Giving local history a helping hand

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From military memorabilia through to important art works, Burke Museum staff are giving a helping hand to local community groups as part of a new program to help preserve cultural heritage in Indigo Shire.

Indigo Shire Mayor Cr Jenny O’Connor said that Collections Assistance Program would make a real difference to the preservation of our historic objects and stories.

“We have many community groups such as museums, historical societies, RSLs and clubs that house historically significant collections and stories in Indigo Shire.

“We value our cultural heritage and the work these community groups do to preserve it. We also understand that many of the collections are managed by volunteers who are short on time and resources to undertake vital projects, so it is vital we are able to offer this assistance,” said Cr O’Connor.

Burke Museum and Cultural Heritage Manager Cameron Auty said the program recently kicked off with visits to the Beechworth RSL sub-branch and Chiltern Athenaeum.

“At Beechworth RSL we helped President John Eldrid and volunteers to photograph and catalogue a collection of peacekeeping memorabilia related to Beechworth’s veterans. It’s now available to the public on Victorian Collections, a free, publicly accessible collections website for anyone to look at. We also trained volunteers in exhibition skills, and filmed an oral history interview with John about the importance of the RSL.

“At Chiltern Athenaeum we worked with volunteers to clean and refresh their art exhibition, which features important works by AW Eustace and Henry Handel Richardson. We also helped the committee to draft new policies and procedures, building a more sustainable and professional organisation.

“It’s so important to be able to preserve this history for generations to come. We’re looking forward to getting out over the next 18 months and visiting museums and community groups across the shire to provide support on projects such as exhibitions, digitisation and conservation.” said Mr Auty.

Nine museums and community groups were chosen through an expression of interest process in 2019:

  • Beechworth RSL
  • Chiltern Athenaeum
  • Yackandandah Museum
  • Rutherglen Historical Society
  • Stanley Athenaeum
  • Chiltern Courthouse
  • Tangambalanga History Group
  • Rutherglen RSL
  • Wahgunyah History Group

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