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UNESCO, ICCROM and the Asian Academy for Heritage Management
Jonathan Sweet represented Deakin University at the Asian Academy Executive Meeting and 2nd Research Conference in Macao in December 2009.
At the conference he presented a draft report under the UNESCO museum capacity building program. This reports on the findings of a regional museum key needs study for which he has been a UNESCO advisor. He also chaired the session of the conference ‘Managing Change in Historic Urban Areas in the Face of Tourism Development’.
An initiative of UNESCO and ICCROM, The Asian Academy for Heritage Management is a formal network of universities and agencies active in heritage management, research and training. Through collaborative projects the organisation supports professional heritage practice in the region.
As an Executive Board Member, Deakin University is an active contributor to the organisation and the cultural heritage staff benefits enormously from engagement with other members of the network. These relationships provide opportunities for staff and student professional development and contribute to a robust heritage discourse in the Asia- Pacific Region.
International Workshop 'Cultural Heritage and War'
Brandenburgische Technische Universität (BTU) Cottbus, Germany.
The Cultural Heritage and War International Workshop in Cottbus, Germany, brought together scholars from four continents to discuss a diverse series of case studies on issues of managing and interpreting war-related heritage sites across the globe.
Co-convened by Martin Gegner (BTU Cottbus), and Bart Ziino (SHHS Deakin), the workshop held in October 2009 testifies to continuing strong relations between CHCAP and the World Heritage Studies program at BTU Cottbus. Participants heard papers on topics from the continuing management of US Civil War battlefields, 150 years after the conflict, to the painful processes of shaping identities through tourism and commemoration in post-genocide Rwanda.
A strong contingent of Deakin scholars attended the workshop. CHCAP Director Professor William Logan, and PhD candidate Nguyen Than Binh discussed the manifold issues surrounding the management of the former battlefields of the 1954 battle of Dien Bien Phu, in Vietnam, while former Deakin Dean of Arts Professor Joan Beaumont addressed the potential conflicts in Australian commemoration of former prisoners of the Japanese at Hellfire Pass in Thailand. Recent Deakin graduate Dr Tony Joel outlined the fruits of his research on the destruction and reconstruction of Dresden’s Frauenkirche during and after the Second World War.
The opportunity to meet in Cottbus not only provided a fruitful and engaging forum for developing papers, but the themes and emphases of a volume, provisionally titled The Heritage of War, in which chapters will eventually be published.
Associate Professor Louise Johnson’s book title ‘Cultural Capitals: Revaluing The Arts, Remaking Urban Spaces’, is a book about the power of the arts to enhance city images, urban economies and communities.
Anchored in academic discussion of the Cultural Industries - what they are, how they have emerged, why they matter and how they should be theorized - the book offers a series of case studies drawn from five countries: Australia, Singapore, Spain, the UK and the US to examine how the arts contribute to sustainable urban regeneration.
‘While the mantra of cultural capitals has dominated recent debates about urban vitality, this is the first warts-and-all analysis of the experience of first and second order cultural capitals through longitudinal comparative studies. This is a timely and inspiring contribution to the debate about the potential of the arts to enhance urban images, economies and communities.’
Jennifer Craik, University of Canberra, Australia.
Associate Professor Andrea Witcomb and Kate Gregory recently unveiled their book ‘From the Barracks to the Burrup’, a richly worked and visually stunning publication to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the National Trust in WA (UNSW Press, 2010).
This beautifully designed book contains never-before-published images and draws from a new oral history archive with testimonies from many of the founders, staff and volunteers of the organisation. Heritage battles for the Barracks Arch, the Palace Hotel, the Swan River and the Swan Brewery are covered, as well as the integral role played by grassroots heritage groups. Relations between the Trust, developers and the State Government and changing practices of interpretation and conservation are also discussed.
What emerges is not only a history of the National Trust in Western Australia but also the people that shaped it. It is also a history of the ways in which heritage has been understood and practised across Australia. ( Book details for ordering)
As part of the long-standing Memorandum of Understanding between Deakin University and the University of Santo Tomas (UST), Honorary Fellow Margaret Birtley and Dr Linda Young spent a week in Manila presenting a course titled 'Current Issues in Museology'. The trip was initially planned for July but was interrupted by H1N1 flu quarantine threats, and delayed until December 2009.
UST runs a Master's program in Cultural Heritage, within the College of Fine Arts and Design. The Dean of the College is Cynthia Loza, Master of Cultural Heritage (Deakin University, 2006). The program is largely taught by Eric Zerrudo, another Deakin graduate and holder of the first CHCAP scholarship for an Asian student, in 2001. The program works in association with the University Museum, an old collection of taxidermy, ethnographic items, Southeast Asian ceramics and Spanish colonial religious art. UST will celebrate its 400th anniversary in 2011, being the oldest university in SE Asia.
The program addressed a range of issues facing Australian museums today, such as approaches to museum sustainability, the new museology and social inclusiveness, assessing collections significance, and the Blue Shield network. Twenty-four participants registered: a mixture of practitioners, enrolled students and interested folk. The practitioners recognised the phenomenon of increasing standards of reporting, and appreciated hearing about Australian museum outreach efforts. Everyone responded to some provocative sessions on presenting contentious material in exhibitions, and analysing the sociology of museum/heritage visiting and non-visiting. Although the Philippines is a radically different environment from Australia - first world living coexists with third world poverty, and dynastic politics are close to the front of civil democracy and the rule of law - museums and other heritage collections grapple with similar issues.
Filipino culture is famous for charm and hospitality, and everyone associated with the course was delightful. While Margaret and Linda found themselves hard at work, re-shaping lectures and PowerPoints every night to meet the mixed needs of the audience, it was a very rewarding experience. The link between UST and Deakin is appreciated on both sides.
Dr Linda Young presenting in Manila
Margaret Birtley presenting in Manila
After completing the Master of Cultural Heritage at Deakin University, Margherita Bonomi was accepted for an internship at the UNESCO Office of the Regional Advisor for Culture in Asia and the Pacific (RACAP) in Bangkok, which she completed in February 2009.
In Bangkok, Margherita was assigned to work in a Museum Capacity Building program initiated by Deakin University, which aimed to raise the level of professionalism in museums of the Asian-Pacific countries. More than 800 surveys were sent to museums covering 32 countries in the region. The survey asked about the strengths and weaknesses of respective institutions. At the same time, surveys were sent to a number of universities and institutional centres in the region where museology and conservation studies are taught, in order to compare the needs of museums with courses offered by the training institutions.
The program is currently in progress and the results will lead to interesting considerations on the situation of museums in the Asia Pacific region. They will also provide recommendations for improvements, both on a regional and at a national level. Margherita’s role was to coordinate the reception of the surveys from the museums and the completion of “country files” as well as being responsible for communication with other UNESCO field offices and stakeholders.
Margherita Bonomi will shortly commence a new role with a different cultural institution. From 1 January 2010 she will be working at the ICCROM (International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property) in Rome, where she takes on the role of Course Assistant for the Course on Conservation of Built Heritage (5 March – 30 April 2010). The course is a two-month intensive program on heritage conservation, aimed at heritage professionals and practitioners as well as decision makers.
The course will be active exchange among the 20 participants selected from all over the world, who will be engaged in topics regarding the definition of heritage and its practices, planning and management issues involved in the conservation process, as well as on documentation and interpretation. Margherita will be in charge of all logistic and technical aspects of the course, including lectures, case studies, practical hands-on exercises, site visits group work and classroom discussions. She will also be responsible for liaison with participants before, during and after the course.
“It is a very interesting job and a very challenging one, because it is about heritage but also about being sensible on cultural diversity, as the group will be international, with participants from 20 different countries. I cannot wait to start!”
Deakin cultural heritage student and Melbourne Water employee Paul Balassone is project managing the Melbourne Regional Water Supply Heritage Study. The project has been commissioned by Melbourne Water in partnership with Heritage Victoria to document water supply heritage assets and systems within its area of management.
This study follows the Victorian Water Supply Heritage Study commissioned by Heritage Victoria in 2007 to identify and record the State’s water supply heritage. Importantly, it provides a tool to assist authorities with decision making around the identification, assessment and management of heritage places associated with water supply.
This collaboration between the two government agencies showcases the ‘whole of government’ approach to heritage conservation in Victoria, consistent with the broader vision articulated in the Victorian Government Heritage Strategy, Victoria's Heritage: Strengthening our communities.
Melbourne Water holds custodianship of a rich and diverse range of heritage assets, largely inherited from its predecessor in the former Melbourne and Metropolitan Board of Works (MMBW), established in 1891. Accordingly, Melbourne Water recognises the importance of cultural heritage management and understands the importance of meeting both moral and legislative obligations concerning the protection of its cultural heritage assets. This study presents a holistic and strategic approach to heritage management, setting in place a management framework that ensures a considered approach to the identification and management of heritage assets.
This regional study is believed to be the first in Victoria by a service authority, representing a paradigm shift, whereby heritage is considered upfront as an integral part of asset management. This study serves as a conservation planning and management model that can be applied to other supply systems managed by Melbourne Water and other water authorities, but also for other large scale public infrastructure, such as railways, sewerage or irrigation systems.
With the support of management at Melbourne Water, Paul has been able to pursue cultural heritage studies, which has paved the way for a new career path in heritage management after spending over twenty years in roles focused on asset management and operations.
Paul now enjoys the ongoing challenge of helping set future direction in heritage management for Melbourne Water.
CHCAP Honorary Fellow Dr Joe Hajdu is currently writing chapters for his latest book Berlin: People and Culture Today.
The book aims to describe and explain the nature of Berlin society and culture that is evolving since the reunification of Germany in 1990 and the return of the government to Berlin in 1999. The integrative theme of the book is the sensitive rebuilding of the city centre and the decision to establish planning guidelines to recreate a contemporary version of Berlin as the European City of 1920. This has led to an emphasis on the retention or restoration of the city's built-cultural heritage and the design of new structures that relate to it in a harmonious manner.
Another dimension of Berlin's cultural heritage has been the vibrant high arts as well as the counterculture scene. The book looks at this in detail and refers back to the 1920s when Berlin was arguably the centre of avant garde culture in the Western world. At the same time the book seeks to describe the multicultural nature of contemporary Berlin, with a detailed account of two groups who have played, and are playing a pivotal role in the life of the city: the Jewish community and the population of Turkish origin.
The English-language book to be completed in mid-2010, will be published by Wieland Giebel GmbH Berlin Story Verlag.
Master of Cultural Heritage student Carmel O’Keeffe recently revealed a great deal about the National Sports Museum’s significant swimsuit collection in Melbourne.
“I’ve always been interested in sport and I thought it covered so many bases in terms of social impact, achievement, and so on.”
Carmel’s research report, 'TOGS: Tales from the National Sports Museum's swimsuit collection' identified the research and interpretative potential of the musem's collection of competitive swimsuits. Her report also provided recommendations for the collection's ongoing management, preservation and access.
The collection of 30 objects offer stories of individual determination and triumph, the development of competitive amateur and professional sport, the evolution of sports science and technology, and the innovation of Australian manufacturing and design. Her research covered the evolution of bathers from Frank and Lily Beaurepaire’s neck-to-knee 1900s woollen costumes, to Ian ‘Thorpedo’ Thorpe’s body suit that helped him achieve success. Together, these items provide a textile barometer of how society has viewed the public performance of swimming, both as a recreation and a sport for men and women.
With the support of the NSM, and the assistance of Richard Ferguson (then) Exhibitions and Collections Manager, the project gave Carmel a hands-on experience with the 'material evidence' of the collection. It also provided an opportunity to access the expertise of museum staff, examine data records and understand museum conditions. Carmel’s report was presented to the NSM and will be kept as part of their records.
In June 2009 Ray Tonkin retired as Executive Director of Heritage Victoria. His farewell speech, ‘Thirty years in harness’, was presented on 28 July at the inaugural Heritage Council Address 2009.
To read the full Heritage Council address please follow the link to the Heritage Victoria’s website http://heritage.vic.gov.au/Publications/Heritage-Council-address-2009.aspx
Ray Tonkin chairs Deakin University’s Cultural Heritage and Museum Studies Academic Advisory Board.
Associate Professor Renate Howe’s book A Century of Influence, the Australian Student Christian Movement, 1896-1996 explores the important contribution of this movement in providing a forum for exploring spirituality and social issues in the nation’s universities.
Described as a ‘university within a university’ the ASCM was especially important for women, encouraging them to develop academic interests and leadership skills. With a national and international influence, including its exploration of Australia’s place in the Asia Pacific region, opposition to racial discrimination at home and abroad and pioneering work for post-war refugees, the organisation has inspired academics, politicians, public servants, business leaders and clergy to put their faith into action.
A Century of Influence, the Australian Student Christian Movement, 1896-1996 is published by University of New South Wales Press.
The 19th annual Roslyn Lawry Award for outstanding achievement in Deakin’s Museum Studies & Cultural Heritage program was presented to Helen Hunter, BA(Hons), at the Museums Australia (Victoria) Museum Awards on 23 July 2009.
Helen is a history graduate from Melbourne University, who took to Museum Studies after an undergraduate internship at Sovereign Hill. Before returning to study, she lived in France in 2005, where she volunteered to produce English-language visitor leaflets and inventories relating to Gallo-Roman ruins and prehistoric antiquities near Toulouse.
During her course, she provided a conservation report to the Coburg Historical Society, assessed a collection of Chinese market-gardening objects, and reviewed Melbourne Museum’s ‘The Mind’ exhibition for Museums Australia Magazine. She volunteered with the Conservation Volunteers Hands On Heritage program, taking part in excavations at Schwerkolt Cottage in Mitcham, and maintenance work at Heide.
Having just completed her Graduate Diploma, Helen and Wayne produced baby Niamh in 2008. Now living in Ballan, Helen is involved with community projects; she is secretary of the local Community House, a member of the ‘Wombat Arts’ network, and of the Moorabool Shire ‘Arts, Culture & Events Committee’.
The Roslyn Lawry Award recognises excellence in of Museum Studies, and Cultural Heritage. It commemorates the life of an outstanding graduate, Roslyn Lawry (1962-1987). Recipients of the Award receive a substantial cash prize, a certificate and the warm congratulations of Mrs Faye Lawry and University staff.
I dive into the middle of the big ocean
The Song of the Haenyeos
Prof William Logan gave the keynote presentation at the 4th International Symposium on of Haenyeo and Mam, Intangible Cultural Heritage of Haenyeo; UNESCO Representative List and Safeguarding Measures, National Jeju University, Korea 8-9 June. The keynote speech was entitled ‘Protecting the Intangible: the UNESCO Convention on Intangible Cultural Heritage (2003) and its Implications’.
The symposium was convened as part of the preparation of the nomination of the living traditions of women pearl divers and fishers of Japan and Korea to the Representative List for Intangible Cultural Heritage established under the 2003 UNESCO Convention). The Symposium also included a visit to Haenyeo Museum, and a forum featuring a panel of former Haenyeos recounting their experiences of pearl diving, social practices, rituals and song.
Prof Logan later presented at a seminar for the Social Research Institute 'Protecting the Intangible: the UNESCO Convention on Intangible Cultural Heritage (2203) and its Implications', at Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand, 12 June. Prof William Logan also participated in the Asian Academy of Heritage Management (AAHM) Executive Committee Meeting, which discussed operational issues and future activities of AAHM, in Bangkok, Thailand 13-14 June. CHCAP is a core member of AAHM.
A CHCAP team lead by Jonathan Sweet has completed a pilot research program to develop collections management training for Buddhist Monks in Northern Thailand. Partners were the Chiang Mai University, Fine Arts Department, and UNESCO Bangkok. This pilot (16 - 21 June 2009) was part of a research project which is being conducted to chart priorities within the UNESCO Museums Program in the Asia-Pacific Region. Sweet is providing support for this research project and will prepare the final report in association with UNESCO.
The pilot was designed to investigate ways to help Buddhist Monks acquire the confidence to make informed decisions about the management of collections of artefacts which are in their care. These include many significant religious items as well as historical items derived from local communities. The 22 Monks who participated came from across the region and were joined by 10 postgraduate students from Chiang Mai University.
The pilot applied 'active participation' methodology, with the Monks arranged in groups to ensure that they could interact and discuss each topic as they worked towards their final presentations over six days. Each group was asked to formulate a plan to create a display around one artefact, which considered significance, preservation and interpretation issues. A number of evaluation techniques are being used to assess the effectiveness of the pilot program, and the conclusions will be used to inform the development of the research project and future UNESCO museum programs in the Asia Pacific Region.
On Tuesday 28 April, the Cultural Heritage Centre for Asia and the Pacific hosted the Australian launch of the ‘Key Issues in Cultural Heritage’ Series, at Abbotsford Convent.
The first two volumes in the series Places of Pain and Shame: Dealing with 'Difficult' Heritage (edited by Prof William Logan and Dr Keir Reeves), and Intangible Heritage (edited by Laurajane Smith and Natsuko Akagawa) were officially launched by Professor Jennifer Radbourne, Dean, Faculty of Arts and Education, Deakin University.The series is an outcome of an Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Grant project, while many of the contributors and editors are closely associated with the Faculty of Arts and Education and CHCAP.
“Both books represent the change in attitude around heritage - one around a new interest in heritage of massacre, war, prison, humiliation and cruelty, and the other a recognition that heritage is not only vested in the material grand and aesthetic global sites and monuments, but also in cultural practices and resources including dance, song, language, oral traditions and knowledge systems and ideologies, which are intangible, but just as inextricably linked to values and our identity and sense of belonging.”
- Professor Jennifer Radbourne
Information on the volumes from the publisher, Routledge UK:
“Places of Pain and Shame is a cross-cultural study of sites that represent painful and/or shameful episodes in a national or local community’s history, and the ways that government agencies, heritage professionals and the communities themselves seek to remember, commemorate and conserve these cases – or, conversely, choose to forget them.”
“Intangible Heritage examines the implications and consequences of the idea of ‘intangible heritage’ to current international academic and policy debates about the meaning and nature of cultural heritage and the management processes developed to protect it. It provides an accessible account of the different ways in which intangible cultural heritage has been defined and managed in both national and international contexts, and aims to facilitate international debate about the meaning, nature and value of not only intangible cultural heritage, but heritage more generally.”
“Places of Pain and Shame: Dealing with 'Difficult' Heritage” features in The Age
A total of 27 people graduated with Deakin post-graduate degrees in Museum Studies and Cultural Heritage on Wednesday 22 April. Seven attended to receive their testamurs in person. Professor Bill Logan and Dr Linda Young attended the ceremony and met graduates afterwards, identified in the cap and gown-clad melee by a big fake sunflower, used a la tour guide.
Receiving Graduate Certificates were Linda Adams, Eleanor Brignell, Judy Brooks, Grace Janover, Sharon Scott, and Lisa Sturis.
The Graduate Diplomates were Louise Cauchi, Melissah Crumpton, Chris Fielder, Mariana Kucic, and Fleur Ward.
Brand new Masters of Cultural Heritage were: Cathryn Barr, Meredith Blake, Lorinda Cramer, Talitha Crawford, Prue Hawkey, Jo Henwood, Tessa Hildebrand, Cameron Jenyns, Karina Lamb, Gabrielle Lowry, Kate Martin, Olivia Porter, Michael Queale, Terry Roberts, Marika Wanklyn, and Jacklyn Young.
There aren’t many occasions in life when one is recognised, acknowledged and certified for achievement – so graduations are specially satisfying occasions for staff, students and proud families. Well done to everyone!
The Cultural Heritage Centre for Asia and the Pacific (CHCAP) has been elected to the Executive Committee of the Asian Academy for Heritage Management (AAHM). In consultation with UNESCO and ICCROM, ‘AAHM promotes integrated, holistic and multi-disciplinary management of heritage resources, including both tangible and intangible expressions of culture’ (UNESCO Bangkok). CHCAP has been a Core Member of the AAHM since its foundation in the early 2000s.
From 7 – 15 March 2009 a contingent of staff and students from Deakin University Cultural Heritage and Museum Studies, and Professor Joan Beaumont, Director, Faculty of Arts, Australian National University, undertook the second part of a cross-cultural exchange with their counterparts at Chulalongkorn University.
Last year, a slightly larger group travelled to Thailand where, with their Thai counterparts, they undertook the development of an interpretation plan for the Thai Burma Railway. This year, DFAT (Australia/Thailand Society) asked the group to co-write a book exploring the history and significance of the Thai-Burma Railway from a cross-cultural perspective.
The intended audience for the book consists of Thai tourists to the area as well as English speaking tourists, particularly Australians. The book will be edited by Professor William Logan, Professor Joan Beaumont and Associate Professor Andrea Witcomb, while individual chapters will be co-written by pairs of Australian and Thai postgraduate students. As always, the interest in these types of projects has much to do with the process itself, as with the actual history of the landscape studied. Thus the group learnt much about the need to manage differences in attitudes towards the war, the past, the role of remembering and forgetting in the present as well as cultural attitudes towards death.
A return visit by Thai staff and students to Australia is scheduled in April 2009 when they will be introduced to the specific traditions and cultural values surrounding the Anzac mythology. This will include visits to Canberra, Cowra and Melbourne, including attendance at the Dawn Service at Melbourne’s Shrine of Remembrance.
Cherie McKeich was invited to present a paper at the 1st international conference of the Indian Association for the Study of Australia (IASA), Eastern Region, Kolkata, 22 -23 January 2009. The conference was organized in collaboration with the Australia India Council and University of NSW. The theme of the conference was 'Landscapes and Rivers: Symbolising Cultural Linkages between Australia and India'.
Cherie's paper draws on her current research project supervised by Dr Joost Cote and was titled Colonial Objects: international exhibitions, TN Mukharji and Melbourne's Indian collections. As she argued: “The Indian collections of the National Gallery of Victoria and Museum Victoria are tangible remnants of a cultural and commercial relationship fostered between India and Australia through international exhibitions of the late nineteenth century. The works of TN Mukharji are integral for interpreting the collections - for providing valuable information on the objects themselves, and emphasising their cultural and economic importance for Indian society. His writings provide a rare perspective into the complexities of empire and the relationship between culture and imperialism. But above all, for me at least, TN Mukharji puts a human face on Melbourne's collections of Indian art wares and raw products, which would have otherwise remained inert and, dare I say, quite likely forgotten.” The papers from this conference are currently being reviewed for publication in January 2010.
News update - Cherie McKeich was awarded a Museum Victoria 1854 Student Scholarship. Cherie plans to use the award to further her research in Calcutta.
In January 2009 the Cultural Heritage Centre, Deakin University, Melbourne Burwood Campus, hosted the eighth annual ‘Introduction to Museum Practice’ residential course for Army Museum managers, curators and volunteers.
Former Cultural Heritage and Museum Studies graduates, Dr Jo Wills and Meredith Blake, presented the week-long training course, which was meticulously project managed by Yusi Liu, a current Master of Cultural Heritage (Honours) student.
The intensive program included lectures in collections management, exhibition planning, visitor evaluation and marketing. Participants also developed case study scenarios and visited military and non-military museums. The program was officially launched by Professor Jennifer Radbourne, Dean of Arts and Education. Guest speakers included Deakin staff Associate Professor Andrea Witcomb, Dr Colin Long and Dr Bart Ziino.
The twenty participants came from Queensland, New South Wales, South Australia, ACT, Tasmania and Victoria. Evaluation comments gathered indicate a high level of satisfaction with content, professionalism of staff and networking opportunities. They will take back a wealth of information and practical know-how.