Announcing the Conference Inclusion Fund

Many of Australia’s smaller galleries and museums are staffed by hard-working and dedicated volunteers who protect and unlock Australia’s diverse cultural heritage. Without their hard work Australia would be a much poorer place. Those volunteers are hungry to learn from their peers and colleagues in the cultural sector, to share their experiences, and to hear about ideas and initiatives that they could adopt. But they face the challenge of the tyranny of distance, as many such smaller institutions are in often remote or regional towns and communities. They put all of their cash and resources into improving their institutions and that leaves little to enable them to travel and learn. There are government grants programs and committee bursaries which are gratefully taken up, but these come nowhere near to meeting the need. MGA wants your help to change the situation.

MGA’s national conference is the most important gathering in Australia for museum and gallery professionals to learn, to meet their peers and to exchange ideas. Smaller galleries and museums, who make up so much of our membership, should not be denied the access to this gathering simply through distance and lack of resources. MGA is therefore establishing a “Conference Inclusion Fund” to assist volunteers and staff working in those smaller museums and galleries attend the national conference, which includes a special day for remote, regional and community organisations.

Our next annual conference is in Alice Springs, not only the centre of Australia but the centre of Indigenous Australia. The conference theme is “At the Centre: Our People, Our Places, Our Practices.” We want as many smaller gallery and museum staff and volunteers to be able to attend this conference as possible. We have set a target amount for the Conference Inclusion Fund for 2019 at $20,000. To seed the fund MGA will contribute an initial $5,000.

Eligible member galleries and museums, their staff and volunteers, will be encouraged to apply to the fund for assistance to travel to the Conference. Support from the fund will cover the cost of conference registration plus some funds towards travel and accommodation. This is anticipated to be a grant of $2,000 per person.

If your company or institution believes in the importance of our cultural collection sector and believes in fairness and equity in being able to share knowledge and learn, then we ask you to please support the Conference Inclusion Fund. If you would like to find out more about MGA’s support of smaller galleries and museums, and the Conference Inclusion Fund, please contact Ms Alex Marsden, National Director of MGA (by phone at 02 6230 0346 or email ma@museumsaustralia.org.au). If you would like to make a donation directly to the fund you can do so through the 2019 National Conference prospectus by contacting Ms Samantha Hart (by phone 02 6281 6624 or email samantha@conlog.com.au).

With your support our smaller museums and galleries can learn and thrive.

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