Our Rivers Our History is the result of Arts NSW brilliant Regional Museum Networking (RMN) grant, and what a success it’s been!
First awarded in 2013, the RMN grant funded two programs – one in Albury which resulted in their Identity project, and this one – Our Rivers Our History. Awarded to the Mid North Coast Chapter of Museums Australia the grant was used to engage consultants to advise and assist the museums and their volunteers to develop a web based exhibition showcasing local museum collections and a river based heritage trail.
The resultant online exhibition and website tells the stories of the Manning, Camden Haven, Hastings and Macleay Rivers, and showcases some of the most significant objects held in the local museums relating to the rivers and coastal waters.
It provides tourists and locals alike the tools to understand and appreciate how the rivers influenced economic development in the region, and how these histories have defined and continue to contribute to the identity of the area.
There’s a rich mix of information contained within the website which has been packaged for easy and intuitive online exploration. It’s got the latest of features – QR codes, GPS tracking references, Google maps for each of the four rivers, and a top ten list of places to visit using the heritage tourism trail – all of which make a powerful resource encouraging people to get out and about to explore both the river system, and the participating museums.
There’s a rich mix of information contained within the website which has been packaged for easy and intuitive online exploration.
The project was managed and led by Mid North Coast Chapter of Museums Australia who delivers training, development and networking opportunities to museums within the shires of Bellingen, Kempsey, Nambucca and Hastings and the cities of Coffs Harbour, Taree and Port Macquarie.
And they have done a fine job! Managed by a small committee and steered by Debbie Sommers, the chapter coordinated eighteen museum volunteers from seven mid-north coast museums who collectively spent more than 3000 hours in the past 12 months to collaborate on the innovative and ground-breaking project. They surveyed each collection and through Statements of Significance identified 58 objects to play a part of a larger story and tell its own story.
All participating museums are volunteer run; own their collections and some own their buildings; and none receive government operating funds. So hats off to Wingham Museum, Tinonee, Camden Haven Museum, Mid North Coast Maritime Museum, Port Macquarie Museum, Wauchope Museum and Kempsey Museum.
What a team effort and a fantastic result!
Take a look at the Our Rivers Our History website!
The Regional Museum Networking grant is a devolved funding program supported by Arts NSW and administered by Museum & Galleries of NSW on behalf of the NSW Government.