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york presentation york presentation Presentation Transcript

  • Consultation: What is it good for?
    • Phil Gordon
      • Head Anthropology Collections
      • Australian Museum/
  • Aboriginal Australia
    • 60,000 years of occupation
    • Several waves of migration
    • Dingo 4,000
    • At least two Ice ages
    • All of Australia Occupied
  • Museum industry
    • Small country
    • Small industry
    • Aboriginal issues are very prominent
  • Museums what are they
    • Cabinets of curiosity
    • Exotica
    • A place for dead or dying cultures
    • Cultural Darwinism
    • Repository of the Great Western scientific tradition
  • Aboriginal perspective
    • Negative historical interaction
    • Seen as part of the problem
    • Repository of their stolen cultural material
    • Repository of their ancestors
  • Why do Consultation
    • Aboriginal people are a major stakeholder
    • For museums they are politically powerful
    • Benefits for the museum sector
    • Whole of government approach
    • It works
  • Consultation
    • Museum’s guiding principle is self determination
    • We talk and listen and then act
    • Processes have to be developed to input this information
      • thus consultation = evaluation
    • rolling basis
  • The Australian Way
    • Brought about because of changing Aboriginal political circumstances
    • Not legislatively imposed: Why?
      • Employment of Indigenous staff
      • Indigenous control of some of the levers of control
      • Advisory committee etc
      • It works
  • Our Protocol is
    • Consultation is to be undertaken in a place acceptable to Aboriginal people
    • Long-term commitment
    • Tangible results
    • Indigenous people involved
    • Has to be something in it for them
    • Ownership and ability to direct
  • Types of Consultation
    • Varies depending on the topic
    • Workshops
    • One on one
    • General meetings
    • Aboriginal employees are important
  • Project types
    • Exhibition
    • Collection management
    • Intangibles
    • Repatriation
    • Welcome to land
  • Problems
    • Yes there are problems
    • Who do you talk to
    • How long do you talk
    • What happens if the project fails
    • Disputes internal external Aboriginal political issues
    • No one wants to be involved
    • Resource intensive
    • Long term
  • Four projects
    • Indigenous Youth Access project
    • Outreach Program
    • Keeping Culture CD-ROM
    • Repatriation Secret Sacred Material and Human remains
  • Youth Access Project
    • Aim to increase Indigenous youth access to museums
    • Identify political and social issues affecting their access
    • Method:
      • focus groups/interviews with young Indigenous people
      • broader discussion and stakeholder interviews
      • literature analysis
  • What they wanted
    • Respect for them as people
    • Welcoming atmosphere
    • Seeing themselves reflected in content, programming and staffing
    • Active learning experiences
    • Involvement in program development
    • Use of technology
    • Deal with contemporary issues
  • Outreach Programs
    • Community Workshop:
      • rolling evaluation to fine tune program
      • started off with basic museum practices (eg curatorial, conservation, etc)
      • program refined through workshop evaluation
      • long history of consultation
      • people know they will be listened to:
        • and their suggestions acted on
  • Keeping Culture CD-ROM
    • Developed to provide information
    • Using Indigenous experiences to help others develop their own museums/ cultural centres
    • Prototype tested giving feedback in development stage
    • Evaluation pivotal in the outcome
  • Repatriation
    • Secret Sacred several levels of consultation can take years
    • Remains very emotional
    • Long term projects
    • Basis of trust
    • The return of remains was pivotal in the development of the relationship
  • Reflections
    • Aboriginal involvement in museums has been positive
    • It has made museums relevant
    • We had to do it
    • Template for other communities
  • Future
    • Move into the delivery of services using new technologies and online access
    • e-learning
    • outreach program
    • and surprises