Museums & Galleries Queensland Conference 2015

About the conference

Delegates at the 2015 Museums & Galleries Queensland conference, The Workshops Rail Museum, Ipswich. Photo courtesy of M&G QLD.

Date: 6 – 7 August 2015
The Workshops Rail Museum, Ipswich

The 2015 M&G QLD Conference was a major professional development initiative dedicated to the volunteer and professional workers in Queensland’s public gallery and museum sector.

The 2015 Conference explored participation, community engagement and ways of encouraging active involvement as our museums and galleries strive to be vibrant, accessible and essential places for communities and visitors alike.

Held every four years, the Conference provides a forum for the sector to come together and discuss issues affecting contemporary regional and public museum/gallery practice at a local, national and international level.

The Conference included:

  • An opening night invitation to a local artists’ exhibition, embrace
  • Networking dinners for delegates at local restaurants
  • An expo of industry suppliers
  • A local history tour of Ipswich
  • Behind the scenes tours of state institutions
  • Conference Dinner

The Conference used the hashtag #2015MGQcon

Conference program

Download the conference program to read more about the keynote speakers, presentations and workshops.

Conference themes

Participatory practice IS community engagement

Community engagement through participatory practice has been in the forefront of people’s minds, if not in their practice, for some time. While community engagement often seems to mean ‘we, the institution, engage with you, the community’, participatory practice recognises that we are all ‘community’. It embraces the idea that if we want to engender a sense of ownership there needs to be community participation in decision making and engagement with the content and the process, not just opportunities for passive consumption. Some consider participatory practice fundamental to our sustainability.

Co-creation, collaboration and community

A key way of developing collaborative exhibitions and displays is through co-creation of content with communities. This approach to engaging people within a community and telling stories important to them in a collaborative way can be a life-changing experience. Similarly collaborative exhibitions with peers present a means of enhancing the story and experiencing the synergies of working together.

Volunteers are visitors too

The catchcry of many museums and galleries is how do we attract more volunteers? Volunteers bring a wealth of passion and experience and are a fundamental part of many of our cultural institutions. Volunteers are also a part of our community, and in order to build recognition and a sense of belonging we need to re-examine the way in which we engage with them to ensure a good volunteering experience.

Programming for diversity

Recognising diversity in communities is a fundamental tenet of community engagement, and researching in and with community can be in equal parts a challenging and affirmative experience.

Demystifying the Australian Curriculum

The Australian Curriculum sets national standards for what all young Australians should learn as they advance through their schooling, and provides teachers with a framework for what their students need to do and learn. Our galleries and museums are a rich resource that can assist in developing students’ skills and knowledge in engaging ways. With the recent roll-out of the National Curriculum, it is timely to consider how we can use it to develop programs for our communities.

What’s the story? Compelling narratives to engage audiences

Museums, by their very nature, are repositories of a huge number of engrossing stories. How can our museums and galleries use storytelling to create compelling narratives that engage visitors, empower discovery and spark imagination? Is it through storytellers, signage, museum theatre, didactics, yarning circles, digital stories, tours or story making?

Password fail – navigating digital engagement

For many, the first challenge of digital engagement is the task of digitising. But what do we do once our collection has been digitised? From recognising how digitisation can increase access to our collections to the myriad of interactive technologies available (including apps, websites, gaming platforms) and their uses, we look at the ideas, approaches and technologies that are current in digital engagement.


Dr David Fleming OBE, National Museums Liverpool
Creating the Much Loved Museum keynote presentation

Kirstin Sillitoe, Co-CEO, Arts Access Australia 
Access: It’s All About Breaking The Rules keynote presentation
Download presentation transcript

Kiersten Fishburn, Director Community and Culture, Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre, Liverpool City Council
At The Heart of Everything: Casula Powerhouse and Community Centre Programming keynote presentation

Alfredo and Isabel Aquilizan, Artists
Making Do keynote presentation

Alec Coles OBE, CEO, Western Australian Museum
Whose Museum is it Anyway? keynote presentation

Ant McKenna, Team Leader, Cultural Programs, Sunshine Coast Council
Collaborating to Build the Profile of a Region presentation
View presentation slides

Chris Stannard, Curator, Tanks Arts Centre
Co-Curating by Default presentation
View presentation slides

Colleen Ogilvie, Event Manager, Abbey Medieval Festival
Our Vols Rock!!! Happy Volunteers are Supportive Volunteers presentation
View presentation slides

Debbie Campbell, Digital Heritage Consultant
Collaborative Digital Collection Building presentation
View presentation slides

Diana Warnes, Curator, Rockhampton Art Gallery
‘Cream’ and the Curriculum presentation
View presentation slides

Cr George Seymour, Fraser Coast Regional Council
Maryborough Open House: Unlocking Doors, Telling Stories and Building a Community presentation
View presentation slides

James Abernethy, Venue Supervisor – Redcliffe Museum & Justyne Wilson, Venue Supervisor – Pine Rivers Heritage Museum, Moreton Bay Regional Council
The National History Curriculum: How Museums are Motivating the Response to Current Curricular and Educational Demand presentation
View presentation slides

James Donaldson, Senior Museum Officer, RD Milns Antiquities Museum
Too Many Volunteers? A Case Study in Volunteer Engagement from the RD Milns Antiquities Museum, University of Queensland presentation
View presentation slides

Joan Kelly, Network Coordinator – Museums, Moreton Bay Regional Council
Relevance Through Diversity presentation
View presentation slides

Judy Watson, Artist
Saltwater Country presentation
View presentation slides

Justyne Wilson, Venue Supervisor – Pine Rivers Heritage Centre, Moreton Bay Regional Council
Relevance Through Diversity presentation
View presentation slides

Katie McConnel, Curator, Old Government House
To Amaze: the Aspiration of All Curators. ‘The Voice in the Walls’ Project at Old Government House presentation
View presentation slides

Lisa Jackson, Administrator, North Stradbroke Island Historical Museum
Making the Museum a Classroom presentation
View presentation slides

Sandra Ross, Education and Public Programs Officer, Gympie Regional Gallery
What Makes Some Collaborative Projects Work Well and Some Not? presentation
View presentation slides

Tamsin Cull, Senior Programs Officer, Children’s Art Centre, Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art
Contemporary Art for Kids – Collaborating with Artists and Children presentation
View presentation slides

Conference outcome report
Download report

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Did you attend the 2015 Museums & Galleries Queensland conference? Go to our Flickr page to see all the photos from presentations, workshops and events.


The 2019 M&G QLD Conference could not happen without the generous support of sponsors. Thank you to the following supporters:

Principle sponsor

IAS Fine Art Logistics logo

Major sponsor

Lanyard sponsor

Ipswich City Council logo
Dexion logo

Lunch sponsors

State Library of Queensland logo
Queensland Government logo

Conference supporters

workshops rail museum logo
Queensland Museum Network logo
Queensland Government logo
ipswich events corporation logo
Qantas Founders Museum Logo


Training & Professional Development team

Museums & Galleries Queensland

Review Site
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