Past

1993 – ‘Vern McCallum Collection’ of historical photographs. Vern McCallum began collecting district photos in the 1970’s in an effort to save them from going into landfill! His collection now exceeds 15,000 images dating from 1858. Selected copies were displayed through the year, and opportunities were given for locals to bring in their photos to be copied into the collection. At the time efforts were made to gain and record as much information about the photos as possible.

1994 – ‘Star Patterns’. This exhibition in August of artwork produced by clients of the Glenelg Shire Rural and Remote Respite Care Program, showed works on paper by five artists with creative support from Robyn McNicol and Tracey Bull.

1995 – Valuation of Antiques and Collectables by Ray Dalton. In September, a couple of social days enabled locals to bring in their precious items for assessment and valuation by ABC Radio regular guest antique-dealer Ray Dalton. Several items of historical interest were then loaned for a short-term display.

1996 – Participation in Dartmoor Primary School 125 Years Celebration. Apart from compiling the official history of the school, the Museum coordinated a display of items and records associated with the school, and others formerly operating within the district.

1997 – ‘The Watmough Sisters – Mary Greenham and Margaret Spencer’. Following a large family reunion in Melbourne of descendants of the Watmough family who came to Australia in 1841, records and lineage charts associated with the family were displayed. Mary and Margaret married men who became early settlers in Dartmoor, and both have many descendants still in the area.

1998 – Attendance at National Regional Arts Conference, Mount Gambier. Sponsored as a delegate to the conference by the Glenelg Shire, Michael Greenham listened to various reports of triumphs and tragedies in regional arts/tourism from around the country. Summing up the conference in a report to the Shire he wrote…” Cultural Tourism must lead people to new experiences and give them a sense of place and time. It has to be authentic or the tourists see through it. It must give them something to bond with, re-create by…and return to! Regional Rejuvenation and Cultural Tourism can be simultaneously a product and an experience – an outcome and a resource.”

1999 – Participation in Archival Support Program conducted regionally by Museums Victoria. Attendance at sessions through the year of this excellent program assisting small, remote keeping-places enabled the Museum to refine its policies and procedures in collection and management. All we need now is the money to complete all the things we would like to!

2000 – Olympic Memorabilia. Following the Sydney Olympics, a display was held of collection items and locally loaned memorabilia, photographs and objects including: a Relay Torch from Sydney 2000, official clothing worn by Volunteers Sydney 2000, written recollections of local visitors to Melbourne 1956, and souvenir cigarette cards Melbourne 1956.

2001 – Reflections on the Centenary of Federation by the People of the Glenelg Shire. This project, coordinated by the Glenelg Shire Arts Advisory Committee, involved citizens putting onto one acid-free A4 page, some piece of text or photograph that represented their past or dreams. An engrossing collection of poignant, funny, stunning submissions resulted; many were displayed at the Museum during the year before being archived by the Shire.

2002 – ‘History of Land Use in the Glenelg River Basin’. In partnership with the Glenelg Hopkins Catchment Management Authority and the ‘Vern McCallum Collection’, a selection of images was shown in Portland, Nelson, Casterton and the Dartmoor District Museum through the year. The superb sepia photographs depicted work, families, recreation, events and scenery between the years 1858 and 1958.

2003 – Opening of Dartmoor Memorial Streetscape. On 25 April the work carried out by the Dartmoor District Progress Association and Glenelg Shire in revitalising a section of the main street in Dartmoor was opened as part of the Anzac Day Commemorations. Funded by locals and all levels of government, the streetscape and tree carvings are now viewed with awe by many passing travellers and are a source of pride for residents. Through the year, the Museum utilised its collection to show visitors the history of the project and the local veterans whom it honours.

2004 – Presentation to Country Womens’ Association Delegates, Regional Conference, Dartmoor Hall. Typical of many addresses, tours and mini-displays given to a variety of groups over the years, this talk in August presented the history of the Dartmoor area with the theme ‘Our History is not in the Cemetery yet!’ The notion was ‘history is important and we are all historians’ with a role to remember and record before we end up in the cemetery.

2005 – 60th Anniversary of ‘Victory in Pacific Day’ 15 August. In association with the Dartmoor Primary School, a month-long program of events and displays was conducted to highlight this important occasion in world history. Stories from veterans were recorded, research posters of schoolchildren were displayed, and a plaque was presented to the school from the Museum with the names of ex-pupils and service personnel who died during World War Two: Edgar Frederick Winston Bucknall, William Macnamara Conole, Lindsay Crompton Cook, Basil Francis Greenham, John Oakley Heathcote, Kenneth Roy Keith O’Bryan, Frederick Henry Wapling, James Herbert Wapling, Darby Frederick Spencer.

2006 – ‘History of Policing in Dartmoor and District’. To coincide with the official opening of a new police station in Dartmoor on 3 August, a display was raised of records and items to do with the history of policing in the district. One key acquisition was a copy of the memoirs of Constable Les Allitt who served in the district 1927-1933. The display followed a concerted campaign, involving the Museum, to have the century-old former police complex of buildings listed by Heritage Victoria.

2007 – Hosting function for ‘Cycling Across Borders’. This bicycle ride from Mount Gambier to Melbourne raises funds and awareness for the international humanitarian aid work of Medecins Sans Frontieres [Doctors Without Borders]. The Museum continues to be the starting point for the second day [Dartmoor to Warrnambool] of the annual March longweekend ride. See… http://cyclingacrossborders.wordpress.com/

2008 – Charlotte Bean, Artist in Residence. As part of her university study, performance artist Charlotte Bean from the region of Dartmoor, England lived and worked in Dartmoor, Australia for two months, investigating the differences and similarities of experience and audience. The period of residence culminated in a progressive performance of body, sound and text that has still keeps locals talking! See… https://plus.google.com/photos/111009199544968989776/albums/5255712015773090961?banner=pwa

2009 – ‘Juxtaexposition’. Following the residency of Bean, a static display of ‘the two Dartmoors’ was collated. Many items relating to Dartmoor, England had been donated to the Museum by the late Miss Widdecombe from Dandenong who had emigrated to Australia in the 1960’s.
2010 – Ceramic productions of Deborah Gill. Deb, a local potter with long family ties to the district, exhibited and sold pottery pieces crafted as part of her tertiary arts qualification folio. Her work is ongoing, and her colourful creations constitute a unique and appealing style. She can be contacted through the museum.

2011 – 175th Anniversary of the exploration of the district by Major Mitchell. Using items from the collection and additional research, an educational program was conducted with students of the Dartmoor Primary School on the association of the area with Major Thomas Mitchell. This included ephemera from the 1936 Centenary and the 1986 150th Celebrations. Students especially enjoyed measuring distance with an old surveyor’s chain measure, and hunting for fossils in the limestone cliffs above the Glenelg River and Crawford River junctions as Mitchell had done.

2012 – The highlight of the year was not an event at the Museum, but a field trip organised by the Museum to Gallipoli, with three district families who had strong connections to the campaign of 1915.The Firth family sat by the grave of Private Sydney Smith from Mumbannar, killed at the landing on 25 April. The Pratt family got a sense of the horrifying injuries and illnesses of soldiers Nurse Rachel Pratt had to deal with on the ‘hospital’ island of Lemnos off the coast. And the Greenham family were able to place a poppy on the Lone Pine memorial wall for Private Charles Greenham who lies somewhere on the Peninsula.
2013 – On 14 October 2014 Michael and Maggie Greenham were invited to the National Museum of Australia in Canberra to the opening of a Donor Board acknowledging donors to the archive. Almost 10 years ago the Museum donated the postcard collection of Margaret Adam McDonald [referred to elsewhere on this website] to the nation. At some time the postcards may be on public display, but they can still be accessed by contacting the Archive.

Michael&Maggie_Canberra

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