In May of 2014 I was a fortunate recipient of a Regional Galleries Association of Queensland bursary. The bursary allowed me to attend the Museums Australia National Conference in Launceston Tasmania which took place Friday 16 May through Monday 19 May.
Throughout the five day program numerous insights and ideas were discussed and debated. All centred on the conference focus; ‘Connecting the Edge: within and beyond the Museum’. This theme manifested itself in many ways. Those I found most interesting drew on the museum experience beyond the building, the digital future, and other industries and sectors from whom we might learn.
Beyond the building
New possibilities for engagement and access were described in a recount of Christchurch Art Gallery’s response to the 2011 quakes. With the prolonged closure of the gallery building, numerous off site projects were developed and online platforms extended. These practical undertakings resulted in increased reach and enabled the gallery to continue making a national and international contribution.
Collaborative authorship through academic narrative and individual recollection; specifically in relation to the role of museums and galleries in forming and remoulding our senses of the past was also discussed in-depth. Opportunities for inclusive collaboration through digital technologies were outlined and put forward.
Successful elements of the entertainment industry were raised and considered within the context of the museum. The increased capability to interact with audiences through digital platforms was also referenced within this framework. Extending the capability of story and context creation were described and suggested as possible devices relevant to the museum and gallery industry.
All key note lectures and program sessions scheduled throughout the conference imparted fresh insights and established meaningful conversation. I am grateful to the Regional Galleries Association of Queensland for their generous support in enabling the opportunity to connect and engage.