Hall of Fame a prized gift for Country Music Capital

Tamworth Regional Councillors have tonight taken the next formal step in a process to ensure the Australian Country Music Foundation’s museum collection is preserved and enhanced for future generations.

They have tonight agreed to accept the ‘gift’ of the collection from the Australian Country Music Foundation which will transfer the legal ownership of the Australian Country Music Hall of Fame to Tamworth Regional Council.

Tamworth Region Mayor Col Murray said the gift is a “significant part” of Tamworth’s heritage.

“It is the only collection of its type which tells the story of the Australian country music industry and its natural home is here at Australia’s Country Music Capital,” he said. “The Hall of Fame is a wonderful addition to our music-themed assets and attractions and we are grateful of the work the Australian Country Music Foundation has done over many years to build the collection.”

Australian Country Music Foundation chairman Eric Scott said the Australian Country Music Foundation is “profoundly grateful” to the Tamworth Regional Council and, in particular, Mayor Col Murray.

“There has been continued interest and support shown for over 25 years of work seeking out information, history and precious objects which tell the rich story of the first hundred years of country music in Australia and New Zealand and the musical talents of the men and women who created it,” he said.

“We are entrusting to the Council the future and preservation of our priceless collection which has received the attention of no less an organisation than the UNESCO Memory of the World Australian Register.”

The foundation is a volunteer-run, not for profit organisation with the charter to collect, protect, preserve and promote the history of Australasian Country Music. It was formed in 1991 and is the administrator of the Australian Country Music Hall of Fame. The foundation will continue to operate as an independent entity but after 1 December, 2020, will no longer hold ownership of the museum collection.

Director Tamworth Regional Gallery and Musuems, Bridget Guthrie said for more than five years Council has worked in partnership with the foundation towards a shared vision and future goals for the Hall of Fame museum collection.

“The collection supports and reflects key cultural themes for Tamworth and the region and is important in the tourism landscape,” she said

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The adoption of the Deed of Gift supports the previously endorsed Australian Country Music Hall of Fame Strategic Plan 2020-2014 (with updates timeframes due to the COVID-19 pandemic). The plan provides for Council to take up the operation and management of the Hall of Fame from 1 September, 2020 and the Deed of Gift transfers the collection from 30 November, 2020.

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