Clear approach to manage City’s vibrant arts and heritage collection worth nearly $28m

Thursday, 28 November 2019

A strategic focus for how the City could use and manage its 12,000 moveable artworks, objects and artefacts into the future will be exhibited for community feedback.

The ‘Our Heritage, Our Collection’ report estimates the City’s collection, which is spread across numerous locations throughout the region, is worth nearly $28 million.

Some of the significant items include a c1821 sample of fabric from the first wool clip in Australia, a c1900 spinning wheel from the Nepal and Tibet region and confiscated contraband from the Old Geelong Gaol.

The City’s outdoor collection (public art, monuments and plaques etc) is insured for $13,100,000, while the National Wool Museum stores the most objects - nearly 8,000 - worth $7,500,000.

During the council meeting discussion of the strategic report, councillors also passed an amendment encouraging community members to return arts and heritage items that may belong to the City of Greater Geelong or its former legal entities.

The items of heritage significance may have once belonged to the collection but were misplaced or lost over time.

The report has been developed through consultation with the community, as well as internal and external stakeholders. The project was funded through the Australian Government’s Building Better Regions Fund.

Workshops were held, while an online survey received 32 responses from a wide cross-section of the community.

Benchmarking was also carried out with other Victorian councils developing their own strategic reports and research developed by the Australian Museums and Galleries Association (Victoria).

Internal and external engagement highlighted the overwhelming need to collect, care for and display more objects that greater reflect the region’s different ethnically and culturally diverse communities.

The City will work with Wadawurrung community members to support cultural expression through collections, stories and exhibitions.

The report also outlines the fantastic opportunity to showcase our proud Wadawurrung community, reflecting our long Indigenous history.

The ‘Our Heritage, Our Collection’ report is being publically exhibited on the Geelong Australia website’s Have Your Say page from 28 November 2019 until 31 December 2019.


Councillor Stephanie Asher - Mayor

The City is lucky to own such a significant and varied collection of works, that reflect different times in Greater Geelong’s history.

The ‘Our Heritage, Our Collection’ report will give the City a clear direction on how to give the wider community greater access to enjoy it.

Councillor Trent Sullivan, Chair, Arts, Culture and Heritage portfolio

These treasures form part of the Geelong region’s rich history and as such, need to be managed appropriately.

I encourage those with any objects, that may be owned by the City or former legal entities, to come forward for the items of value to be assessed for inclusion in the collection.

This is a great chance for us to showcase what we have now, but it is also clear we need to collaborate closely with our traditional owners, the Wadawurrung community, to identify and preserve more elements of our long Indigenous history.

Page last updated: Thursday, 28 November 2019