In the first quarter 2017 has been a year of opportunities and challenges for the sector and the second quarter seems to be starting out the same way. Our trading name of Museums Galleries Australia is bedding down as the organisation seeks to better define its role with not everyone understanding the intended inclusive definition of museum which includes galleries. Certainly in times of funding constraint all streams of the collecting sector are concerned that programs and benefits are inclusive. Museums Galleries Australia continues to advocate for the strength of a single voice.

As a peak body within the arts and culture sector,  Museums Galleries Australia Western Australia (MGAWA) continues to be constructively engaged in the Collection Sector Review. MGAWA has been a lead contributor to the Collections Sector Review since February 2016. The Review aims to develop the sustainability of the Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums sector (GLAM), as a network of entities charged with the care of and public programs associated with collections across Western Australia.

MGAWA has provided its expertise in the discussion and prioritisation of initiatives across a short to long term range and to the development of three discussion papers and ongoing promotion of concepts. Based on feedback from across the GLAM sector, the following priority areas have been identified:

  • Audience Development
  • Professional Development/Skills Development
  • Digital Collections Platform
  • Mentoring

Together with Art on The Move, MGAWA has developed the priority program for 2017, a Pilot Sector Training initiative in partnership with sector peak bodies. The delivery of training sessions to both metro and regional WA will include an evaluation.

In more direct involvement MGAWA has been one of the supporting planners for the State Heritage and History Conference to be held in the Perth Concert Hall on 11 – 12 May. This will be preceded by a Masterclass on the Happy Museum project delivered by Tony Butler. Registrations are open for both events. MGAWA has been able to secure bursary funding for both activities to facilitate attendance by regional and smaller museums and galleries.

MGAWA is also assisting any GLAM sector organisation at no cost to upload the details of their museum or gallery, to upload a digital guide to their collection and to promote their events via this new site (www.museumsgalleriesaustraliawa.org.au). The site and initiaitve will act as a test bed to introduce these concepts across the sector primarily to regional museums and galleries who have had limited acess to services of this type. Twenty online sessions to member and non-member organisations will be delivered in metro and regional WA.

This program will enhance the reach and scope of current skills development initiatives, as well as compliment the Western Australian digital platform priority currently under investigation by the Collections Sector

The identified online resources being promoted by MGAWA for this purpose include:

The community web site www.museumsgalleriesaustraliawa.org.au provides the opportunity for any GLAM sector organisation at no cost to upload the details of their museum or gallery, a digital guide to their collection and promotion of their events through mentoring via phone. As at 1 April, 50 museums and galleries have elected to participate.

With the Western Australian election process now complete, MGAWA is positioning its communications program to create awareness of our sector contribution and also to follow up with the new government’s forecast initiatives for the arts and culture sector. With our strong chapter network, MGAWA provides a unique structure to partner regional initiatives.