Posts Tagged 'Otago Museum'

Medals and museums

Recent media attention has highlighted the proposed sale of medals and log books belonging to aviation war veteran Les Munro.

MOTAT, the Auckland War Memorial Museum, the Air Force Museum in Christchurch and the Otago Museum are working together to support Mr Munro to determine if there is a way that his personal wishes can be fulfilled while retaining his precious World War Two medals and memorabilia in their public collections within New Zealand.
The museums respect the decision Mr Munro has made to raise funds for the upkeep of the Bomber Command Memorial in London and are currently discussing a number of options to achieve the best outcome for all.

Leading these discussions is Mr Michael Frawley, CEO of MOTAT who says “we have a deep admiration for Mr Munro’s altruistic aims and we hope to work with him to realise these. Our primary goal is that Mr Munro is fully supported throughout this process whatever the outcome may be. The huge contribution Mr Munro, his colleagues and the entire Bomber Command made to World War Two cannot be emphasised enough and our museums will continue to highlight their valour, commitment and sacrifice.”

The museums, supported by organisations such as the RSA and NZ Bomber Command Association, are also collaborating with a number of their corporate sponsors to determine the level of financial support available for this project.

Phillipa Tocker
Executive Director
Museums Aotearoa

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News Update 8 July, 2014

Kia Ora,

Our MA15 conference planning team in Dunedin are putting together an exciting programme on the theme of Communicating Culture. On a visit to Dunedin last week Phillipa visited hosts Otago Museum, and met with the folk from the other museums and galleries who are contributing to the programme. Look out for more information, a call for proposals, events at Toitū and Dunedin Public Art Gallery, visits and tours – complete with powhiri, bagpipes and southern hospitality. We have penciled in 6-8 May 2015, although this may change depending on the availability of our keynote speaker(s).

Matariki-1

Congratulations to Olveston for topping the NZ list of Landmarks in the 2014 tripadvisor.com Traveller’s Choice Awards. Awarded on the basis of visitor reviews on the Tripadvisor website, with a 97% satisfaction level (the highest in the country), Olveston has been ranked #1 in the top 10 list. Olveston is also ranked #5 in the Top 25 list of South Pacific Landmarks, the only NZ entity included in the list (tipped by Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge). The very favourable media coverage of the award in print, online, tv and radio, has resulted in great exposure for the house. For the complete lists, visit http://www.tripadvisor.co.nz or read Dunedin landmark beats out Sky Tower.

Looking at the last two weeks media reports, we wish we could have gone to all the wonderful and imaginative Matariki events around the country. Now there’s a new raft or offerings for the school holidays – we hope they’re well-attended and appreciated. We’re also seeing a growing number of WW1 events and exhibitions as the centenary gets closer. Many museums are researching local WW1 stories, and the National Army Museum has enlisted Sir Peter Jackson’s expertise to plan its Western Front battlefield experience. We recommend the resources on the official MCH WW100 website, where its easy to list your museum and gallery projects and events.

Local politics continues to have a direct effect on museums and galleries. In Whangarei, the council has decided to can the controversial Hundertwasser Art Centre project despite the funding threshhold being met, and in Oamaru, the council is to investigate merging the Forrester Gallery and North Otago Museum on the Forrester site. MTG Hawke’s Bay is still in the news over budget and visitation. We’re currently doing some research on museum and gallery governance, to see if there are structures and patterns which we can analyse and learn from so that museums can be better positioned to survive and thrive in their own local contexts. This research will feed into our next sector survey later this year.

And if you’re in Wellington we can personally recommend the City Gallery’s current exhibition Seung Yul Oh: MOAMOA, A Decade. As well as interactive inflatable objects and large fibreglass birds that rock and chime (Oddooki, commissioned by Te Papa 2008), there’s The Ability to Blow Themselves Up. Check out the City Gallery staff practising in this online video.

Ngā mihi,
Phillipa and Talei

 

News Update 4 June 2013

Kia ora,

The new MA Board met for the first time in Wellington on 13 May. We reviewed feedback from the MA13 conference and Kahui Kaitiaki, and planned priority activities for the coming months. We are excited to be working on a series of regional forums for members and museum staff to get together to discuss key issues. The first of these will be in Napier on 11 July.

MA13 conference material is now online, including videos of keynote presentations on YouTube.

We are delighted to see that Auckland Museum, finalist in the 2013 NZ Museum Awards for its energy saving project, is now a finalist in the Green Ribbon Awards to be announced at Parliament tomorrow (World Environment Day).

Dr Ian Griffin, new Director of Otago Museum has told Kathryn Ryan on Radio NZ’s Nine to Noon that ‘museums are absolutely critical to any civilised society’. Listen to the interview to hear more of his background and ideas about museums in general and Otago Museum in particular.

The Museums Australia conference in Canberra was a good opportunity to see how colleagues across the Tasman are dealing with very similar challenges and issues as we are. In some areas they seem to be doing well – while funding is always an issue, the general feeling was positive, and some exciting projects were showcased. In engagement with indigenous and diverse communities there was recognition that there is much that Australia can learn from Aotearoa. Canberra was in celebratory mood, with a year-long programme of festivals and events marking its centenary. While I wasn’t in the right place at the right time to see it floating above the city, Patricia Piccinini’s Skywhale hot-air balloon sculpture occasioned much discussion alongside the more serious conference topics.

Phillipa with The Lady Denman

Phillipa with The Lady Denman

On the way back from Canberra I stopped in at the Lady Denman Maritime Museum in Jervis Bay. I had not planned the visit – it was raining, the museum happened to be well-signposted, and I was looking for a break from driving. While I didn’t wander the extensive grounds and outbuildings because of the rain, there was plenty to see inside besides the centrepiece Sydney Harbour ferry ‘Lady Denman’ (1911-1979) which was built nearby. The museum has the eclectic collection of miscellany you expect in a community museum, including local history, shipwreck stories, and an extensive personal collection of surveyors’ instruments and maritime memorabilia. As a hub for its community, I experienced the strains of the local men’s choir rehearsing, a delightful volunteer who wanted to share her enthusiasm for every aspect of the museum, and could have purchased local art and craft. In addition, I found that the museum manager (and only paid staff member) was MA member Melinda Loe, formerly of Te Papa and more recently the Rocks Discovery Museum in Sydney. Mel has been there a few months now, and would love more visits from fellow New Zealanders.

He tangata, He tangata, He tangata! the theme for National Volunteer week, 16-22 June. This is a special time to recognise and celebrate the wonderful work of volunteers, without whom many museums simply could not operate. See Volunteering NZ for resources and ideas. Also coming up is Maori Language Week, 1-7 July, with the theme Ngā Ingoa Māori – Māori names. Coming alongside Matariki, there are ideas, activities and resources on the Korero Māori website and MLW Facebook page.

Ngā mihi,
Phillipa and Talei

STOP PRESS – MA14 conference, Napier, 2-4 April 2014

Reserve the dates now, and send us your ideas any time. We’ll put out a preliminary call for contributions very soon.


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