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Pacific workshops stimulate regional dialogue

20 NOVEMBER 2007

'The workshops demonstrate how the National Museum of Australia, already involved in cooperative ventures with museums in the Asia-Pacific region, is taking a lead in forging a new understanding of and new partnerships with museums in our part of the world,' said Craddock Morton, Director of the National Museum of Australia.

The Australian and Pacific Museums Workshops provide an opportunity for engagement with representatives of the major cultural institutions of the nations in Australia's immediate neighbourhood – Timor Leste, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands and New Caledonia, as well as New Zealand, Samoa, Tonga and Fiji.

The workshops will cover two complementary topics – 'Pacific Partnerships' on 22 November and 'Pacific Cultural Heritage in Australian Museums and Galleries: A Regional Dialogue' on 23 November. The program will launch an initiative for Australian museums to move forward with a greater commitment to raising the profile of the Pacific collections and to review their role as custodians of such collections.

Delegates representing national museums and cultural centres of New Zealand, eight Pacific Islands nations and Timor Leste will join high-level professionals from Australian museums, art galleries and archives, scholars and community representatives for the two-day event.

The workshops have been convened by Dr Susan Cochrane, Research Fellow at the National Museum's Centre for Historical Research.

The National Museum of Australia established the Centre for Historical Research in 2006 to foster new thinking about Australian history and the Australian historical experience. The Centre helps the Museum in the development of substantive national research and academic interpretation of the subject areas represented by the Museum's collections.

For more information about the Australian and Pacific Museums Workshops visit www.nma.gov.au

For interviews, images and more information please contact Dennis Grant on 02 6208 5351, 0409 916 481; Caroline Vero on 02 6208 5338, 0438 620 710 or media@nma.gov.au