Strategic focus to manage $28 million arts and heritage collection

Wednesday, 15 April 2020

The ‘Our Heritage, Our Collection’ report has been adopted by council, outlining a clear approach to the care, management and access of the City’s heritage collection of 12,000 moveable artworks, objects and artefacts into the future.

The region’s vibrant and diverse collection, valued at close to $28 million, is spread across several locations and includes Indigenous artefacts, the iconic Baywalk Bollards by Jan Mitchell, thousands of photographs and even a Mayoral Chair from 1860.

Following community consultation, feedback from City staff and benchmarking with other councils, ‘Collection Priorities’ were developed that respond to the challenges of providing appropriate care of pieces and greater community access.

The first two priorities detail the need to understand the entire collection and assess its value, while providing access to pieces and developing innovative ways to showcase them.

Priorities three and four are aimed at showcasing Greater Geelong’s creative story to residents and visitors, that reflects our history, our present and our future.

Councillors will now consider the report’s six recommendations for implementation when developing future budgets:

  1. adopt a Collection Policy
  2. appropriate staffing levels to care for the collection
  3. care for the collection through industry standard collection storage facilities
  4. provide greater access to the collection through extra displays, online collections, public programs and pop-up displays
  5. provide appropriate budget for specialised services to care for and maintain the collection and
  6. maintain the existing collection whilst also acquiring new pieces that reflect the unique character of Geelong.

In addition to the report recommendations, it’s proposed council formally adopts a ‘no questions asked’ no-fault policy for the return of any objects that may have once belonged to the council collections.

‘Our Heritage, Our Collection’ is the first time that the City’s entire heritage collection is being presented in a unified and holistic way. To celebrate this milestone and in recognition of ANZAC Day, a digital exhibition of 50 treasures from the City’s Heritage Collection will be released on 24 April 2020. 

View the 'Our Heritage, Our Collection' strategy.

Councillor Stephanie Asher - Mayor

Our region is home to such a significant and exciting collection of art and heritage pieces.

There are various challenges that come with caring for and managing a collection of this size, which is why the ‘Our Heritage, Our Collection’ report will help guide the City on how best to move forward.

Councillor Jim Mason - Heritage Advisory Committee

It’s vital the region’s 12,000 moveable artworks, objects and artefacts are protected and shared with future generations, as they’re a reflection of our vibrant history. The report has shown we have a lot of work to do to properly care for the collection and reflect the region’s broad cultural and gender diversity.

I hope this report leads to a wider range of community members experiencing and appreciating these pieces through ‘clever and creative’ displays.

Page last updated: Thursday, 28 May 2020