Building Babinda Museum
In 2017, a small group of local people with an interest in Babinda’s history formed a steering committee with the intention of starting a museum. The steering committee became a subcommittee of Babinda District Community Association Inc, a not-for-profit community organisation supporting the health, community and economic development initiatives in Babinda, and from there it grew, with the Babinda Museum officially opening its doors to the public in January 2023.
The steering committee had a vision to create an innovative heritage hub that promotes Babinda’s unique rainforest culture and environment, preserves history and heritage through creative displays, encourages engagement with local community, stimulates cultural tourism economic opportunities, and supports remembrance, reconciliation, regrowth and resilience.
Working with the Queensland Museum’s Senior Museum Development Officer in FNQ, Dr Jo Wills, this included but is not limited to:
- The development of a strategic plan
- Undertaking extensive community engagement
- Securing funding through multiple project grants, sponsorship, and community fundraisingdrives
- Curatorial concept development
- Undertaking training in museum practices and collection management
- Developing policies and procedures
- Exhibition design and installation
At all times during the Museum’s development, the committee held strong their commitment to inclusive representation and reconciliation.
Taking a family story approach to facilitate inclusion, they liaised with Traditional Elders to integrate local First Nations stories and artifacts into the displays to bring their community’s history, culture and identity to life and, in doing so, have created a place of reconciliation.