May 31, 2011

This Month at Orange Regional Gallery

Surface Tension: Until June 12 2011
This exhibition includes forty seven works produced by Euan Macleod between 1991 and 2009. Euan Macleod is one of Australia's most renowned contemporary painters with major works held in public galleries, corporations and private collections. A Tweed River Art Gallery touring exhibition curated by Gavin Wilson.
Life and Death - The Metaphysical Art of Wolfgang Grasse: Until Sunday June 26
Born in Dresden, Germany in 1930, the late Wolfgang Grasse created magical canvases in the
Fantastic Realist Style which reflected on his expereinces in World War II and his subsequent
voyages across the world. Curated by Damien Michaels and Alan Sisley.

Palimpsests:Muse as Directed: Until June 26
Palimpsests refer to memory. The art of Bill Davis looks like carbon copies - ephemeral images
floating on a black plane, with white annotations simialr to those makde by a professor at work. The viewer is invited to decipher their meanings and memories and to enjoy their formal beauty.
Orange Regional Gallery, Byng St, Orange. Call (02) 6393 8136 or visit

May 26, 2011

Historical research and local archives projects - funding

The 2011-2013 NSW Heritage Grants Historical Research and Local Archives Program operated by the Royal Australian Historical Society is now open for project applications until 1 July 2011.  
Dollar for dollar grants up to $5,000 are available for projects that:
undertake historical research and present a local history; preparation of a local archives collections management plan, or preparation of a local photographic collections management plan.
Click on this Historical Research and Local Archives Program hotlink to take you the Heritage website funding page information and application form.
For further information and to discuss your project, please contact Kathy Gippel at Royal Australian Historical Society on (02) 9247 8001 or email

May 25, 2011

History brought into the light

 25 May,2011

Military records and memorabilia which were once crammed into a single cabinet are now part of an impressive display officially opened at Club Mudgee on Saturday morning.

Over the past two years, the Mudgee RSL sub-branch has worked with Kirsty Creed and Alex Rix of Visual Expanse to plan, frame and present the display.

Where once Club Mudgee visitors might have glanced at dimly lit items as they made their way to the toilets, the memorabilia is now prominently shown in frames or display cabinets under strip lighting.

Mudgee RSL Sub-branch president Graham Pickering said the sub-branch wanted a better display to acknowledge the items given to its care by Mudgee veterans and their families.

“We wanted to display items we believe demonstrate the dedication and sacrifice of the men and women of Mudgee and district who served their country in times of need,” he said.

Mr Pickering said he hoped the care given to displaying the memorabilia might encourage others to lend items.

The project was assisted by a $6000 donation from Club Mudgee.

Items on display include the medals of two men who gave their lives in the Great War: Private Joseph Mara, the first Mudgee man to die in World I, and William “Bill” Cullingham, who was killed in action in Pozieres, France, in July, 1916.

The new memorial to World War I service personnel on Flirtation Hill will be officially dedicated on August 22, the anniversary of Private Joseph Mara’s death at Gallipoli.

Click on photos to enlarge.

May 24, 2011

Regional Sustainable Collections Project


This project is a joint initiative of Cabonne, Blaney and Orange Councils, supported by funding from Arts NSW.

The Project Briefing Paper can be viewed/downloaded here.

A Brochure on the project can be viewed/downloaded here.

Arts NSW as part of Communities NSW has approved a grant of $36,000.00 to Orange City Council to continue the Project. This funding will assist to engage an experienced collections project officer to continue work with museum volunteers to document and assess significance of collections, identify distinctive themes and significant items relating to the history, culture and identity of the community.

May 20, 2011

Information to Help Shape State-Wide Sector Plan

Amanda Lawson from the University of Woollongong is leading a team which is undertaking a consultancy for Arts NSW. Our brief is to develop a Strategic Plan for the Visual Arts and Museum Sector in NSW. 
Their focus is on the small to medium sized gallery and museum sector, and their aim is to provide advice to Arts NSW on the long-term developments and needs of this essential component of our state’s developing cultural activities.  

Consulting widely and directly with the people who make the galleries and museums across NSW run is a priority for this project.

As such, M&G NSW asks you to support this process by either:  

1.   Completing the survey online by going to: ;
2.   Downloading a pdf version here

NB: Please note you may only complete the survey once, in either hard copy or on-line format.  

If you are filling out the hard copy survey, please return it to us in the enclosed self-addressed envelope before Friday 20 May 2011.

If you are completing the on-line survey, please submit your response before 5pm on the same day.

We greatly value your support in taking the time to complete this for us. It is a key part of our planning approach and I thank you in advance for your comments and thoughts.

May 17, 2011

Museums Australia: Museums, Memory & Ethics Symposium

The forthcoming symposium on Museums, Memory and Ethics (19-20 May 2011, in Canberra) offers a rare opportunity to experience international experts and colleagues on 3 related themes that have not been brought together in any public event presented by Museums Australia in the last decade.

It is also timely that the ICOM International Museum Day theme for 2011 (Museum and Memory) has proved so convenient a partner to some other topics colleagues have been asking MA for a long time to provide a lead in covering.

In addition to speakers exploring such rich topics as oral history, Indigenous 20th century histories rewoven in collective memory, the Stolen Generations’ torn memories, international repatriation successes from abroad and return of Old Peoples at last to their rightful filial company in Indigenous communities, there is more.  There will be coverage of immigrant histories as diverse as the Chinese and the Irish in Australia since settlement (by experts in these fields).

Two of the world’s most outstanding experts on international cultural heritage law, and relationships with ethics and museum practices, happen to be Australians who’ve retired to Queensland but are still sharing their expertise generously (Prof. Lyndel Prott AO and Dr Patrick O’Keefe AM).  Both are warm and accessible as well as knowledgeable speakers; they’ve donated their time and expertise to travel and talk with museum colleagues in Canberra next week.  They believe passionately in the importance of ethics codes in museums and will encourage us all to realise how our behaviour assists international cultural heritage conventions, but even keeps standards moving in advance of the law – and eventually can change it.

There will be a concentration on ethics standards specifically, and the vivid world of cases, seizures and public trials that has kept international media attention continuously interested in museum collections and past practices (and ethics) – to a degree we could not have imagined a decade ago.  Three expert lecturers from three different museum studies courses (Univ.Sydney, Macquarie, and Deakin) will facilitate separate workshops, for some brains-on evaluation of recent controversial cases in Australia that have brought museum behaviour and standards into the glare of public attention.  (Media coverage & case material will be provided.)

To round off the two-day event, registrants with be treated to a rich visual survey of some international museum projects, from the Barmiyan Buddhas area in Afghanistan to reconstruction of communities and economic sustainability in Vietnam, to ensure a short but intensive international reflection on the connections between museum-work, memory-work and ethics-work today.

There is still a few days to join this rich gathering.

Registration details at:

Lee Scott
Manager, National Office
Museums Australia
Old Parliament House, Canberra
PO Box 266, Civic Square, ACT 2608
02 6273 2437 PH
02 6273 2451 FX

May 15, 2011

Exhibitions Register

The Exhibitions Register is a free electronic publication which promotes touring exhibitions available to the museum and galleries sector in NSW and across Australia. The Register is published twice a year and is a vital tool for exhibition program planning.

Exhibitions promoted through the Register include those currently in development and being toured by M&G NSW as well as many other exhibitions initiated by major cultural institutions, regional galleries and museums and independent curators.

Issue 1 of the 2011 Exhibitions Register is available here

We are now taking submissions for the next edition of the Exhibitions Register! 
To have your exhibition included in Issue 2, please download the submission form here or contact us for more information. Submission deadline: 5pm Friday 15 July 2011.

For further information and enquiries please contact:
Lillian Lim
Programs & Services (Touring Exhibitions) Coordinator
Ph: +612 9339 9905

May 13, 2011

National Families Week Event - 19 May 2011, Katoomba

This is a partnership event of Blue Mountains Family Support Service (BMFSS) and Blue Mountains TAFE, with the support of many local businesses. 

Link for more details.

May 11, 2011

Local Government CULTURAL AWARDS 2011 Announced

The New South Wales Local Government Cultural Awards celebrate council cultural success. Award winners were announced on the evening of 6 May 2011.  Winners included:


DiscoverAbility Radio Playhouse - CD front Cover


DiscoverAbility provided a bunch of writers, some with disabilities, with an intensive introduction to scriptwriting, under the guidance of PP Cranney. Then a professional director and cast workshopped five selected scripts and recorded them as “DiscoverAbility Radio Playhouse” at local radio station 2NBCfm. For International Day for People With a Disability, Hurstville Council presented a Forum,…

Aboriginal Cultural Development

Gail Naden Welcome to Country

Our Women Our Stories

This oral history project targeted 22 women in the Gilgandra community from Aboriginal and multicultural backgrounds and told their stories through local Wiradjuri artist, Gail Naden. The outcome of the project was a photographic and oral history exhibition.

Cultural Infrastructure

External building shot of Henry Parkes Centre.

Henry Parkes Centre

The Henry Parkes Centre, a major cultural tourism precinct incorporating the Parkes Visitor Information Centre and 4 unique collections including The King's Castle Elvis Exhibit, Parkes Motor Museum, Parkes Museum and Antique Machinery collection, was completed and opened in 2010. At a cost of $4.6million, the precinct was one of Council's major infrastructure projects for 2010 and demonstrates a…

Cultural Infrastructure

Front facade of the Dubbo Regional Theatre and Convention Centre

Dubbo Regional Theatre and Convention Centre

The Dubbo Regional Theatre and Convention project involved the construction of a new 500 tiered seat performing arts theatre adjoined to the existing Dubbo Civic Centre and refurbishment of the Civic Centre. The 1960s Civic Centre comprised a flat floor main hall capable of seating 800 in theatre style, a raised stage, fly tower, dressing rooms and commercial kitchen. Whilst the facility was…

Programs Projects and Partnerships

Author Paul Stafford speaks to students across the state via video conference from the Australian Fossil and Mineral Museum

Scattered Bones

Thousands of school students across NSW have visited the Australian Fossil and Mineral Museum (AFMM) in Bathurst from connected classrooms using video conference technology. The Scattered Bones program is a series of dinosaur themed writing workshops delivered to regionally isolated schools across NSW (including School of the Air). It is a fun and interactive combination of palaeontology and…
Division B Highly Commended — Population between 20,000 and 60,000

Programs Projects and Partnerships

Unveiling of the plaques by the Heritage Council NSW and Mayor John Bowell, Kempsey Shire Council 15 October 2010

Barrunbatayi Burial Ground, East Kempsey Cemetery

Loosing loved ones is never easy, even more so when you do not know where they are buried. In 2009, the Dunghutti Aboriginal Community and Council organised for radar scanning of the old burial ground, created a rainbow serpent path, gardens, borders around graves and erected a granite memorial for those resting in unmarked graves. In 2010, the NSW Heritage Council provided a grant to consult with…

For a full list of winners:

Register your Exhibition Today

Museums & Galleries NSW is seeking touring exhibitions to be included in Issue 2 of the 2011 Exhibitions Register.

The Exhibitions Register is an electronic publication promoting touring exhibitions available to the museum and galleries sector in NSW and across Australia, connecting travelling exhibitions with potential host venues. The Register is published twice a year and submissions are accepted from public galleries, museums, curators, artists and artist-run initiatives. Seize this opportunity to promote your touring exhibition now for free!

Download a submission form here:
The submission deadline is Friday 15 July 2011. Issue 2 will be made available on the M&G NSW website on 27 July 2011.

For further information please contact Lillian Lim on (02) 9339 9905 or

May 10, 2011


Without a doubt, Hobart’s Museum of Old & New Art (MONA) is the must see visual arts attraction – dare I say, probably world-wide.

With the pulling power of a Guggenheim, MONA opened earlier this year to much trumpeting and excitement. So my visit two weeks ago was an inevitable result of always being attracted to the unusual – or as Andrew Frost concluded in his most recent Artscape for ABC TV – an attraction to feel the weird.

MONA is David Walsh’s $150m home for his 3000 odd work collection. I’m sure you have heard about it! Installed & themed around ideas associated with sex & death, the range of works – from Egyptian mummies to recent (and rude) video art – jettison the rule book one might normally expect institutional caution and curatorial rules to follow. On entering, there is an excitement and theatrical escape from the norm to be felt, and from my observation people were lapping it up. On the Saturday we were there, the audience was huge, they were mixed (dare I say demographically), wide-eyed and sparking with enthusiasm. Solemnity is not a word associated with this place.

In retrospect what really stood out was the overall level of detail, of course architecturally, but also significantly, in visitor services and installation practice. The staff were remarkably attentive, unobtrusive and superbly helpful. The building has been beautifully designed, each install empowers the artwork. Overall intimate encounters and commanding views are provided, inside and out.

Much has been made of the lack of traditional instruction; there are no labels or didactic panels to inform visitors – no names, titles or hints towards artistic intention – the closest we came to this kind of old school formality was a wine list. Cleverly, they have combined a form of locative media, with the above information, which can be read through an ipod device ‘on demand’ in front of the artwork you wish to know more about. Selected works also have an audio component attached to their file. This technology allows your visit to be recorded in great detail, providing the museum with valuable visitor data. It can also be  emailed home and revisited with artworks ‘liked’ & ‘disliked’ highlighted.

Attached here is a link to the ABC website and more about Andrew Frost’s encounter with MONA. 

If the opportunity arises, make sure you get down there soon.

Michael Rolfe 
Museum & Galleries NSW

May 6, 2011

May 4, 2011

National Volunteering Week May 11- May 15

National Volunteer Week (NVW) provides the opportunity to highlight the role of volunteers in communities and to say thanks.

The National theme for Volunteering week 2011 is “Inspiring the Volunteer within you”. The theme has been centered around bringing volunteering to the forefront, raising the profile of volunteering and highlighting that volunteering, now more than ever, is important to Australian society.

National Volunteer Week (NVW) is the largest celebration of volunteers and volunteerism in Australia, and provides an opportunity to highlight the role of volunteers in our communities and to say thank you. In keeping with this, Greater Shepparton Volunteer Recognition awards will celebrate the contribution of volunteers from all sectors, including emergency services, education, sport, environment, the arts and many more.

Royal Australian Historical Society - Annual Conference

The next RAHS Conference will be held on the weekend of 29-30 October 2011 at East Maitland Bowling Club, Maitland, NSW.

The theme will be: Of Droughts and Flooding Rains - Australian Disasters: Research, Recording, Recovery

Papers on the main conference topic, as well as papers on the Hunter Valley, heritage, and practical matters will be presented.

The Annual State History Conference brings together local historical societies from across the state to share their publications and projects and learn new skills.

The conference is open to anyone interested in local history, heritage and Australian history.