Sunday, 27 December 2015

MMXV: Features of 2015

"Carnamah Historical Society and Museum's website and, in particular, it's Virtual Museum and Biographical Dictionary are one of Australia's biggest online success stories." - Museums & Galleries NSW

First World War

April marked the centenary of the Anzac landings on the Gallipoli Peninsula in Turkey. We marked the occasion with the launch of a new virtual exhibition on the First World War as well as a physical exhibition within our museum (the latter being in partnership with the WA Museum). A request to say a word or two at Carnamah's dawn service quickly escalated into us being handed the baton to give the official address, and for such an auspicious anniversary.

Links:  First World War virtual exhibition  |  Transcript of Anzac Day speech 

"I used your... virtual museum exhibition in my year 7-10 classes at Carnamah DHS today as a lead up to Anzac Day. The students were thoroughly engaged by the stories particularly as they featured local soldiers and names they could relate to. It provided a great springboard for some fantastic discussion. Thanks for such a fantastic and timely resource."
Major Jack Colpitts of Heppleholme Farm in Winchester, South Carnamah

Macpherson Homestead

It's been a year of highs and lows for the old and wonderful Macpherson Homestead.

We were delighted to welcome a special group of visitors during the year, which included Oriel Green (nee Bartlett), her sisters and a number of their relatives and friends. Oriel spent a portion of her childhood in Carnamah and Three Springs during the 1930s but what made the visit more momentous was that her family are believed to be Aboriginal descendants of the Macpherson family.

Another high was our first steps toward the homestead hosting primary school excursions. Our thanks to Ignite Your Audience for their work so far and to the Three Springs Primary School for being our enthusiastic test-subjects!

Sadly the conserved ruins of the bakehouse at the homestead began to rapidly and suddenly deteriorate in October. Huge cracks spread through the walls and a large section began to collapse. However, we're pleased to report that the collapsed section has been restored and the remainder has been solidified and conserved to ensure the ruin will continue to stand strong.

Western Australian Heritage Awards

For the second year in a row, we were a finalist in the community organisation category of the WA Heritage Awards and were stoked to be named this year's winner.

"Carnamah Historical Society & Museum uses cutting-edge technology to engage with and promote the heritage of, not only their own and neighbouring districts, but also the State. Impressively, the society has established a virtual volunteering platform that has engaged 7,000 people with online heritage projects, which, in turn has provided a valuable resource for historians and the State."

Australian Curriculum Resources

For a few years we had been working hard, in partnership with Ignite Your Audience, to create a suite of Australian Curriculum education resources. Our completed range of nine resources, which relate to primary years, were promoted at the History Teachers' conference in Mount Lawley and the third History TeachMeet in Peppermint Grove. The resources are a little different - as they can be used with school visits to our physical museum or from classrooms anywhere in Australia (with our virtual museum and other online content).
We've received a lot of favourable comments, including glowing feedback from the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra! We were especially delighted when our resources received a Highly Commended in the Interpretation, Audience and Learning Engagement category of the Museums and Galleries National Awards.

Museums and Galleries National Awards

The Museums and Galleries National Awards, or MAGNAs, are conducted annually by Museums Australia and are held during the national museums conference. This year's conference was in Sydney and we had a few reasons to go. Both our education resources and our virtual volunteering program were short-listed in different categories and we're pleased to say they each received a Highly Commended. Not a bad effort considering the competition was mostly state and national institutions!

In the Media and in Parliament!

Our achievements of recent years were featured in the Museums Australia magazine, on the blog of Museums & Galleries NSW and in the Heritage Council of WA's Heritage Matters magazine. 
We were also honoured in the lower house of the Western Australian Parliament on 21 May 2015 when Shane Love, the MLA for Moore, spoke about our endeavours and successes.

Thank you

Our thanks to you for being part of our 2015 - whether it was online to our blog, Virtual Museum or Biographical Dictionary, or as a physical visitor to see our history and heritage on the ground in Carnamah.

We'd also like to thank those who supported us during the year. Special thanks are due to all of our virtual volunteers, to project partners atWork Australia and the North Midlands Project, and to financial supporters the Department of Culture and the Arts (DCA) and the Anzac Centenary Local Grants Program.

If you're ever in Carnamah, we invite you to stop by:

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

A proud moment for Work for the Dole virtual volunteering project

Originally published in the News section on the Department of Employment's website on 20 July 2015.

A group of young Western Australian job seekers has been recognised for their contribution to a successful "virtual volunteering" Work for the Dole project jointly hosted by atWork Australia and the Carnamah Historical Society & Museum in WA.

This unique project, which involved transcribing and indexing over 6,000 historical records, has assisted with the conservation, documentation and promotion of the local heritage of Carnamah, a farming community 320km north of Perth.

The hard work of these Work for the Dole “virtual volunteers” has resulted in a useful online resource which provides the community with access to a large number of searchable historical records including burial registers, electoral roles and biographical index cards.

Michael Kolomyjec, Divisional Manager of atWork Australia said “the project directly benefits the broader community by increasing accessibility of cultural heritage collections”.

“The project also gave our young job seekers a range of transferable work related skills and experience including communication in the workplace, confidence building, data entry and team work”.

The value of this project and the contribution of these Work for the Dole participants was recognised at the recent Museums and Galleries National Awards in Sydney where the Carnamah Historical Society received a Highly Commended Award for Virtual Volunteering.

Following receipt of the award, Andrew Bowman of the Carnamah Historical Society met with the project participants and personally thanked them for their hard work and for making the virtual volunteering project such a success.