Museum workers and volunteers from a range of FNQ museums have been involved in three different workshops over the past six weeks. Workshops offer participants an opportunity to acquire new skills so that they can care for and promote their collections and museums. But it’s important not to overlook the social value of these training sessions and to acknowledge how they reinvigorate the region’s industry and the people who work in it.
The three workshops held were designed to improve museum skills in exhibitions planning, collection management software and timber conservation. Each workshop has been a stand alone event that has been delivered by a different presenter or company.
FNQ MDO Dr Jo Wills delivered the exhibitions planning workshop through Heritage North in Cairns. Representatives from eight different groups from around the Tablelands, Cairns and Innisfail region participated. Innisfail Historical Society members and Douglas Shire Historical Society representatives, for example, discovered that their collections both hold material related to the Low Isles expedition, and so can share knowledge and resources.
Collections management training for organisations using MOSAiC software was run by the MOSAiC team, Rew and Sally-Anne Whittington, in Cairns. There is now a local network of organisations using this software that can help each other out if they get into difficulties, including two Aboriginal collecting organisations at Kowanyama and Yarrabah.
Timber conservation workshops were held at CADCAI to conserve some of the nationally significant Lit Sung Goong Temple collection. The workshops were funded through the National Library of Australia’s Community Heritage Grant stream and included bringing two professional conservators from International Conservation Services, Adam Godijn and Oliver Hull, to work on the collection and run a timber preservation workshop. By opening up this training to other collecting groups, CADCAI have offered another workshop and networking opportunity for museum workers in the far north, including Cairns Museum and James Cook Museum in Cooktown.