeritus Professor David Carment, Ray Christison, Lynn Collins and Tamara Lavrencic.

Both David and Ray spoke about their experiences in being on committees and their approaches to the success of their various organisations.

David Carment: David reviewed the principles set down by Museums and Galleries of NSW to assist organisations in their operations. He emphasized the importance of valuing the work of volunteers and encouraging their involvement, dealing with aging membership and finding people to fit the committee positions. Inclusion of fixed terms for positions and seeking people who have something to offer, may be key solutions.

Utilization of social media and sharing the load, are also ways to relieve the pressure. People have less and less time to be involved and to carry out the myriad of tasks required in a committee these days.

Ray Christison: Ray cover the topic under five headings, as follows:

  •   What is succession planning finding people to fill key positions on a committee to sustain the required functions of the group. In particular, finding a leader who will identify the problems and work to solve them. Ray quoted from Ben Chifley, “Rookwood is full of people who were indispensable”.
  •   Roles the roles in a committee range from a leader, administration, program management, tour guides, site/building management, museum development. The task is finding suitable people who can do each of these jobs.

BMACHO Vice President Ian Jack addresses the group
  •   Plan for the future the problem is broken down, deciding who does what. Divide the position and delegate tasks. The tasks can be carried out by volunteers, casual staff or contractors.
  •   Attracting volunteers the vision should be articulated. Sensible business planning should be undertaken, obtaining recognition for the organisation, creating a positive and creative environment for volunteers. Sometimes the facilities can be difficult for volunteers eg. heat/cold. Anticipate the benefits of participation. Network within the community. Keep exhibitions fresh, undertake projects that renew/maintain interest, for both volunteers and visitors.
  •   Alternatives use contractors for some tasks if possible. Identify roles and cash flow, sponsors and compliances with legislation. Expand the capabilities of the group and possible use a business model. Make use of existing assets such as publications, local businesses, social media. Decide how to access different sectors of the community and have a clear vision. Have a vision statement, and communicate effectively.
Lyn Collins: Lyn summarised their comments and went on to highlight the salient points relating to continuity, role sharing, rotation of positions, reviewing the provisions of the relevant constitution, employing outside expertise, the importance of having a strategy and undertaking social events, and redefining the tasks and roles required. He emphasised the social benefits and the sustainability of committees..

Tamara Lavrencic: Tamara was visiting from the Museums and Galleries of NSW, and explained the Standards Program. It operates for some 10 months of the year and has a regional bias. It is an opportunity to seek assistance for surveying collections, management, engaging visitors, caring for the collection. An independent reviewer is sent out to each museum. They act as mentor to the museum management. Many resources are available, including risk management, grants, setting up a website, and an advisory service.

It provides an opportunity for self review against the national standard.

Editor’s comment: It would appear that we need to take time out of our busy schedules to find the time to help ourselves. It is strongly recommended that all organisations seek out the Principles for the Recognition of Volunteers for a review. Organisations that adopt the principles would be sending out a clear signal to current and potential volunteers that their contributions are valued. ( ).

Ref: HERITAGE - Newsletter of the Blue Mountains Association of Cultural Heritage Organisations Inc - May-June 2015 by Patsey Moppett

For further reading see earlier post here