2010 Award Winners


2010 Victorian Museum Awards

Hosted by special guest Rod Quantock, the 16th annual Victorian Museum Awards were held on the 22 July, at the Melbourne Story Gallery, Melbourne Museum.

Congratulating the award winners, Minister for the Arts Peter Batchelor, who attended the awards, said the Victorian Museum Awards celebrate the important work undertaken at Victorian museums.

"The winners reflect the extraordinary diversity and quality of museums across Victoria, and the exciting work they are doing to engage audiences of all types. These awards recognise the many passionate and highly-skilled museum workers and volunteers across the State whose work make our museums exciting and engaging hubs for learning, research and entertainment."

The Museums Australia (Victoria) Award for Excellence (volunteer)
Kay Gibson

Kay Gibson’s affiliation with the Victoria Police Museum began in 1990, at the old Victoria Police headquarters at Russell Street, Melbourne. Kay has been a constant source of knowledge and support through numerous changes the museum has undergone over the past two decades. As a researcher, she has increased the accessibility to the museum’s archival holdings, donated extensive research material to other organisations and has demonstrated a strong commitment to building and sharing museum sector knowledge with peers, colleagues and community members. She has provided insight into previously undocumented collection areas including Victoria Police Horses and helped with research for the museum’s first in-house temporary exhibition Ambush: Ned Kelly and the Stringybark Creek Murders.

The Museums Australia (Victoria) Award for Excellence (paid staff)
Jason Eades, CEO,

Gnokan Danna Murra Kor-ki is the motto of the Koorie Heritage Trust. It is the combination of two Koorie languages and means ‘Give me your hand my friend’ and bridge the cultural gap. Jason Eades’ leadership in the Trust is a true and genuine embodiment of this enlightening motto. Guiding the Trust in providing education and promotion that raises an awareness and appreciation of cultural diversity of Koorie culture in south-eastern Australia, Jason has promoted working towards the broader goals of reconciliation for all Australians.


The Click Systems Award for Volunteer Run Museums 
for Building and Equipping New Archives

Since its inception in 1972, the Gippsland Regional Maritime Museum has aimed to ‘collect and secure items relating to the early history of Port Albert and its hinterland’. Over three decades, this museum has meticulously sought and followed industry advice in maintaining museum standards and being financially viable.

Through successful grant applications and project leadership, the museum has been able to fit out its archives with the latest in archival storage equipment and storage materials. The Gippsland Regional Maritime Museum has been recognised for Building and Equipping The Fred Hobson Archives.


The Archival Survival Award for Small Museums (1-7 paid staff)
for Exemplary Public Programs

Burrinja, a public gallery and community Arts Centre in the Dandenong Ranges, has demonstrated commitment to excellence and best practice involving people and communities across all areas of public programming. The Indigenous Education Program and Art Collection, Jarmbi Gallery and photographic group Upwey Scum Pups are all leading examples of its commitment to the community.

Encouraging the widest access for audiences from all socio-economic, geographic and ability backgrounds is foremost in the planning of a wide diversity of events and activities across key areas of community engagement; arts, performance, education and community. Burrinja is a facilitator to various community programs and groups including the Lantern Parade, Upwey Billycart Race, Youth Music Connection, Burrinja Arties and the Dandenong Ranges Open Studio.


Museum's Australia (Victoria) Award for Medium Museums (8-50 paid staff)

for the Remembrance Box Outreach Program

The Shrine’s Remembrance Box Outreach Program is an innovative partnership with the Australian War Memorial (AWM) and the Returned Services League of Australia (RSL). It delivers programs for schools in regional centres of Victoria, bringing together veterans and students to share stories about Australia’s war time history.

Utilising the resources of oral history, objects and an education facilitator, this program involves people and communities in centres such as Horsham, Morwell, Creswick, Colac, Bendigo, Bright, Ararat and Hamilton. Support material is available on the Shrine’s website and has resulted in the Shrine receiving additional funding for further regional development.


Museum’s Australia (Victoria) Award for Large Museums (51+ paid staff)

for Wild: Amazing animals in a changing world Exhibition

A new biodiversity exhibition of over 770 mammal and bird mounts from all over the globe, Wild offers a balance of simplicity and sophistication in the presentation of exhibition content and objects. Referencing traditional museum display and the latest technology to create engaging interactions and multi-layered journeys, this exhibition demonstrates a commitment to excellence and innovation through a unique interpretive approach.


The Herald Sun People’s Choice Award for the Best Museum Experience
Old Gippstown, Moe

Step back in time to the 1850s and enjoy Gippsland’s Heritage Park, Old Gippstown. Renowned for the Coach house which contains one of Victorias' best collections of horse drawn vehicles, the visitor can enjoy the gardens and see a large variety of agricultural and industrial machinery ranging from horse drawn, steam-driven or manually operated and the blacksmiths forge. Voted by Herald Sun readers as the Best Victorian Museum Experience in 2010.

2009 Victorian Museum Awards

Click Systems Volunteer Museum Award

Recognised for its excellent performance in exhibition and public programs, this wholly volunteer-run museum has provided a valuable service to the community for over 40 years. The Art Deco Exhibition held as part of the Art Deco festival last year and the current Riding Through Time –The Evolution of the Bicycle, are the latest in a series that have been very popular with locals and visitors with over 1000 visitors in one month.

Archival Survival Museum Award

The Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village has been awarded for its exemplary exhibitions and public programs for an organisation with 1-6 paid staff. The judges were impressed by the implementation of the Navigate 2017 strategy that reinvented the museum to achieve greater relevance in the community, delivering activities which make Flagstaff Hill central to the life of Warrnambool. The museum has enjoyed increased attendance and local investment, a membership rise from 78 to 435 families and a total volunteer commitment of over 17,567 hours.

Individual Achievement Award (volunteer)

Catherine’s work at the Chinese Museum is indicative of the vibrant re-engagement that this museum has with the wider community. In her volunteer role as an education officer, she developed the first education kit which has made an impact on over 28,000 children. In doing this she has approached her work with maximum enthusiasm and professionalism, always transferring this excitement to others.

Individual Achievement Award (paid staff)

Judges have recognised Karlie Hawking’s work as project officer with the Goldfields Community Museum Pilot Project working with over 33 community museums. She has demonstrated exceptional ability to work proactively with both museum professionals and volunteers, setting high standards of practice for community collecting organisations. Karlie has shown exceptional ability to overlay industry standard museum practices in her work with community museums.

The Herald Sun People’s Choice Award for the Best Museum Experience

For the first time this new Award represents the popular choice by the people, made possible by the Herald Sun. The RAAF Museum and Benalla Costume and Pioneer Museum tied for first place.

2008 Victorian Museum Awards

Click Systems Volunteer Museum Award
Recognised for its excellent performance in museum management, the wholly volunteer run National Vietnam Veterans Museum has exceeded the traditional museum role as keeper of collections by drawing on its community of shared experience to ease the hearts of veterans.

Archival Survival Museum Award
For organisations of one to seven paid staff. The Gold Museum Ballarat has been awarded for its exemplary exhibitions and public programs reaching out to the diverse Ballarat communities over an extended period including its community outreach, Koorie Community Memorandum of Understanding and disaster recovery network programs.

Museums Australia (Victoria) Museum Award
For organisations of seven or more paid staff. The judges applaud the Bendigo Art Gallery for its Snapshots and Stories: Exploring Heritage Collections in Bendigo exhibition. The project involved the coordination of eighteen separate local heritage groups in order to truly represent the region’s history, the judges were encouraged by the continued cooperation between these groups and are hopeful others will be inspired by this to embark upon similar cooperative projects.

Individual Achievement Award (volunteer)
For the first time this category has been awarded to two exceptional nominees. Judges noted both Marjorie Dalvean and Nance Fordham have inspired countless people over several decades to accomplish great feats in a volunteer capacity. Marjorie established the archiving program at the Melbourne Athenaeum and Nance has been the driving force behind the Port Albert Maritime Museum since its inception over twenty-five years ago.

Individual Achievement Award (paid staff)
Recognising Margaret’s lifelong interest in promoting arts and humanities in the community, judges noted she is an eminent scholar who is outstanding in her field and has often connected her work to museums, such as her role as guest curator for the recent Medieval Imagination exhibition at the State Library of Victoria.

2007 Victorian Museum Awards

Award to an Organisation Category 1 (staff of 7 or more)

State Library of Victoria Travelling Treasures program

The State Library of Victoria’s Travelling Treasures program tours collection items held by the library across the state, demonstrating a high level of engagement in raising the profile of local history and the local library.

The program includes items such as Ned Kelly’s Jerilderie letter and provides rare and intimate access to some of the Library’s most extraordinary books, documents and artefacts.

Award to an Organisation Category 2 (staff of 1 to 6)

Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West Pobblebonk Exhibition

This project was inspired a request by the Environmental Protection Authority, and responded to an act of river pollution. The exhibition actively engaged local communities and promoted the idea that communities are responsible for their own environment by documenting the unique flora and fauna of the Maribyrnong River estuary.

Award to an Organisation, Category 3 (wholly volunteer run)

Yackandandah District Historical Society Fire Recovery Program

On 21 December 2006 a devastating fire completely destroyed the front building of the Yackandandah & District Historical Society. A very dedicated group of volunteers worked very hard to retrieve, clean and reorganise the recovery and refurbishment of the building, and managed a state-wide fundraising effort.

Individual Achievement Award (Volunteer)

Peter John Adler, Murtoa and District Historical Society and Community Museum

Peter John Adler has passionately and tirelessly enriched the lives of the young and old who have walked through the doors of the Murtoa & District Historical Society & Community Museum over the last 22 years. This dedicated man constantly builds on and shares his vast knowledge of local history with visitors and other volunteers.

Individual Achievement Award (Paid)

Bruce Baxter, Pioneer Settlement Museum

Recognised for going well beyond the call of duty in everything he does, Bruce Baxter has been teaching Aboriginal culture for the past 40 years. His commitment to teaching Koori culture has seen Bruce’s program become a highlight for visitors and school communities alike.

2006 (MIRA Awards)

Best Projects

Champions Australian Racing Museum and Hall of Fame
for Subzero Goes to School Education Program

This project takes Subzero, the 1992 Melbourne Cup winning racehorse, to visit schools in Victoria.

Melbourne Museum
for Spirit of the Games

Museum staff worked overnight installing this exhibition so it could open the morning after the Opening Ceremony of the 2006 Commonwealth Games and recreate the excitement of that event.

Best Volunteer Project

Shire of Yarra Ranges and local community
for Playing to Win

Twelve community groups and individuals created stories about sport and their community for this touring exhibition.

Award of Merit-Volunteer

The Ballarat Tramway Museum
for The Lightning Strike

When lightning destroyed equipment needed to operate the trams for this working museum, the volunteers threw themselves into fundraising and repairs.

Award of Merit- Professional

The Melbourne Athenaeum Inc.
for its 165th Birthday project

This landmark event was celebrated with a display of books donated by prominent Australians including former Prime Ministers Malcolm Fraser and Paul Keating, and poet Les Murray.

Life Time Achievement

Gary Poore, Senior Curator of Crustacea, Museum Victoria for 26 years of internationally acclaimed work on marine biology, biodiversity and the oceans. Gary is the author of the 2004 publication Marine Decapod Crustacea of southern Australia that won a 2005 Whitley Award.

Honourable Mentions

Jewish Museum of Australia
for Intersections: reading the space – Christianity, Judaism and Islam

for the exhibition White Noise.

2005 (MIRA Awards)

Best Project

The Immigration Museum
for The Station Pier: Gateway to a New Life

Best Volunteer Project

The Green Turtle Foundation
for their Green Turtle Dreaming Project

Meritorious Achievement

Helen Kaptein for the exhibition Raw and Compelling: Australian Naïve Art-the Continuing Tradition at Swan Hill Regional Art Gallery

Meritorious Volunteer Achievement

The Jonny Mullagh Cricket Centre in Harrow for their permanent exhibition depicting the story of the first Aboriginal cricket team who went to England to play for Australia in 1868

Lifetime Achievement Award

Rosalie Dance of Heide Museum of Modern Art for her vision and long-term commitment to the museum sector’s engagement with communities.

Glen Stuart of Port Melbourne Historical and Preservation Society for his unusual dedication, commitment and contribution to Australian maritime history and to the local history of Port Melbourne.

2004 (MIRA Awards)

Category 1A Outstanding Project

Museum Victoria for the DNA Lab project

Category 1B Outstanding Volunteer Project

Victorian Scout Heritage Centre for their Brighton District Memorial Gates Project

Meritorious Achievement

Tania Virgona for her collaborative project as Artist-in-Residence with Geelong Botanic Gardens

Meritorious Volunteer Achievement

Rosalind Poole

Lifetime Achievement

Peter Haffenden of Melbourne’s Living Museum of the West

Penny Morison of the City of Port Philip

2003 (MIRA Awards)

Category 1A Outstanding Project

Immigration Museum for the Getting In exhibition about Australian immigration policy and procedures

Category 1B Outstanding Volunteer Project

Heritage Hill Museum and Historic Garden for their Painting on the Hill initiative, designed to encourage visual artists to interact with local heritage

Meritorious Achievement

Bendigo Historical Society for the exhibition What a Good Idea! looking at innovation and how it has impacted on the region

Meritorious Volunteer Achievement

Ouyen Local History Resource Centre for their voluntary work for the Centre since its establishment in 1978

Lifetime Achievement

Lyn Chambers of the Wonthaggi and District Historical Society for her dedication and professionalism in a volunteer capacity

Jenepher Duncan, Director of Monash University Museum of Art

2002 (MIRA Awards)

Category 1A Outstanding Project

Heritage Hill Museum and Historic Gardens for Pride in our Heritage

Geelong Art Gallery for a Pilgrimage of Art, Culture and Friendship, Borobudur

Category 1B Outstanding Volunteer Project

Nobelieus Heritage Park and Emerald Museum for Nobelius Heritage Park: An Illustrated Guide

Museum Victoria’s Scienceworks for The McKay Project

Meritorious Achievement

Raoul Jones for the Museum Victoria Outreach Program

Meritorious Volunteer Achievement

Barbara Lindner of Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery

John Kennedy of The Victorian Jazz Archive

Lifetime Achievement

Peter Swinkels of the Preparation Department at Museum Victoria

Margaret Birtley Coordinator of Museum Studies at Deakin University

2001 (MIRA Awards) 

Bunjilaka, Melbourne Museum

Geoff Matthews, RAAF Museum

Norma Wynd, Camperdown Museum

2000 (MIRA Awards)

Portland Maritime Museum, Whale Skeleton Project

Lisa Harvey, Museum Victoria

John Lewis, Daylesford & District Historical Society

Ian Watts, Outstanding Service and Contribution to Museum Education

1999 (MIRA Awards)

Golden Dragon Museum for the Through the Eyes of Two Cultures project
The Australian Family

Russell Jack, Golden Dragon Museum

1998 (MIRA Awards)

Port Albert Maritime Museum

Tony Ellwood, Bendigo Art Gallery

Elaine McCallum, Birchip & District Museum

1997 (MIRA Awards)

Victorian Centre for the Conservation of Cultural Material (VCCCM) for Protect Public Art project

Linda Barraclough, Maffra Sugarbeet Museum

Martin Hallett, Museum Victoria

1996 (Museum Achiever Awards)

Murray Bowes, Warnambool Art Gallery

Dr Helen Light, Jewish Museum of Australia

Hilary Newton

1995 (Museum Achiever Awards)

David Gardner, RAAF Museum

Roger Trudgeon, Ballarat Gold Museum

1994 (Museum Achiever Awards)

Susan Reynolds

Shiralee Kellett

Henry Gaughan