Museums Australia NSW Branch

Members: 49
Latest Activity: Jul 22, 2015

The MA NSW Branch - Who we are and what we do

On behalf of the NSW Branch President Andrew Simpson and Branch committee - welcome to the MA NSW Group on maNexus.

The Group image shows graffiti in the tunnel between two museums at the University of Sydney, where we held a tour and talk in 2009. It is symbolic of our space connecting MA NSW to museum workers, activities and thoughts. Those with a fertile imagination may also detect the Waratah (Telopea speciosissima), the floral emblem of New South Wales, a spectacular scarlet flower growing in the bush in clumps of tall stems.

We draw inspiration from two recent books. Andrew Mawson’s The Social Entrepreneur: Making Communities Work promotes the capacity of local communities to apply business ideas to social and cultural questions. Samuel D Kassow’s Who Will Write Our History? describes the remarkable work of the Polish historian Emanual Ringelblum, whose underground archive, Oyneg Shabes, recorded life and death in the Warsaw Ghetto from 1939-1944. The secret archive team formed by Ringelblum “drew their strength from the collective energy of dedicated workers who could pool their talents and establish a hierarchy of priorities and objectives.” We are the sum of our parts.

You’ll find further information about the branch on the Museums Australia website at We look forward to your contributions to our electronic wall which, unlike the Oyneg Shabes, holds no secrets. And we invite you to follow us on Twitter. We have added a feed to our official Twitter posts after the Discussion Forum below. To follow our full timeline join us at

Paul Bentley
Executive Officer

Discussion Forum

Closure of the Birdsville Museum

Interesting article in a recent edition of the Public Service News about the closure of the Birdsville Museum posing the question "is the outback history?  It poses lots of interesting questions…Continue

Started by Andrew Simpson Jan 19, 2012.

"Uncurated" lecture at Macquarie University Tuesday August 16

 With the current focus on Australia's development of a National Cultural Policy, we are pleased to present an international speaker who will cover developments in Denmark as part of our Macquarie…Continue

Started by Andrew Simpson Aug 10, 2011.

Is there a need for capacity building for Volunteer and Small Staffed Museums? 1 Reply

It seems that grant funding available from state and national programs is being used by VIM and small staffed museums to acquire stuff such as ICT equipment, develop [build] exhibitions, and have…Continue

Tags: sustainability, funding, grants, training

Started by Bill Storer. Last reply by Joy Suliman Oct 28, 2009.

Social Media Workshop: inspiration or confusion? 4 Replies

Hi all, thought I'd get a discussion started on the Social Media workshop facilitated by Joy Suliman yesterday.Having had some expereince in my personal life with some of the applications (it seems…Continue

Tags: Joy Suliman, workshop, Social Media

Started by Karen O'Donnell. Last reply by Karen O'Donnell Oct 7, 2009.

MANSW Twitter feed

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Comment Wall

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Comment by andrea bozzi on June 10, 2013 at 18:47

my mail is

Comment by andrea bozzi on June 10, 2013 at 18:47

i'm very interested in implementing contacts with australians museums all and also new zealand museums....

because for some senses i'm agree with this model of museum management

Comment by andrea bozzi on June 10, 2013 at 18:44


i've never saved that

A message from Bill Storer to all members of MA NSW on maNexus!

Please answer the question about how museums will be unable to participate in an australian Museums Accreditation Program

Comment by Paul Bentley on August 1, 2012 at 17:09

Museums Australia NSW – Branch changes

Dear colleagues

As colleagues on the branch committee and national office have known for a number of months, I have decided to step down as executive officer and my last official day was yesterday.

The branch committee will be recruiting a new part-time officer within the next couple of weeks. In the meantime, could you note the following interim contact details:

Rebecca Pinchin
Museums Australia (NSW)

c/- Powerhouse Museum
PO Box K346
Haymarket NSW 1238

These changes necessitate future changes to the NSW Group on maNexus. I joined maNexus as an individual when it was first launched, then set up the NSW Group using my personal email address. According to Ning guidelines, the Group Creator cannot be changed after a group has been created, so the branch will be setting up new NSW group using the official branch email address soon and invite you to subscribe to the new group. When this has been done I’ll close down this inaugural version of the group.   

I’ve enjoyed immensely working with many committed people since 2000 as a branch committee member, as treasurer, then as executive officer from 2006. Even though technology is changing the nature of professional interaction, Museums Australia continues to be an important mechanism for developing practice and advancing the interests of museums nationally and in the regions.   

In August, I’ll be assisting Andrew Simpson to finalise a report for the national council’s publications committee, then I’ll continue my interest in museums as a member of Museums Australia and through the Wolanski Foundation and Thomson Reuters.

I look forward to meeting up with you again at future museum events!



Comment by Paul Bentley on February 16, 2012 at 17:45

MA NSW news

The Museums Australia (NSW) Twitter feed has been added to the maNexus MANSW group pages. Staff of MA institutional members in NSW may want to tap into this channel by either joining the MA NSW Group or following us at

Comment by Paul Bentley on December 28, 2011 at 8:33

Museum Matters out. The December issue of the branch newsletter, Museum Matters, is in the mail to all MA NSW members with two feature articles, a state round-up and Austin Sloper’s digest on circus collections, military museums, museum mission statements, performance indicators, pop-up museums, significance, standards, US museum strategies, volunteer economics and volunteer strategies.

The first feature, Morphing Museums and the Media discusses the changing media landscape, museums as newspapers, museums and broadcasters, working with other online players and managing social media. Andrea Fernandes’ article Leaving Cambodia: Unearthing Community History Gems, about a pilot study for a major post-1975 migration exhibition by the NSW Migration Heritage Centre at the Powerhouse Museum. The illustration in this post show life under Pol Pot, one of the drawings by Bunheang Ung, captured in the Leaving Cambodia study.

The state round-up section has brief reports on our two final tours of the year – the photographic and digitisation facilities at the State Library of NSW and the Herbarium and surrounding grounds of the Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney. 

As the NSW Branch Committee prepares for the new year, we wish all our members the compliments of the season and great success in 2012.

Comment by Paul Bentley on October 25, 2011 at 19:04
National Cultural Policy. The Branch has sent in a submission on the national cultural policy, proposing federal government action in 5 areas: (1) supporting dedicated strategies for each sector covered by the NCP; (2) providing cross-sectoral coordinating mechanisms and incentives; (3) providing assistance to transform the use of technology; (4) providing programs to strengthen the volunteer workforce; and (5) facilitating connections between museums and schools. A copy of the submission, Supporting the Right Condititions for Museums and Galleries, is available at
Comment by Paul Bentley on October 6, 2011 at 18:11
Congratulations on your IMAGinE Award! MANSW congratulates winners and those receiving commendations in this year’s IMAGinE Awards. Check the successful names at
Comment by Paul Bentley on August 7, 2011 at 12:49

First 6 months 2011. It has been a busy period for the branch. Our state symposium, Place, Space and Identity: New Directions of NSW Museums attracted 160 participants. The symposium was a great help to us in completing a submission to Arts NSW on a new strategy for museums and galleries in NSW.  A copy of the two-part submission is available on the NSW branch publications page of the Museums Australia website at  We are developing plans to publish the proceedings later in the year.

The June/July issue of the branch newsletter Museum Matters, currently being distributed to NSW members, has a feature on the symposium, as well as a NSW round-up and Austin Sloper’s digest on museums and advocacy, museums in Australia, digitisation and digitisation tools, exhibitions, information management, lighting and air conditioning, social media, tips and resources, tourism and developments in the United Kingdom. The branch program of tours and talks continues in Sydney to complement the activities of chapters and this year’s IMAGinE awards, organised in partnership with the ACT branch and our colleagues at M&GNSW and RPG NSW, will be announced at the Australian Museum on 30 September.  

Comment by Paul Bentley on February 14, 2011 at 10:09

Fourth quarter 2010/First quarter 2011.  Our program of tours and talks concluded in 2010 at Mary MacKillop Museum in North Sydney (see picture). And our attention is now firmly focussed in 2011 on preparations for our state symposium and chapter representatives’ meeting, Place, Space and Identity: New Directions for NSW museums, Macquarie University, 18-20 April (see details in the events section of Manexus and on the MA website 

In the latest Branch newsletter, Museum Matters, there’s a feature on exhibition production, as well as the usual NSW round-up, which includes reports on branch and chapter activities, regional museums in an online future, a tribute to Lachlan Chapter coordinator the late Glen Johns, awards, the latest NSW cultural accord, MGNSW and RPGNSW appointments, the Arts NSW review of the visual arts and museums, NLA grants, Powerhouse Museum Regional Services, and the Macquarie University regional tour 2010. Austin Sloper’s digest includes information on Aboriginal arts and culture, computers at a discount, controlled vocabularies, digitisation, museum roles, science in regional museums, not-for-profit sector, obituaries, personal social media strategies, statistics, UK developments, volunteers and Wikipedia. A pdf version of the newsletter is available at



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