March-May 2018


ICOM Australia Chair Alec Coles

Another busy period

It has been another busy period for ICOM both internationally and nationally.

The year has involved a certain amount of navel gazing in terms of amending our rules and procedure  - a process that was both necessary and long overdue. Despite this, we have continued to ensure that our public presence is maintained.

To this end, in this newsletter, you will read of our commitment to International Museum Day – and how we hope you and your institutions will embrace it like never before(!); of the expansion of our student essay competition;  of our exciting sponsored session at the MGA Conference, featuring Angelita Teo; and of our support of an important initiative to build resilience in museums in the Pacific.

There is also information about our popular and successful bursary program.

There is also still just time to nominate for the ICOM Australian Executive Board.

I have said many times, there has never been a more important time for us to be active on the international stage – and there is no better way to do it than by joining – and becoming active – in ICOM!


ICOM Australia AGM 2018


The annual gathering of ICOM Australia members, our Annual General Meeting, will take place at 12.45 on Tuesday 5 June at the Meat Market, during the Museums Galleries Australia conference. It’s a great chance to meet your new Board and fellow ICOM members, as well as vote to make a difference. More


Museums Galleries Australia 2018 conference

Conference news

ICOM Australia is pleased to again be sponsoring a plenary speaker at the 2018 Museums Galleries Australia conference: Angelita Teo, Director National Museum of Singapore. We’re also announcing the winners of the ICOM Australia Awards at the glittering conference dinner. And of course don’t miss our AGM on at 12.45 on Tuesday 5 June at the conference venue, the Meat Market in North Melbourne. More


ICOM General Assembly

ICOM General Assembly

Representatives of every body within ICOM will gather 6-8 June 2018 at the UNESCO building in Paris for annual meetings and the ICOM General Assembly. ICOM Australia is usually represented by the Chair or Vice-Chair of the Executive Board. The General Assembly is ICOM’s forum for decision making, electing members of the Executive Council, making resolutions, setting rules and ratifying ICOM’s Stategic Plan. More

ICOM International Training Centre for Museum Studies ICOM-ITC

Introducing ICOM-ITC

The ICOM International Training Centre for Museum Studies (ICOM-ITC) is an international training initiative based at the Palace Museum in Beijing, China. Inaugurated in 2013, it promotes research and exchange among museums at an international level and develop the museum expertise of professionals from developing countries, especially those from the Asia-Pacific region.

ICOM-ITC offers week-long training workshops twice-yearly to students from around the world. Grants are offered to support attendance. ICOM-ITC is a collaboration between ICOM, ICOM China and the Palace Museum. The operation and management of the centre is conducted by the Palace Museum.

Deborah Tout-Smith, Vice-Chair of the ICOM Australia Executive Board, is a member of the ICOM-ITC Program Committee, which guides course content and student selection. Professor Hans-Martin Hinz, Germany, is President of the Program Committee. More


ICOM Australia Pacific Partners Program Fiji February 2018

Museum education in the Pacific workshop

ICOM Australia recently enabled Dr Jenny Newell, Manager of the Pacific & International Collection at the Australian Museum to participate in a highly valuable Commonwealth Association of Museums (CAM) workshop in Suva, Fiji in February. ICOM Australia provided financial support through its Partnerships Program, supporting organisations and communities in Australia’s neighbouring regions by providing skills and resources, underpinned by an exchange of expertise. More

ICOM Australia Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum digitisation project

Digitisation at the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum

University of Melbourne academic Dr Rachel Hughes has recently completed a joint digitisation project with Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum in Cambodia, focussing on the museum’s visitor books from 1979-1993. Some 1500 pages of visitor comments have been added to the museum's archive and may provide materials for the 40th anniversary exhibition of the museum in 2019.

Dr Hughes’ research focusses on the early years of the museum’s operation, after the fall of the Khmer Rouge in January 1979. Visitor book comments from this time are written in many languages, including Khmer, English, Russian, Vietnamese, French, Lao, Arabic, Spanish, Portuguese, Indonesian, Japanese and German. Comments are lengthy, formal, impassioned and usually offered on behalf of fellow citizens or members of political organisations.

Today Tuol Sleng is listed on the UNESCO Memory of the World Register, and is one of the most visited museums in Southeast Asia. More   Rachel Hughes


ICOM Australia CAUMAC symposium

Reframing university collections – research infrastructure 2018 CAUMAC symposium

The Council of Australian University Museums and Collections (CAUMAC) is currently calling for proposals for our symposium to be held at the Australian National University on April 6, 2018. The symposium asks the following questions:

  • How have universities dealt with the issue of legacy collections?
  • What are the advantages and pitfalls of valuing legacy collections based on their potential for new research?
  • How do you manage a collection to be ready for research that might currently be unforeseeable?
  • What does this mean for collections whose research potential is unknown?

The thoughts of university curators, researchers, professional staff, administrative staff, university leaders and students who would like to help shape our thinking on this issue are welcome. We are also interested in examples from your area of expertise.

The symposium is one of a series designed to develop a better understanding of the Australian Higher Education collecting sector in the lead up to the UMAC (ICOM’s International Committee for university museums and collections) 2020 conference at the University of Sydney. More   Andrew Simpson


For past ICOM Australia news and e-bulletins see:

ICOM Australia e-newsletter

For more news see ICOM international's newsletter:

 ICOM e-newsletter


ICOM Australia news