Public to shape future of museums

Published: 06 Nov 2020

Council is calling on the public to help shape the evolution of our region’s museums.

Mayor Greg Williamson said our four historical centres were underutilised, but our collection, if properly marketed and displayed, had considerable potential as a social, cultural and economic driver for our region.

“If you did a pub test of residents, I doubt many would be able to point to all of our museums on a map and fewer still would have visited each centre,” Mayor Williamson said.

“We want that to change and see our historical centres as a golden opportunity to provide a tremendous educational resource to our residents and an attractive destination for visitors,” he said.

“We want people to engage with the stories of our region through our historical centres.”

Mayor Williamson said Cairns Museum was a perfect example of what a historical centre could deliver.

“Cairns Museum had a previously high visitation in the 1980s and 90s but declined to 7000 annually prior to the museum’s redevelopment,” he said. “The redeveloped museum now attracts 21,000 visitors annually and has seen school program attendance more than double.”

The Mayor said any development of the Mackay region museums would be closely guided by the community.

“We will be launching an extensive engagement campaign to gather ideas, identify areas that need improvement and discover the community’s vision for our museums,” he said.

“From today, residents can share their feedback and ideas at Connecting Mackay.

“Visitors to our region can also fill in hardcopy surveys at any of the museums, the Jubilee Community Centre and at the Visitor Information Centres at Sarina and Bluewater Lagoon.

“We will be meeting directly with the volunteers of Mackay region’s museums who have been instrumental in their care of the collections to date.  We will also consult with educators in a workshop-style setting to ensure any development meets the needs of the education sector.”

Council will also be holding pop-up consultation sessions at the following locations:

  • Sarina Beach Road Shopping Centre – Monday, November 30 – 12.30pm to 2.30pm
  • Greater Whitsunday Farmers’ Markets – Wednesday, December 2 – 7am to 11am
  • Marian Town Centre (Woolworths complex) – Thursday, December 3 – 2pm to 4pm

Consultation closes at midnight on December 13, 2020.