Shellharbour City Museum wins for new build at the 2018 IMAGinE Awards

Shellharbour City Museum has won a Museums and Galleries NSW Imagine Award for best New Build in the ‘Capacity Building, Capital & Sustainability Programs’ category.

The IMAGinE awards promote and strengthen the NSW museum and gallery sector. They honour best practice education programs, outreach projects, exhibitions, collection management projects and achievements of individuals.

Recognising innovation and excellence in 500 museums, galleries and Aboriginal cultural centres across NSW, the IMAGinE awards acknowledge the outstanding achievements of over 8000 paid and volunteer workers in fostering richer local communities and their contribution to the extraordinary diversity within the NSW museum and gallery sector.

This year saw 96 nominations, the most in the history of the awards, representing the best of regional and metropolitan NSW visual arts and cultural heritage experiences.

These awards offer a unique opportunity for museums and galleries to promote their achievements and raise their profile within the community.

Shellharbour Mayor Marianne Saliba said she was thrilled with the win and congratulated all staff involved, as well as the Tongarra Heritage Society.

“In 2018, Shellharbour City Council delivered the new Shellharbour City Museum, a contemporary, welcoming facility with permanent and temporary exhibition spaces, research room, and climate controlled storage,” Cr Saliba said.

“Our museum curator, Tamara Hynd, has worked tirelessly with dedicated museum volunteers, the Tongarra Heritage Society and Libraries Programs & Partnerships team to create what is a fantastic resource for the city.”

“I couldn’t be more proud of what they have achieved. Our museum is a wonderful resource.”

The Museum opened this year after a coordinated move from a small, aging premise to the Shellharbour Civic Centre, where it is co-located with the Library and other key Council facilities.

In preparation for the move, museum staff and volunteers contributed to the digital cataloguing of about 2000 museum objects.

The move created the incentive to deaccession insignificant items, thereby improving the overall significance of the collection.

The sustainability of staffing was enhanced by the co-location with Shellharbour's City Library, with multi-skilling across the Libraries and Museum team supplementing the position of Museum Curator.

Partnerships with the Libraries Programs & Partnerships team has further strengthened the capacity to deliver museum programs and has already resulted in a number of joint programs delivered to local school students.

A Memorandum of Understanding with the Tongarra Heritage Society has provided a mutual support mechanism between the society and the museum that serves to ensure the two organisations work together to preserve the history and heritage of Shellharbour City.

Museums & Galleries of NSW CEO Michael Rolfe commended all recipients across the categories of Exhibition Projects, Engagement, Sustainability and Individual Achievement in paid and volunteered staffed organisations.

“The judging panel was highly impressed by the quality and breadth of this year’s IMAGinE Awards nominations,” Mr Rolfe said.

“Among the nominations we saw many examples of inspiring exhibition design, innovative programming and deep audience engagement.”

Photo: Manager Libraries & Museum Margie Kirkness, Museum Curator Tamara Hynd and Shellharbour Deputy Mayor John Murray attended the awards.

Media enquiries: Kelli Wells 0448 361 008 or 4221 6038.