Hi Barrie. MA, as a part of the community of heritage advocates, promotes the value and the needs of museums at national, state and local government levels. In its latest NSW Branch strategic plan, advocacy as one of three major goals. We are currently developing the details in a separate advocacy plan that will consider membership of the committees of other organisations, specific issues to be raised in submissions, and the development of tools to support advocacy efforts with governments, kindred bodies, museums and museum workers.
Our approach will be influenced to some extent by the article “Turning Old Songs Into a New Chorus,” published in the branch newsletter Museum Matters December 2008 (also available online at http://www.twf.org.au/research/turningoldsongs.html). This suggests the need for ongoing conversations with all politicians and the need for all MA members to be advocates at federal, state, local government levels. The Branch supports the role of its chapters as advocates in their regions.
The NSW Branch has made several submissions to Arts NSW, the Cultural Ministers Council, NSW Parliament and Museums Galleries NSW in recent years, addressing the terms of reference of particular inquiries. It is currently preparing a more comprehensive submission on NSW Government policy and funding for museums, galleries, libraries, archives and historical societies. This will take into account the importance of museums in relation to state and regional development, tourism, history and heritage, records and archives, history and heritage, ICT and the digital economy, education and indigenous culture.
I’m a part-time executive officer of the NSW Branch, so I earn a crust by doing other things as well, including feature articles for Thomson Reuters’ publication Online Currents. Some of the research for my 2009 crop – “The Digital Economy Dance: Getting into Step with Government Policy”, “Getting in the Game of Creative Collaboration: the ALIA Information Online Conference 2009” and “Changing the Horseshoe on a Galloping Horse: Connection Museums to Information Seekers” – raise issues for consideration by the branch as part of its advocacy efforts. The first of the articles is available online at http://www.twf.org.au/research/digitaleconomy.html
In 2009, NSW has championed the causes of several member museums by writing directly to the Premier and other ministers, providing letters of support for funding applications and conducting interviews on radio.
Contact me by email if you need further information or would like to discuss any angles. Paul