Museums across Australia—large and small— have risen to the challenge of social distancing restrictions by reaching out online.
On International Museums Day we celebrate and acknowledge our museums. This year also provides the chance to recognise how they are adapting their collections during a difficult time.
Leading the way among others are the National Museum of Australian and the Australian National Maritime Museum. They may have closed their doors temporarily but they have boosted their virtual offerings.
National Museum of Australia (NMA)
The NMA is engaging audiences online in many ways, including:
To mark International Museums Day 2020, the NMA is supporting a callout from International Council of Museums Australia for people to share an object, work of art, or other artefact on social media that reflects 2020 using the hashtags #Our2020 on #IMD2020. The idea is to choose something that reflects this unusual time in a fundamental way.
Australian National Maritime Museum (ANMM)
Australians have been able to continue exploring stories of the sea through the ANMM's online exhibitions, collections, virtual vessel tours and library resources. The museum has also created games and behind-the scenes videos.
Through these online programs, the ANMM continues to champion diversity, equality and inclusion as it shares stories of almost 10 million settlers from across the world who started a new life in Australia. These include:
Waves Light Showexploring migration to Australia including the personal stories of migrants and refugees
Curator Kim Tau's discussion: "Recovering Refugee Narratives, How are refugee memories expressed through the arts and how are they remembered within diasporas"—scheduled for June 2020
Virtual tours of patrol boat HMAS Advance, submarine HMAS Onslow, destroyer HMAS Vampire and the Endeavour replica.
For International Museums Day, the ANMM will be encouraging the public to explore their Virtual Museum and reaching out to all those who want to learn about Australia's history through stories of the sea.