6-7 August 2015
The Workshops Rail Museum, Ipswich, Queensland
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The 2015 M&G QLD Conference was a major professional development initiative dedicated to the volunteer and professional workers in Queensland’s public gallery and museum sector.
Held every four years, the Conference provides a forum for the sector to come together and discuss issues affecting contemporary regional and public museum/gallery practice at a local, national and international level.
The 2015 Conference explored participation, community engagement and ways of encouraging active involvement as our museums and galleries strive to be vibrant, accessible and essential places for communities and visitors alike.
The Conference included:
- An opening night invitation to a local artists' exhibition, embrace
- Networking dinners for delegates at local restaurants
- An expo of industry suppliers
- A local history tour of Ipswich
- Behind the scenes tours of state institutions
- Conference Dinner
The Conference used the hashtag #2015MGQcon
The Conference session themes were:
Participatory practice IS community engagement
Community engagement through participatory practice has been in the forefront of people’s minds, if not in their practice, for some time. While community engagement often seems to mean ‘we, the institution, engage with you, the community’, participatory practice recognises that we are all ‘community’. It embraces the idea that if we want to engender a sense of ownership there needs to be community participation in decision making and engagement with the content and the process, not just opportunities for passive consumption. Some consider participatory practice fundamental to our sustainability.
Co-creation, collaboration and community
A key way of developing collaborative exhibitions and displays is through co-creation of content with communities. This approach to engaging people within a community and telling stories important to them in a collaborative way can be a life-changing experience. Similarly collaborative exhibitions with peers present a means of enhancing the story and experiencing the synergies of working together.
Volunteers are visitors too
The catchcry of many museums and galleries is how do we attract more volunteers? Volunteers bring a wealth of passion and experience and are a fundamental part of many of our cultural institutions. Volunteers are also a part of our community, and in order to build recognition and a sense of belonging we need to re-examine the way in which we engage with them to ensure a good volunteering experience.
Programming for diversity
Recognising diversity in communities is a fundamental tenet of community engagement, and researching in and with community can be in equal parts a challenging and affirmative experience.
Demystifying the Australian Curriculum
The Australian Curriculum sets national standards for what all young Australians should learn as they advance through their schooling, and provides teachers with a framework for what their students need to do and learn. Our galleries and museums are a rich resource that can assist in developing students’ skills and knowledge in engaging ways. With the recent roll-out of the National Curriculum, it is timely to consider how we can use it to develop programs for our communities.
What’s the story? Compelling narratives to engage audiences
Museums, by their very nature, are repositories of a huge number of engrossing stories. How can our museums and galleries use storytelling to create compelling narratives that engage visitors, empower discovery and spark imagination? Is it through storytellers, signage, museum theatre, didactics, yarning circles, digital stories, tours or story making?
Password fail - navigating digital engagement
For many, the first challenge of digital engagement is the task of digitising. But what do we do once our collection has been digitised? From recognising how digitisation can increase access to our collections to the myriad of interactive technologies available (including apps, websites, gaming platforms) and their uses, we look at the ideas, approaches and technologies that are current in digital engagement.