Mu­seum plan for Hor­sham

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - News - BY SARAH SCULLY

Acom­mu­nity push for a state-of-the-art mu­seum in Hor­sham is gain­ing mo­men­tum, with re­sults of a fea­si­bil­ity study into the project due early next year.

Hor­sham Re­gional Mu­seum work­ing group chair­man Dave Tyson said a her­itage con­sul­tant had al­most com­pleted part one of a fea­si­bil­ity study fol­low­ing a com­mu­nity con­sul­ta­tion ses­sion.

“We had a very pro­duc­tive com­mu­nity en­gage­ment ses­sion with a broad cross-sec­tion of rep­re­sen­ta­tives, in­clud­ing mem­bers of re­li­gious groups, Hor­sham Agri­cul­tural So­ci­ety and his­tor­i­cal so­ci­eties,” he said.

“En­thu­si­asm for a mu­seum ven­ture was clearly ev­i­dent. Rob Kauf­man from LRGM Ser­vices is do­ing a won­der­ful job de­ter­min­ing the fea­si­bil­ity of the project.

“He’s look­ing at the strengths and weak­nesses of Hor­sham to see if the whole pro­posal is fea­si­ble.”

Mr Tyson said a group of six ‘in­ter­ested peo­ple’ in­sti­gated a push for a mu­seum in Hor­sham in April, 2016.

“Hor­sham His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety has a lot of dis­plays but there is no ded­i­cated mu­seum in Hor­sham,” he said.

“We felt it was some­thing that was miss­ing and some­thing that needed to be achieved if pos­si­ble.”

Mr Tyson said Mr Kauf­man was tasked with find­ing a ‘point of dif­fer­ence’ for the Hor­sham mu­seum.

“Ballarat has Sov­er­eign Hill and gold min­ing, War­rnam­bool has the Ship­wreck Coast and we want some­thing along the same lines,” he said.

“It might be pas­toral for us, but if that’s not good enough and we can’t come up with a par­tic­u­lar point of dif­fer­ence, we might be look­ing at a dis­cov­ery cen­tre.

“Dis­cov­ery cen­tres are also great be­cause they are en­gag­ing, hands-on and the state-of-the-art ones are very in­ter­ac­tive.”

Mr Tyson said mod­ern mu­se­ums were about more than dis­plays of his­tor­i­cal items.

“While they are about best prac­tice and sta­teof-the-art dis­plays of his­tor­i­cal in­ter­est, they are also about bring­ing peo­ple to­gether and en­gag­ing them,” he said.

“They bring vol­un­teer op­por­tu­ni­ties and op­por­tu­ni­ties for cul­tural groups to share some of their iden­tity with the re­gion.

“They also pro­vide spaces for train­ing and re­search and they also need to be a com­mer­cial ven­ture of some sort.”

Mr Tyson said Hor­sham Ru­ral City Coun­cil sup­ported the in­ves­ti­ga­tion into a po­ten­tial mu­seum, fund­ing the fea­si­bil­ity study through a $10,000 com­mu­nity grant.

“Part one of stage one is due in Jan­uary and then part two will start,” he said.

“Part two in­cludes look­ing at cost­ings and what type of build­ing would be re­quired.

“We are look­ing at a pur­pose-built, state-ofthe-art pro­gres­sive de­sign for Hor­sham and we will look into places that might be suit­able lo­ca­tions. “It’s very ex­cit­ing. We hope it is fea­si­ble.” Mr Tyson said if the con­sul­tant’s re­port showed the project was fea­si­ble, the group would go on to stage two, which would in­clude sourc­ing fund­ing and look­ing at busi­ness mod­els and de­signs.

He said while the mu­seum would be phys­i­cally in Hor­sham, the project was de­signed to in­volve com­mu­ni­ties fur­ther afield.

“We want the re­gion’s his­tor­i­cal so­ci­eties to feel em­pow­ered,” he said.

“The Hor­sham mu­seum will not be their com­pe­ti­tion, but they can work to­gether. The Hor­sham mu­seum could show­case some of their dis­plays.

“Through­out the process we will guage what col­lec­tions are out there, in places such as War­rackn­abeal and Jeparit.

“We want in­put from dis­persed his­tor­i­cal so­ci­eties around Hor­sham.”

Mr Tyson said in­put from Hor­sham His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety and Hor­sham RSL was piv­otal for the project to go ahead.

“We have had strong sup­port from both groups, as well as the Viet­nam veter­ans,” he said.

“We’ve also had fab­u­lous sup­port from politi­cians An­drew Broad and Emma Kealy.

“Both have writ­ten us let­ters pledg­ing in-prin­ci­ple sup­port for the project.”

Mr Tyson said the wider com­mu­nity would have op­por­tu­ni­ties to have in­put into the project as it pro­gressed.

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