Individual Achievement: Volunteer staff
WINNER – REG RICHARDSON AM: MOSMAN ART GALLERY
Reg Richardson AM was a founding member of the Mosman Art Gallery and the Mosman Public Art Trust in 1998 and continues in both positions to this day. Reg brings a range of expertise to the gallery in business management, collection management and philanthropy.
With boundless energy he has championed contemporary art, community health and Aboriginal reconcilliation. Reg has made significant social contributions through his philanthropic efforts, raising considerable funds for art initiatives and programs and is himself an active philanthropist in the areas of Indigenous healthcare and melanoma research.
Reg was the driving force behind the acquisition and installation of White Flower by Christopher Hodges, a major piece of public art at Balmoral Beach. Reg led the process of commissioning the work, raising funds for its manufacture and installation. When the work was maligned with a vindictive political and media campaign Reg rallied Mosman Council, community groups and the arts industry to counter criticism and bolster Council and community support for the project.
Artist Mitch Cairns painted Reg Richardson for this year’s Archibald Prize and said this of Reg: ‘In making this portrait, I tried to depict something of the way Reg conducts himself . . . He is both affable and compelling; a tireless champion for all that he believes in. I hope this portrait, like Reg, is somewhat humble yet at the same time resonant with magnitude.’
TONY WHELAN: OLD COURTHOUSE MUSEUM (BATEMAN BAY HISTORICAL SOCIETY)
Under the leadership of Tony Whelan, the Historical Society’s Old Courthouse Museum has almost doubled in size in just 3 years, taking the Museum’s profile with it.
Retaining the heritage aspects of the Courthouse while adding extensive new display areas, Tony oversaw the construction of a new kitchen and the outfitting of two former Telstra sheds, one of which now operates as a fully equipped meeting space. The second shed was set up as a second-hand bookshop. The funds generated from the bookshop have reduced the Museum’s dependence on fund-raising.
Tony’s outstanding ability to engage with small business has led to big discounts, as well as some assistance from tradies and suppliers in the area; he’s secured crane hire, building materials and a series of critical removals and deliveries.
Tony successfully led negotiations with Eurobodalla Shire Council for the use of the adjacent Water Gardens Park for museum-initiated events. Under his charge, the Museum secured peppercorn rent from the Batemans Bay Soldiers Club for the permanent display of large artefacts, including their antique agricultural equipment, on a piece of adjoining land.
ANNE MAYO: McCROSSINS MILL MUSEUM (URALLA HISTORICAL SOCIETY)
Anne Mayo is a founding member of Uralla Historical Society, and has been actively involved in all aspects of the development of McCrossin’s Mill Museum and Function Centre since 1979. This November marks 35 years of her continuous service to Uralla Historical Society.
Anne has made a remarkable contribution to the Special Activities Committee (SAC), the team which operates the Function Centre and provides catering for coach groups, weddings and other events. When she first assumed leadership of SAC, Anne was teaching full-time and raising two children.
Since then, the Mill’s catering business has boomed. SAC has contributed over $250,000 to the Historical Society’s general account; money used for building restoration, garden development, and importantly, the design and installation of museum exhibits.
As a result of Anne’s influence and her affirming and optimistic attitudes, members of SAC work well as a team, are positive, cheerful and held in the highest regard by clients and community.
KENT MAYO: McCROSSINS MILL MUSEUM (URALLA HISTORICAL SOCIETY)
Kent is a founding member of the Uralla Historical Society. In 1979 he was involved in the decision to buy the then derelict McCrossin’s Mill.
Kent pledged his support for the duration of the project and now in its 35th year Kent is still enthused, engaged and passionate. He has been a dynamic force in the research and acquisition of artefacts, some of national significance, as well as the development, design and installation of exhibitions.
Kent’s foresight, integrity and passion has made McCrossins Mill largely what it is today; a shining example of regional volunteer-run museums in Australia. The Museum is accessible, entertaining, educating and intriguing visitors; a result stemming in part from the intelligence and creativity Kent brings to the job.
He led an energetic and persistent state-wide hunt for Thunderbolt artefacts and over time has built an impressive collection. The acquisition of these artefacts prompted Uralla Shire Council to purchase The Death of Thunderbolt series of paintings by Philip Pomroy.
The acquisition of Trickett’s World Champion Sculler trophy, led to the development of Trickett’s Triumph, an exhibition of national significance and one initiated by Kent. Under his direction, the Museum has recently developed and opened She’ll Be Right, Mate . . . Hearts and Minds That Shaped New England and Down in the Shed, a project which saw the revitalisation of the Mill’s 1881 Chaff Shed.
The Visitors’ Book tells us that visitors really love McCrossins Mill . . . but probably not as much as Kent does!