Wednesday 24 May - detailed programme

Please note:
  • This programme may be subject to change
  • All events are at the Palmerston North Conference & Function Centre, unless otherwise stated.
  • All keynote sessions will be in the Elwood Room.
  • Lunches and tea-breaks will be served in the Conference Room.
9:00am    Wednesday Morning 1 – 4 parallel session
1. Imagining an inclusive Māori Museum
Venue: Elwood Room
  • Henriata Nicholas - Ngāti Whakaue, Ngāti Tuwharetoa, Ngāti Unu, Ngāti Kahu. Exhibitions Coordinator Te Awamutu Museum
  • Ngahuia Te Awekotuku - Te Arawa, Tūhoe, Waikato. Researcher, governer, lecturer, art-maker, critic and exhibitions curator.
Is such a place possible? This presentation begins with a brief overview on some salient issues concerning the possibilities, risks, problems, strategies, and excitements of such an imagining. It can then become a facilitated discussion.
2. Making visitors welcome, addressing invisible challenges - A panel discussion on dementia, Deaf community, chronic pain, and autism.
Venue: Seminar Room
Chair: Pru Pim - Senior Visitor Host, Te Manawa
  • Jemma Parker - Volunteer services coordinator, Auckland War Memorial Museum
  • Theresa Cooper - Director; Deaf Community, Education & Awareness, Odd Socks Productions
  • Melissa Wells - Masters student, Museum & Heritage Studies, VUW
  • Simon Hart - Advocate & peer-mentor

Many of our museums and galleries have made commitments to maanakitanga but how do we fulfil these? Front of house staff are the first point of contact with the human face of the museum for most visitors. While all strive to make all visitors' experiences on site welcoming and memorable, it is not always easy to recognise when visitors find some aspects of their visit and sometimes visitors are too shy to seek help. In this session panellists will share insights from their own experiences as visitors and discuss exploratory museum projects which are working with visitor communities to take practical steps to raise awareness among staff and ensure visitors and their companions and carers all get the best out of their visits. Come and ask the questions you have been too shy to ask in a supportive environment where everyone is wanting to create better visitor experiences for all.

3. Being Chinese in and around New Zealand museums
Venue: Meeting Room
Chair: Johnny Hui - Family and Early Years Programmer, Auckland War Memorial Museum
  • Emily Trent - Project Manager, Exhibitions, Auckland War Memorial Museum
  • Simon Gould - Senior Content and Interpretation Developer, Exhibitions, Auckland War Memorial Museum
  • William McKee - Exhibition Developer, Toitū: Otago Settlers Museum & The Dunedin Chinese Garden
  • Sean Brosnahan - Curator, Toitū: Otago Settlers Museum & The Dunedin Chinese Garden

In this interactive session, find out what two museums have learnt from working with their respective Chinese communities. What worked and what didn't?

Auckland Museum firstly linked with the Lantern Festival in its initial efforts to engage with a growing community of new arrivals, international students and more established residents through a variety of programmes.

'Being Chinese in Aotearoa:  A Photographic Journey' is a new exhibition at Auckland Museum that celebrates and acknowledges the long and rich history of Chinese people in New Zealand through photography, art, film and other media. Developed in partnership with the New Zealand Chinese community and historian Dr Phoebe Li, the exhibition provides a platform for Chinese audiences to discover images and stories that may relate to their own lives, as well as an opportunity for all visitors to learn about lesser known histories of New Zealand’s diverse communities.
Partnerships with New Zealand Chinese artists, writers, and other creative practitioners have been central to the exhibition’s development. As part of the wider offer surrounding the exhibition, the Museum has created public programmes which build on relationships with the Auckland Lantern Festival and other groups at the heart of the Auckland Chinese community.  Removing barriers to participation and welcoming Chinese audiences has been a focus throughout design and interpretation. Marketing has been extended in new directions and different platforms are being used to engage with Chinese audiences.    
Dunedin has a long history of Chinese settlers and Toitū: Otago Settlers Museum has worked with key community members to collect and interpret for over 20 years. Taking over management of the Dunedin Chinese Garden has offered new possibilities for community engagement. Direct links with China include the city's sister city partnership with Shanghai and research in the home villages tracing the origins of early settlers in Arrowtown and other Gold Rush
4. Working for all the community – art and inclusive practice
Venue: The Gallery
Chair: Kristelle Plimmer - Community Art Activist
  • Lucy Hammonds, Curator, Dunedin Public Art Gallery
  • Lauren Gutsell - Assistant Curator, Dunedin Public Art Gallery
  • Riah King-Wall - Public Programmes, Whanganui Regional Museum
  • Bridgette Murphy - Creative Director and Centre Co-ordinator, Rangiwahia Environmental Arts Centre (REACT)
  • Jim Richards - Rangiwahia Environmental Arts Centre (REACT)

Contemporary art can be an powerful agent of inclusivity and participation in both traditional art exhibitions and public programmes. This session will present contrasting approaches for bridging between different audience segments, changing perceptions of what art is and how galleries operate. Speakers will share the ways in which inclusivity informs their work in concept development, content, exhibition-making, programming and ensuring that museum collections reflect and engage the increasing diversity of our communities.

Content – not labels:

Contemporary art curators Lucy Hammonds and Lauren Gutsell, from Dunedin Public Art Gallery, issue a provocation – challenging the need for complex interpretation and delivery strategies, and focusing on the inherent power of contemporary art to engage audiences.  This short presentation will focus on recent projects at DPAG, and elsewhere, that meaningfully reach out to diverse audiences through encounters with contemporary art.  It will also give an insight into the particular demands, challenges and successes of this curatorial approach.

Part II – the fun stuff! starring Kristelle Plimmer, Riah King-Wall, Bridgette Murphy, Jim Richards and you!

Inclusive practice sounds good, but what actions are needed? This workshop is about the doing, a hands-on interactive experience of inclusion. Join in the fun with Kristelle, Riah, Bridgette and Jim. Bring a willingness to play and your imagination.

10:30am    Break
11:00am   Wednesday Morning 2 – 4 parallel sessions
1. Inviting in – positive staff attitudes
Venue: The Gallery
Chair: Tracy Pukloski - Director, National Army Museum
  • Sabine Doolin - Director, InsightUnlocked, and formerly Audience Strategy & Insights Manager, Tate

This workshop, developed by Sabine with her former colleague Vilma Nikolaidou,  Head of Organisational Development, Tate, London, explores how building a diverse culture internally develops attitudes and skills which have positive spinoffs for audience development.  Sabine believes that diversity not only adds richness to the world but that a diverse audience and an inclusive culture are essential for organisations’ long-term sustainability and society as a whole.

Tate is known for attracting large audiences and has been associated with opening up and democratising art. It has delivered an impressive array of diversity-driven initiatives and the contemporary collection, newly presented when the new Tate Modern opened in 2016, is more culturally diverse than ever before. This is consistent with Tate’s aim to be “a truly inclusive organisation with a workforce and audience as diverse as the communities we serve”. However, in common with many other cultural organisations, Tate has not seen the consistent growth in diversity it was hoping for, and we realised we needed to make fundamental changes to the way we work.
Jennifer will contribute to discussions with her reflections on what Sabine's approach means in the New Zealand context and how we can see it to get positive results for our institutions.
2. From the door to the table - reimagining accessibility
Venue: Meeting Room
  • Theresa Cooper - Director; Deaf Community, Education & Awareness, Odd Socks Productions
  • Stewart Sexton - Director; Business, Education & Awareness, Odd Socks Productions
  • Saran Goldie-Anderson - Director; Theatre & Arts, Interpreting, Odd Socks Productions
Museums and galleries are important places for all New Zealanders, including Deaf and disabled people as we trace our histories, contextualise our present and affirm our identities and place in Aotearoa. The conversation about accessibility and inclusion has come a long way, so now that we're able to get in the door what does accessibility and inclusion look like for us – and you?  Let's change the conversation and shift the focus from accessibility and inclusion to a sense of welcome and belonging.
Odd Socks Productions has a long-standing reputation for positive consultation with arts organisations and high quality sector specific NZSL interpreting services. Our directors call on a wealth of professional experience in museums, theatre, arts, education and accessibility alongside personal experience as members of the Deaf and disability communities to discuss shifting our focus from access and inclusion to welcome and belonging.
3. Reaching in and reaching out – getting to Te Papa – Mauri whenua
Venue: Elwood Room
Chair: Eloise Wallace - Tarawhiti Museum
  • Tapunga Nepe - Kaitiaki Māori, Tairāwhiti Museum
  • Hineiromia Whaanga - Ronogwhakaata kaumātua and Rongowhakaata Iwi Representative on the Museum Board
  • David Jones - Rongowhakaata Iwi member
  • Johnny Moetara - Rongowhakaata Iwi member
In January 2016 Rongowhakaata (a principal iwi of Turanganui-a-Kiwa) held the first of a three-part exhibition series - delivering a unique exhibition at the five Rongowhakaata marae.
In these exhibitions iwi and hapū came together to showcase and celebrate Rongowhakaata through its rich taonga and contemporary art. Kaumātua requested that the exhibitions be hosted by the Rongowhakaata marae in order to acknowledge the significance of these ancestral meeting houses and their stories, to celebrate the quality of workmanship, and to bring the people together at the marae. It was essential that the stories be told at the marae before taking them to the region and the nation in the planned second and third stages of the exhibition series.
Presenters will share their journey and discuss the challenges and delights of reconnecting taonga and tangata through time and space, and building the mana of Rongowhakaata. They'll throw in a few provocations for the museum community, too.
4. Including Sexuality and Gender Diversity
Venue: Seminar Room

Four speakers share thinking and experiences around museums, sexuality and gender diversity, led by Siren Deluxe.

  • Siren Deluxe - Senior Collection Manager, Collection Care, Auckland War Memorial Museum.

Imagining a NZ Sexual Heritage Collection

‘If sexuality is foundational to identity, and museums in the business of collecting identity, then Museums must turn their curatorial gaze to collecting sexual identity’. This presentation is object focused and discusses sexual diversity, curatorial authenticity and collecting the contemporary.

  • Louisa Hormann - Archives Technician, Research Team, Air Force Museum of New Zealand

Remembering the Evergreen: researching LGBT histories at Te Papa

A series of collages created by Evergreen Coffee Lounge transgender owner and manager Chrissy Witoko were the focus of my curatorial placement at Te Papa in 2016. The collage panels are a unique visual record of Aotearoa's LGBT community from 1960-2002. This presentation discusses some of the histories of the images, as well as the research process used: a combination of crowd-sourcing, interviews, and traditional archival research.

  • Miriam Saphira PhD founder of a lesbian museum

The Charlotte Museum

Charlotte Museum:  Dragging the invisible lesbians and their artefacts out of the closets and into a museum for everybody to view.  Why we did it and what we have achieved including 4 books, 2 films and 9 pop-up museums around the cuntry.

  • Jess Mio - Art Curator, MTG Hawke’s Bay. Jess uses they/them pronouns.

'Beyond the Binary: Sex and Gender Diversity in the Museum.’

An introduction to the many ways that people transcend binaries of female/male, woman/man, feminine/masculine; and ideas on how we can make our institutions safer and more inclusive for all people regardless of sex, gender and appearance.

12:30pm    Lunch

1:30pm     Wednesday Afternoon 1 – 4 parallel sessions

1. Paths to Accessibility: practical strategies to include access citizens in your museum

Venue: Te Manawa

  • Riah King-Wall - Programmes Officer, Whanganui Regional Museum
  • Neville Pulmman - Be Accessible

Creating truly accessible museums and galleries is a process we all have a part to play in. What are some of the creative and practical strategies institutions can embrace to create engaging and welcoming spaces for access citizens? 

This workshop will introduce participants to a broad definition of accessibility, then take a practical look at how this can be applied in museums through an accessibility review framework which we can then consider as we move through Te Manawa. Finally, everyone involved will be prompted to consider this lens when looking at their own organisations.

Riah King-Wall, Programmes Officer at the Whanganui Regional Museum, will begin with an overarching look at what constitutes accessibility for museum spaces. Recent research will be used to explore the ways museums and galleries around Aotearoa New Zealand are engaging with communities of disabled people and what opportunities there might be for better practice today.

Be. Accessible is a New Zealand social change initiative and a holistic framework for accessibility, with the goal of creating a truly accessible country. Neville Pulman, of Be. Accessible, will demonstrate how changes to physical and digital environments, as well as mindsets, can open up our cultural institutions to wider communities. Taking these learnings and an opportunity framework he will then apply a true accessibility lens as participants explore the Te Manawa exhibition spaces. Everyone involved will then be invited to conduct an assessment of their own institutions using the Be. Accessible framework.

Limit: 40 people.

2. Working with communities: Checking the museum's authority at the door

Venue: The Gallery

  • Jane Macknight - Director, Forrester Gallery, North Otago Museum and Archive
  • Chloe Searle - Curator Collections and Exhibitions, Forrester Gallery, North Otago Museum and Archive
  • Esther Tobin - Content and Interpretation Developer, Auckland Museum
  • Victoria Travers - Senior Content and Interpretation Developer, Auckland Museum

This session will analyse two approaches to community engagement  - one focussed on building a renewed sense of heritage ownership in a major museum and gallery development in Oamaru and the other a large scale temporary exhibition, Volume - making music in Aotearoa, about the music scene serving a super-diverse urban centre, Auckland.

Both teams were working with highly-invested communities. On the surface, the two projects seem at either end of the spectrum from each other with different goals, styles and objectives. However, there are remarkably common principals which were common to both projects. Using examples and anecdotes of how each played out in our projects, presenters will share how each project team dealt with the unexpected, and lessons learned.

 3. Wānanga mātauranga: Critique and expectation:
Venue: Seminar Room
  • Matariki Williams - Curator Mātauranga Māori, Te Papa
  • Migoto Eria - Curator Mātauranga Māori, Te Papa

In this session Curators Mātauranga Māori, Migoto Eria and Matariki Williams will draw on their recent experiences as part of the museum renewal at Te Papa in how biculturalism is realised in practice. These experiences will be drawn from both their personal and professional lives with the speakers welcoming kōrero from the floor.

It is intended that this session will be interactive and solutions-based while providing a chance for attendees to critically reflect on the way in which their institutions implement bicultural strategies.

4. Better work stories – pitopito korero
Venue: Elwood Room
In the spirit of this year’s theme of inclusion, he waka eke noa, the EMPNZ network has invited any museum professional keen to gain some experience in presenting in a conference setting, to climb aboard the EMP waka and speak alongside EMPs in this open and relaxed session.
Coordinated and chaired by the EMPNZ network,  this pecha-kucha-style pitopito kōrero session comprises short (7-minute) presentations on topics relating to the theme: “Better Work Stories".
Compositing a local, crowd-sourced, social institution
Kathryn McCully - Programme Manager Visual Arts, Film & Animation, Southern Institute of Technology
Small fish - big museum, big fish - small museum: From Auckland to Arrowtown
Anneliese Stephens - LEOTC Education Officer, Lakes District Museum & Gallery Inc.
Out of the Shadows, into the Light
Lesley Courtney - Heritage Team Leader, Palmerston North City Council
Heather Glasgow - Heritage Assistant, Photo Collection, Palmerston North City Council
What the heck do conservators do? And how do we help make collections more accessible and inclusive?
Diana Corp - President, New Zealand Conservators of Cultural Materials
Working Front of House at a Museum: An EMP perspective
Rowan Miller - Te Awamutu Museum Administrator, Waipa District Council
Late Emerging Professional (Working title)
Amanda Griffin - Collections, Tainui Historical Society
A history curator in a science collection (Working title)
Megan Wells - Curator Social History, Puke Ariki
My Head Hurts
Jaqui Knowles - Exhibitions Curator, New Zealand Maritime Museum - Hui Te Anahui A Tangaroa
Mikayla Journee - Public Events Manager, New Zealand Maritime Museum - Hui Te Anahui A Tangaroa
"There were no Maori's here!"
Bridget Wellwood - Volunteer Team Leader, Eketahuna/Mellemskov Museum
3:00pm      Break
3:30pm     Wrap up debate
Emerging Museum Professionals New Zealand present 'Museums are inclusive', a friendly and fiesty showdown between established individuals working in Aotearoa museums and those who are fresh to the sector.
This session integrates the overall conference theme of inclusivity through its debate topic and by giving emerging professionals the chance to be present their arguments on the same platform as more established members of the sector. It will follow the standard 3v3 debating format and incorporate a Q and A session at the end for members of the audience to probe ideas further.
4:10pm     Finale panel
Our keynote speakers, Stella Duffy and Glenn Isegar-Pilkington, return to the stage to send us on our way with some last thoughts and challenges to inspire us to hand over or museums and galleries to the people they are really for.
4:30pm     Poroporoaki