National Wool Museum receives AMaGA Victoria Award for medium museums/galleries

The AMaGA Victoria Award for medium museums/galleries has been won by the National Wool Museum and the On the Land: Our Story Retold exhibition.

On the Land: Our Story Retold is about the past, present and future of Australian wool. It is about people and places and how the land was settled. It is the first major exhibition on Australian wool for over two decades. It begins with a major new exhibit on the Wadawurrung people – the Traditional Owners of the Geelong region.

On the Land: Our Story Retold is all about this rich and bountiful land. But there is an underlying tension implicit in this exhibition. How do we reconcile the rich and bountiful social and economic history of the wool industry with the drastic environmental and cultural impact of the industry over the last two centuries? This question is constantly in tension at all moments throughout the experience.

The Museum drew upon more than 40 artists, artisans, Traditional Owners and local contractors. In a time of uncertainty, the exhibition invested in the local community. It has been created with historical research and art. The exhibition features contributions from leading Geelong artists including:

Even our taxidermy sheep have had a makeover courtesy of Melbourne illustrator Ashley Ronning.

Full list of Victorian museums and galleries award winners

The AMaGA Victoria Award for medium museums/galleries (8-50 Paid Staff)

National Wool Museum for On the Land: Our Story Retold

Highly commended:

Grimwade Conservation Services, the University of Melbourne

CostumeLAB – Conservation in Action HC

Geelong Gallery, Rone in Geelong exhibition design.

Winner AMaGA Victoria Award for Excellence (volunteer)

Judith Kershaw, Port Fairy Museum and Archives.

Highly commended:

Dr Ian Buckland, Beleura House and Garden.

AMaGA Victoria Lifetime Achievement Award

Michael Aitken, Cyril Kett Optometry Museum

Martin Hallett Award for individual contribution to community heritage

Clare Gervasoni, Ballarat Heritage Services and Federation University.

The Archival Survival Award for volunteer-run museums/galleries (up to 1 EFT paid staff)

Her Place Women’s Museum Australia for Unmasked.

Highly commended:

The Australian Queer Archives, ‘A History of LGBTIQ+ Victoria in 100 Places & Objects’ project and website.

The Archival Survival Award for small museums/galleries (2-7 paid staff)

Warrnambool Art Gallery for the WAG Maar Nation Gallery and Aboriginal-led Legacy Initiative.

Highly commended:

The Beechworth Burke Museum, The Burke Museum Online Cataloguing Program (BMOCP).

AMaGA Victoria Award Judges

We commend the National Wool Museum for developing such a complex and detailed, well researched and considered permanent exhibition on a budget. The exhibition bravely engages with communities and audiences, confronting frontier stories to bring balance to the celebration of wool as an economic and cultural phenomenon across regional Australia, including in the Geelong region.

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