Preserving our Heritage: Metals, Textiles, Photographs

Guest Blogger: Karen Barrett for Cultural Heritage Network – Toowoomba Region

Do you collect memorabilia?  Maybe you have a collection of 1970’s clothes you loan to friends?  If so, then you would have been among like-minded people at the Cultural Heritage Network – Toowoomba Region’s 2015 seminar held on Saturday and Sunday 24-25 October.

Preserving our Heritage: Metals, Textiles, Photographs was the theme of the seminar and as the title suggests, the weekend was jam-packed with information.

Workshop participants at the Cultural Heritage Network seminar in Toowoomba. Photo by Karen Barrett, October 2015

Workshop participants at the Cultural Heritage Network seminar in Toowoomba. Photo by Karen Barrett, October 2015

Each workshop focused on one object type: metals, photographs and textiles. The workshops all had practical components aimed at preserving, storing and displaying these objects and were led by specialists in their field: Lydia Egunnike, Christine Ianna and Dr. Michael Marendy.  The weekend concluded with a tour of the Pittsworth Historical Pioneer Village and Museum.

Workshop  session - Cultural Heritage Network seminar in Toowoomba. Photo by Karen Barrett, October 2015

Workshop session – Cultural Heritage Network seminar in Toowoomba. Photo by Karen Barrett, October 2015

Opened by Councillor Ros Scotney, her introductory speech resonated with both specialists and attendees alike. She noted “we live in a world [where] we can get anything through a few clicks of a mouse, but we cannot replace the past, we cannot replicate those intangible feelings that come when we see something on display that represents our shared past. You are not just the custodians of the physical world and its history … you are also the guardians of our broader traditions, values and aesthetics. Today you are doing classes in metals, textiles and photographs … but in some regards you are also working in the fields of psychology and sociology. In your hands are our treasured past and the treasures of the future.

Each workshop had a practical component.

Each workshop had a practical component.

The seminar was supported by a successful application to the Regional Arts Development Fund.  The Regional Arts Development Fund is a Queensland Government initiative through an Arts Queensland and Toowoomba Regional Council partnership to support local arts and culture.

Organisers welcomed attendees from as far away as Canungra and Rathdowney stating…“these seminars provide a great opportunity for cultural heritage custodians to learn, and discuss common issues. Each is willing to travel to gain this knowledge and in the process, are reminded that others share the same commitment to heritage.”

The network arranges annual seminars for all heritage ‘custodians’, not just those who are attached to cultural heritage organisations. If you find yourself unsure of what to do with your great grandfathers WWI medals, consider the Network’s future seminars to help you gain the knowledge needed to care for your own heritage treasures.

For more information about the Cultural Heritage Network email us or follow on Facebook and Twitter.

Karen Barrett, Secretary, Cultural Heritage Network Toowoomba Region (CHNTR);                     Manager, Transport and Main Roads Heritage Centre

About the Network: In November 2007, representatives from cultural heritage collecting organisations within the Toowoomba region met at the Cobb & Co Museum to discuss the opportunities that amalgamation of eight shires offered. The Cultural Heritage Network – Toowoomba Region was formed.

The Cultural Heritage Network – Toowoomba Region (Inc.) is an alliance of cultural heritage organisations. It seeks to share expertise and resources to its members; undertake professional development and cross-promote. Members are from all over SE Qld, with more than half coming from the Toowoomba Region. The Network facilitates promotion of Heritage in the region – ‘Connecting People with Heritage.’

The Network has created a corporate identity to promote its activities, arranged seven seminars and been awarded seven grants for Network projects.The Cultural Heritage Network has also inspired and supported similar networks being developed in the Western Downs and Maranoa Regions.

The current focus is to continue to support the Transport Heritage App that identifies the many significant transport stories and objects in the region. Membership to the Network is open to cultural heritage organisations and individuals.

About the Logo: The logo consists of a wagon wheel representing the ‘wheels of time’. The spokes in the wheel represent the eight shires merging into one Toowoomba Regional Council and the larger spokes signify aerials for the communication and the networking of ideas. The colours – heritage green merging into aqua, pink and yellow symbolizes the past merging into the future.

The logo adopted by the Cultural Heritage Network Toowoomba Region.

The logo adopted by the Cultural Heritage Network Toowoomba Region.