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Australia: New Roadmap for Enhancing Indigenous Engagement in Museums

 

[1]The Australian Museums and Galleries Association (AMaGA) [2] has recently published First Peoples: A Roadmap for Enhancing Indigenous Engagement in Museums and Galleries [3], a 10-year plan that aims to transform the relationship between the sector and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities across Australia.

The highly anticipated First Peoples Roadmap commits Australian museums to working hand in hand with Indigenous peoples in the representation of their cultures and communities in these institutions. It also sets new goals for professional opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in museums, and outlines strategies for involving such communities in the ongoing stewardship of First Peoples’ collections.

Written by leading Indigenous expert on Indigenous protocol, Terri Janke, the Roadmap follows two years of consultation between communities, and museums and galleries around the country.

“Today we are embarking on a 10-year program to transform the sector’s relationships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The Roadmap establishes core principles for museums and galleries to work with Indigenous communities. Developing respectful and trusting relationships are key to transforming our cultural sector,” said Ms Janke during the presentation, held in the context of the AMaGA annual conference in Alice Springs, on 16 May.

“There are many different starting points for Australian museums and galleries, but they are all aimed in the same direction of profoundly changing relationships and representation of Indigenous culture in Australia,” she added.

AMaGA National President, Robin Hirst, said that “as a representative organisation for museum and galleries, AMaGA sees Indigenous engagement as in integral part of the museum and gallery business.”

Promoters of the Roadmap suggest that in order for it to be successful, the entire sector needs to take it up. This includes museums and galleries, as well as audiences, indigenous communities, individuals working in museums and galleries, the educational sector, government at all levels, etc.

The Roadmap, including practical tools, checklists and many other ideas and resources, is accessible online at https://www.mgaindigenousroadmap.com.au/ [3]