Camden Haven Historical Society were part of the museum group that won a 2016 Museums and Galleries National Award (MAGNA) for permanent exhibitions with their innovative online exhibition Our Rivers Our History.
Our Rivers Our History is a collaborative project, managed and led by Museums Australia - Mid North Coast Chapter, involving the Camden Haven Museum and six other volunteer-run museums on the lower Mid North Coast being the Wingham Museum, Tinonee Museum, Mid North Coast Maritime Museum, Port Macquarie Museum, Wauchope Museum and Kempsey Museum. The enduring web exhibition and river trails were launched in April 2015 and continue to attract new audiences.
Camden Haven Historical Society president, Phillip Bowman said the judge’s comments included: “Outstanding project that linked core museum activities to cultural tourism priorities. The project helped to continue to preserve Australia’s valued past, skilled the community in benchmark museum practices and gave further rise to sense of community spirit in linking all the local areas and their museums. Great to see themes driven by objects and collections. The emphasis on significance has certainly worked well for this project and for the staff in the volunteer museums. The tourism network and benefits are obvious. The website and collateral are well designed and play to the strengths of each object. This is a good model for other regional networks and could easily be expanded to other collecting institutions and tourism attractions...”
“The web exhibition uses local museum objects and collections to illustrate the history and stories of the Manning, Camden Haven, Hastings and Macleay Rivers”, says Project Manager, Debbie Sommers. “We are very pleased to see our collaborative efforts and the project’s outcomes recognised by our peers”. The project involved 18 museum volunteers who contributed in excess of 3000 hours to create the ground breaking project. “While traditionally going to a museum and viewing objects and displays was the way we most learnt about history with the technology of today it is no longer the only way, and this project brings local stories told by objects and museums to people anywhere and at any time.”
“The Our Rivers Our History online exhibition and website showcases some of the most significant objects held in our museums relating to our rivers and coastal waters which are such an integral part of our history. Each has its own story but is also part of a larger story. It is hoped that such an insight obtained online will encourage people to then visit our museums and discover more of our stories. Our Rivers Our History can be viewed at http://www.oroh.com.au/. The Camden Haven Museum is displaying at this moment the work done for the project.
Under the working title ‘Waterways” the project was awarded one of two NSW State Government Regional Museum Networking (RMN) Grants in late 2013, the first year of the grant program. The Regional Museum Networking Grant program was an Arts NSW devolved funding program, administered by Museums and Galleries NSW on behalf of the NSW Government. The Museums Australia - Mid North Coast Chapter and the volunteer run museums on the lower Mid North Coast are applying for funding in the 2017/18 financial year to expand their online presence through Our Rivers Our History.
The Camden Haven Museum is looking for new volunteer members and is situated in the School of Arts Building, 58 Bold Street Laurieton and is at present open from 9.00 am to 1.00 pm on Tuesdays, Wednesdays Thursdays and Fridays. You can contact us at email@example.com; on Facebook @camdenhavenmuseum or by phone 0408 113 313.