Seminars

In 2008, CCG hosted a seminar series exploring issues such as migration and intercultural relations; international relations; Asia-Pacific regionalism; Asian culture and society; the politics and culture of the Middle East; issues surrounding governance, democracy and citizenship at a global, national and local level.

Cultural Heritage Seminars

CHCAP Seminar : French Culture in regional development, tourism and education

The seminar will be given by Pascal Trarieux, Director and Conservator in the Musee de Beaux Arts (Fine Arts Museum), Nimes, France, who is in Australia for a brief visit arranged by Simon Klose, Director of the Benalla Art Gallery.

The topic of Pascal's seminar is 'French Culture in regional development, tourism and education'.

We all know how the French love their culture. In fact, on a per capita basis France provides one of the highest levels of funding to culture. It has an enormous national government department devoted to culture (as well as regional and city departments), and the links with education and tourism are strong and important. They have provided France with a massive tourism economy, a high level of national connectedness and an unshakeable national pride.

Between France and Australia there are many differences - but in the differences lie opportunities. This talk will broadly outline one country's cultural strategy providing an opportunity to build enhanced cultural development strategies for Australian cultural organisations.


CHCAP Seminar :Managing heritage in the wake of war and conflict in Cyprus

Presenter: Adjunct Professor Susan Balderstone, Cultural Heritage Centre for Asia and the Pacific (Deakin University)

In the wake of a Greece-inspired coup against the Greek Cypriot President of Cyprus in 1974, the Turkish military occupied the northern third of the island and continues to do so. Ethnic communities are still separated: Greek Cypriots moved to the south and Turkish Cypriots to the north. This paper covers issues raised by the bi-communal conservation projects resulting from the European Union's Partnership for the Future Programme being implemented by the United Nations Development Programme. The projects require co-operation between mutually distrustful, fearful and disdainful communities for the sake of common objectives – social and economic wellbeing. Cyprus has apparently opted for conflict management rather than resolution, with both sides focused on achieving prosperity. Heritage conservation has become a tool for peaceful co-existence and mutual pride. Initially the projects involved places of shared heritage rather than places reinforcing the separate cultural identities of the communities. Loss of cultural identity is a concern of both communities. Ongoing operational issues derive from the illegality of the Turkish government in the north and the repercussions of this for international aid. The paper explores the professional challenges related to these issues and their possible resolution.

Susan Balderstone is an Australian conservation architect resident part time in Cyprus. She is an Adjunct Professor in Cultural Heritage at Deakin University, Melbourne and was formerly Assistant Director at Heritage Victoria in Melbourne. She has worked on Australian Aid funded conservation and research projects in China and Vietnam and archaeological projects in the Middle East. She has received a number of awards for conservation and is a Life Fellow of the Royal Australian Institute of Architects. Her work has been published in various journals and books including Historic Environment andAsia's Old Dwellings: Tradition, Resilience, and Change, 2003.


CHCAP Seminar :Colonialism, heritage and intergenerational trauma: Awakening from history in the North of Ireland

Presenter: Colm McNaughton, Radio Journalist and Documentary Maker

Colm explores the tragic interweaving of personal and community heritages in the north of Ireland, asking: when does heritage become an excuse for violence? How can individuals and communities transform a history of conflict and trauma? Does heritage sometimes get in the way of getting over it?


CHCAP Seminar :Lollies or Lolita: Contemporary redefinitions of childhood

Presenter: Dr Gwenda Davey, Honorary Fellow to the Cultural Heritage Centre for Asia and the Pacific (Deakin University)

Worrying about definitions of childhood is not a new phenomenon: writers such as Aries, de Mause, Freud, Piaget, Erikson and more recently Neil Postman (Disappearance of Childhood) have all written extensively on the subject.

Contemporary angst about childhood has come out of the academy into the general population, with concerns about obesity, child abuse and the sexualisation of children.

In their book Children of the Lucky Country? (2005), Stanley, Richardson and Prior contend that Australian society has let children down on many dimensions, although they acknowledge that some research is inconclusive.

Not only Australian society sees the need for improvement: currently Germany is mounting a campaign of kinderfreundlichkeit, to encourage nationally more positive attitudes towards children, and England's national lottery has recently funded a one billion pound project for children called PlayEngland.

Conversely, many primary schools in the United States have abolished playtime (recess) in the wake of George W Bush's No Child Left Behind Act of 2002.

Some popular anxiety about childhood can be directly attributed to the culture of fear which pervades our society, and which has been extensively discussed by writers such as the English sociologist Frank Furedi.

Fear has also had an effect on the implementation of the Australian Research Council Childhood, Tradition and Change project, initiated in 2006.

The news isn't all bad. Some preliminary findings will be given in a short powerpoint presentation from the National Library's 2005 pilot project into children's play.

Traditional play is alive and well in many primary school playgrounds, and through their play children show their intelligence, sensibility and resilience.


CHCAP Seminar :Tensions between local and world heritage significance: The case of Fremantle Prison

Presenter: Associate Professor Andrea Witcomb, Cultural Heritage Centre for Asia and the Pacific (Deakin University)

This paper focuses on the impact of the World Heritage Listing Process for the way in which heritage significance is defined at Fremantle Prison in Western Australia. The attention is on the ways in which the professional discourse focuses on the authenticity of the fabric leading, Andrea argues, to a narrow interpretation of significance. When coupled with the need to identify world significance it is almost inevitable that local and perhaps more contentious aspects of the site's history are demoted with significant implications for interpretation. The paper finishes with some suggestions as to how the World Heritage Listing system might be able to help in addressing these sorts of problems

Andrea Witcomb is an Associate Professor at Deakin University in Melbourne where she contributes to the work of the Cultural 
Heritage Centre for Asia and the Pacific and the Research Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation.

She is a former curator with a background in history and cultural studies. Her research interests range across interpretation issues in both heritage sites and museums.

Since her first book, ReImagining the Museum: Beyond the Mausoleum (Routledge, 2003), Andrea has become known for her work on contemporary approaches to interactivity in the museum context. More recently, she has been working on a history of the National Trust of Australia (WA). On the museum front she is increasingly interested in how museums are responding to the policy imperatives formed around discourses of social cohesion.


CHCAP Seminar :The ghost of James Cook in Not-Captain-Cook's Cottage

Presenter: Dr Linda Young, Senior Lecturer, Museum Studies (Deakin University)

Nearly everyone knows that the Cottage in Fitzroy Gardens, relocated from Yorkshire to Melbourne in 1934, was never inhabited by Captain Cook. From the beginning, it was officially named simply 'Cook's Cottage', but the Captain's title inevitably attaches, framing consequent expectations by visitors. These habits show that it is almost impossible to detach the famous James Cook from his parents' house, for it is the younger Cook's fame that endows the house with the meaning that explains its preservation and translation to Australia.

The 1993 Conservation Management Plan tries to resolve the problem by connecting immigrants to their land of origin, in the context of the 1934 Melbourne centenary - hence the current presentation of the Cottage as a specimen of the 18th century English environment from which many early migrants came, employing the furnishings sent with the Cottage in 1934. 

Yet the physical form of the Cottage, which was radically pruned for relocation, undermines the attempted 18th century authenticity in ways that indicate the values of the 1930s. Both these authenticities are acknowledged in the statement of significance, but they are at cross purposes. The solution can only be a managerial decision, but acknowledgement of the dilemma would go some way to recognising the contest between history and heritage.


CHCAP Seminar :The conservation of the painting 'Em Thuy' by Tran Van Can

Presenter: Caroline Fry, Paintings Conservator, Public Records Office of Victoria

Caroline Fry is a paintings conservator at the Centre for the Conservation of Material Culture (CCMC). In 2004 Caroline was awarded the Asialink Residency at the National Museum of Fine Arts in Hanoi. While there she conserved an iconic Vietnamese painting 'Em Thuy' painted by the artist Tran Van Can in 1943. At the end of the Residency Caroline was awarded a Medal by the Vietnamese Ministry of Culture and Information for her 'contribution towards the preservation of Vietnamese Art'. Caroline will discuss the conservation of this painting.

Caroline works primarily as a conservator, at the CCMC, responsible for the conservation treatment of paintings from various collections, including public collections such as regional galleries, and commercial galleries and private individuals. In addition, Caroline lectures and instructs students enrolled in the Masters Degree in Conservation of Material Culture. Caroline's educational background spans a variety of disciplines, she has a Bachelor of Science Degree (The University of Melbourne) and Bachelor of Applied Science in Conservation (The University of Canberra). She is also qualified in Education (Dip. Ed) and has a Post Graduate Diploma in Museum Studies.

Caroline has worked in various capacities in major cultural intuitions, such as The State Library, Museum of Victoria and the National Gallery of Victoria, and has worked for the past 10 years as a painting conservator. . Since completing her Asialink Residency at the National Museum of Fine Arts in Hanoi in 2004 Caroline has maintained contact with various cultural agencies in Vietnam, and has initiated several placements for Australian conservators to work in Vietnamese Museums. These placements have assisted in preservation of collections allowing the conservator to work alongside and train Vietnamese museum staff. Caroline participated in the Asialink Leaders Program in 2007.


CHCAP Seminar :Looking Behind the Mirror: Performance on Contemporary Arts Boards

Presenters: Ruth Rentschler, Lecturer, Faculty of Business and Law, Deakin University; Jennifer Radbourne, Head of School, School of Communication & Creative Arts, Deakin University

This paper explores the relationship between performance and conformance on contemporary Australian arts boards. Recent approaches to governance are characterised by a focus on financial and legal control. This paper argues, however, that we should consider governance conformance and performance to be in a state of constant tension, rather than mutually exclusive governance processes. Using results from a survey and case studies of small to medium nonprofit Victorian arts organisations enables us to review board performance in an area that has not received much attention in the debate. Brief coverage of the organisations' progression in the governance debate is provided. Comparisons are made with case studies in order to identify areas where additional research is required.


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