Clear approach to manage City’s vibrant arts and heritage collection worth nearly $28m

A strategic focus for
how the City could use and manage its 12,000 moveable artworks, objects and
artefacts into the future will be exhibited for community feedback.

The ‘Our Heritage, Our
Collection’ report estimates the City’s collection, which is spread across
numerous locations throughout the region, is worth nearly $28 million.

Some of the significant
items include a c1821 sample of fabric from the first wool clip in Australia, a
c1900 spinning wheel from the Nepal and Tibet region and confiscated contraband
from the Old Geelong Gaol.

The City’s outdoor
collection (public art, monuments and plaques etc) is insured for $13,100,000,
while the National Wool Museum stores the most objects – nearly 8,000 – worth
$7,500,000.

During the council meeting discussion
of the strategic report, councillors also
passed an amendment encouraging community members to return arts and heritage
items that may belong to the City of Greater Geelong or its former legal
entities.

The items of heritage
significance may have once belonged to the collection but were misplaced or
lost over time.

The report has been developed
through consultation with the community, as well as internal and external
stakeholders. The project was funded
through the Australian Government’s Building Better Regions Fund.

Workshops were held,
while an online survey received 32 responses from a wide cross-section of the
community.

Benchmarking was also
carried out with other
Victorian councils developing their own strategic reports and research
developed by the Australian Museums and Galleries Association (Victoria).

Internal and external
engagement highlighted the overwhelming need to collect, care for and display
more objects that greater reflect the region’s different ethnically and culturally
diverse communities.

The City will work with
Wadawurrung community members to support cultural expression through collections,
stories and exhibitions.

The report also outlines
the fantastic opportunity to showcase our proud Wadawurrung community, reflecting
our long Indigenous history.

The ‘Our Heritage, Our
Collection’ report is being publically exhibited on the Geelong Australia
website’s Have Your Say page from 28 November 2019 until 31 December 2019.

Councillor Stephanie Asher – Mayor

The City is lucky to own such
a significant and varied collection of works, that reflect different times in
Greater Geelong’s history.

The ‘Our Heritage, Our
Collection’ report will give the City a clear direction on how to give the wider
community greater access to enjoy it.

Councillor Trent Sullivan, Chair, Arts, Culture and Heritage portfolio

These treasures form part of the Geelong region’s rich history and as
such, need to be managed appropriately.

I encourage those with any objects, that may be owned by the City or
former legal entities, to come forward for the items of value to be assessed
for inclusion in the collection.

This is a great chance for us to showcase what we have now, but it is
also clear we need to collaborate closely with our traditional owners, the Wadawurrung
community, to identify and preserve more elements of our long Indigenous history.

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