Winton Fire response – Waltzing Matilda Centre
Queensland Museum staff Ewen McPhee and Sue Valis have returned from their initial response to the salvage work at the Waltzing Matilda Centre in Winton. Ewen and Sue worked side by side volunteers from the Winton and District Historical Society and Winton Shire Council workers to salvage the objects and start the conservation process.
Once the building was cleared for entry, objects were removed from the Centre with the assistance of Council workers, many of whom also had a strong attachment to the collection through their own family history. Objects were then brought outside and checked off a list, recorded and transported by car, truck and ute to a clean work area. Under the guidance of Sue, Winton and District Historical Society volunteers then prioritised objects and started laying them out and undertaking preventative conservation. Other makeshift drying areas and cleaning zones were utilised to ensure the large volume of objects were processed quickly to allow every possible chance of long term conservation.
Credit must go to the Winton and District Historical Society for their policies, procedures and facilities before, during and post disaster. The Society had excellent records, training, facilities and community spirit that allowed the initial response to go smoothly. A report on the condition of the collection will be provided at an appropriate time by the Society.
Please see the galleries below for images of the building and response. If you click on the images this will enlarge them and allow you to scroll through each gallery.
The entire Museum Development Officer team will return to Winton in mid July to again work alongside the volunteers from the Winton and District Historical Society.
The objects in situ and display area
The recovery area