INSITE / September - October 2013 / Past Imperfect

Cover Image: This photo is from the National Museum of Australia travelling exhibition Inside: Life in Children’s Homes and Institutions that opened in August at Melbourne Museum. The exhibition shares the experiences of some of the half a million children who spent time in institutional care in Australia in the 20th century. Inside was developed by the National Museum of Australia following the 2009 Australian Government National Apology to Forgotten Australians and Former Child Migrants and supported by the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs. The exhibition documents the stories and experiences of children in institutional care and bravely relates the often traumatic legacy of their treatment.  Inside is on at Melbourne Museum until 27 January 2014.

Cover Image: Mary Brownlee and her siblings, with Sister Judith Kelly, photographed at St Joseph’s Home, Kincumber, New South Wales, by Mary’s father, 1969. Courtesy Mary Brownlee.

Maria Drossos, Museum of Anaesthetic History [page 2]
Knocked Out: developments in anaesthesia
Medical collections are invaluable resources that remind us of how much things have improved on past practices. 

Sean Kelley, Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site, Philadelphia [Page 3]
Mistakes Were Made and Survived
During the American Alliance of Museums conference in Baltimore this year there was a session called Mistakes Were Made. It was so popular that 150 delegates were turned away from the packed seminar room. INSITE asked the session’s Chair, Sean Kelley to tell us some of the take-home messages from the experience.
Visit the AAM at:
You can also read David Reeves’ excellent paper on things going wrong at: 

Samantha Hamilton, Museum Victoria [Page 4]
Community Consultation and the First Peoples Exhibition
pdf.jpg Download Full Article (Please do not reproduce this article without permission)
Samantha Hamilton explains how conservation knowledge was shared in the development of the First Peoples exhibition recently opened at Melbourne Museum.
First Peoples opened at Melbourne Museum in September, for details:
Cameron Cope’s slideshow about the making of Boorun’s canoe:
Boorun’s canoe: 

Iain Buckland [Page 5]
Dining In Style: a gastronomic history of Beleura
Beleura the House & Garden is the subject of PhD research into the culinary habits of its inhabitants. Iain Buckland explains the value of the collection to his research.
Beleura the House & Garden is a MAP accredited museum. To book a visit to Beleura, call (03) 5975 2027 or visit:

Martin Green, National Trust of Australia (Victoria) [Page 6]
Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries: television, costumes and an app
Martin Green takes us through the development of the exhibition based on the ABC’s latest Friday night murder mystery and the elegant solutions that make the most out of every room at the Rippon Lea mansion and the lavish bespoke costumes used in the series.

John Rogers, Friends of Cerberus  [Page 7]
The Victorian Navy Relics App
The Victorian Navy Relics App shows the location and details of known relics of Victoria’s Colonial Navy. Items covered in the app include bells, anchors, monuments, a figurehead, vessels, cannon and hundreds of smaller relics. The app is available on both iPhone and Android platforms.

Kristal Buckley, Deakin University [Page 8]
The Roslyn Lawry Award 2013
The recipient for the 2012 academic year is Jennifer Rowe.

Richard Harling, The Cultural Commerce Consultant [Page 9]
Museums and Publishing
pdf.jpg Download Full Article (Please do not reproduce this article without permission)
The questions Richard Harling is asked the most by small to medium sized museums are about what makes an engaging print publication and how to sell and distribute it effectively. Here he shares some tips and cautions.

The Victorian Museum Awards [page 8-9]
The 2013 Victorian Museum Awards was a special event with a cheery audience in attendance at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image. Once again the Awards highlighted the diversity and collegiality of the museums and galleries sector.
Find out more about MAP and Victoria’s Accredited museums at:
Find out more about Victorian Collections at:

Bridget Forbes, Museums Australia (Victoria) [Page 13]
Significance Seminar & Monet’s Garden Viewing
The Significance videos can be viewed free online: 

Dimity Mapstone, Museums Australia (Victoria), [Page 13]
Apps & Online
Getty Museum’s Open Content.
University of Wollongong Art App
Community Heritage Website
MV’S Time Lens App

Museum News  [Page 14]
Town Hall Gallery Re-opens
New Curatorial PhD Program at Monash
History Week
Owning Racism Proceedings Online
History in Place Launched
Open House a Success
Treasures of the Burke Museum
First Peoples Opens
Modern Love & Melbourne Now
Hellenic Museum & Benaki Collection

Laura Miles, Museums Australia (Victoria) [page 16]
Branch News
Arts Victoria funding announcement
For the full list of organisations that have successfully applied for Organisations Investment Program funding, see:
Victorian Museum Awards
Congratulations to our amazing museums, volunteers and staff for some incredible achievements over the last year.
More online training launched 
Continuing our best-practice videos we have the latest suite of advice on identifying significant items online, following our highly popular seminar at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image. 
More details at: or book your place at: 
Victorian Collections hits 18,000 items
Our online project which enables groups to catalogue, digitise and share collection items online has hit 18,000 total items.
See: or join over 400 followers on Twitter at @VicCollections
For your diaries
Have you signed up for e-mail alerts about our 2014 Victorian Museums and Galleries Conference?

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AMaGA Victoria respectfully acknowledge the Traditional Owners of the land on which we work, the Woi Wurrung people and honour their Ancestors, Elders and next generations of community. AMaGA Victoria acknowledges and pays respect to the Elders of all the Nations of Victoria, past, present and emerging.