Thursday, November 3, 2016

Successful application to the 2016 Community Heritage Grants Program

 Image -  No 10 Quality Row House Museum

We are pleased to announce the Norfolk Island Museum (NIM) has been awarded funding through the 2016 Community Heritage Grants (CHG) Program to provide for a Preservation Needs Assessment.   This funding is by the Australian Government through the National Library of Australia and its partners; the Department of Communications and the Arts; the National Archives of Australia; the National Film and Sound Archive and the National Museum of Australia.  

We have been fortunate for this Program in past years providing the Norfolk Island Museum with the capacity to undertake a variety of important projects including; the 2015 Significance Assessment, Conservation of the Bounty Cannon Project, Disaster Management Planning and opportunities for professional development, to name just a few.  

A Preservation Needs Assessment will provide key recommendations for the short, medium and long term management of the collections in our care.  It will assess existing policies and their impact on the collection, broadly outline the types of objects in the collection and their condition, examine building and environment, storage and display, visitor impact, disaster preparedness as well as training and skills.  The outcome will be prioritised recommendations for a Preservation or ‘Action’ Plan.   Also and importantly, it will be the key tool to support future grant applications for conservation projects and planning to protect the collections for the future.

The Grant Agreement specifies the assessment must be undertaken by a qualified conservator therefore we have engaged the services of Sue Valis, Conservator at the Queensland Museum to undertake the task.  Sue is currently based at the Museum of Tropical Queensland in Townsville where the artefacts from the wreck of the HMS Pandora are held, this was the ship sent from England to capture the HMAV Bounty mutineers, then on its return voyage became shipwrecked off the coast of Queensland where tragically 34 lives were lost.   Her experience includes conservation and collection management of a diverse range of collection material in various locations.  She has spent many years providing support and advice to museums in regional areas and is very much looking forward to visiting us here on Norfolk to complete the Preservation Needs Assessment.

We are grateful for our successful application to the Community Heritage Grants Program, this year there was a strong field of 172 applications whereby 77 organisations were offered a grant.  Our thanks go to the grant panel, the National Library of Australia and its partners for our selection.

Janelle Blucher

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