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Community Museums Pilot Project

Victoria has over 740 community museums. These include historical societies, museums, indigenous keeping places, RSL collections, mechanics institutes, archives, botanic gardens and genealogical societies. They hold over 1.5 million items across Victoria. Community museums are largely managed by volunteers and two thirds of them are in regional Victoria

The Project - Strengthening Local Communities

October 2009

A Community Museums Officer 'broker' was employed in Victoria's Goldfields region to work with different community collecting organisations. The purpose was to explore opportunities for improved collections management and community engagement outcomes.

The project has led to innovative collaborations and activities that have improved the sector, strengthened the role of collecting organisations in communities, and increased access to significant historical objects and stories. The Report, Strengthening local communities - The community museums pilot project report - outlines the importance of community museums and will inform future policies and initiatives for supporting the community museum sector across the State.

Community Museums Pilot Project - Evaluation Report

July 2013

The project has delivered improvements to community museum management, an increase in volunteering and a deeper understanding of the role museums play in telling the stories of the community.

There has been widespread uptake of training and internships with professional heritage institutions, a greater use of new technologies in collection management and interpretation, and increased marketing and tourism expertise.

The report emphasise the benefit to museums focusing on the 'stories' attached to their collections, contributing to a local sense of identity.

Artists that were engaged in the project worked across a variety of disciplines including film, photography, visual arts, multimedia and performance to deliver new visitor experiences telling the stories of Victoria's Goldfields region.

The evaluation concluded that the project delivered significant outcomes for a modest invesment.