New Norcia wins

The New Norcia Museum in Western Australia is celebrating after winning second prize in an ABC Radio museums competition.

Staff at the New Norcia Museum and Art Gallery are celebrating their success in the annual ABC Radio National Marvellous Regional Museums competition, a Museum media statement says. 

Results announced recently list the New Norcia Museum and Art Gallery as the Runner-Up in the Medium to Large Museums category.

It is the only Catholic museum to be named in the winners' listing. The submission was put together drawing on the input of Visitor Services Manager Claire Rankin, Collections Manager Margie Eberle and CEO Carmel Ross. 

The town of New Norcia is an historic site registered with the National Trust. Founded by two Spanish Benedictine monks 162 years ago as a mission to Aboriginal people, the town continues to be centred around the Benedictine Monastery.

Because the town itself is a living museum with most of the heritage buildings still in use, the museum provides a vital link in sharing the story of New Norcia through one specific facility designed for public access, public education and public enjoyment. 

The New Norcia Museum and Art Gallery includes five distinct areas focusing on history, art, the local Aboriginal school, a horticultural display and a religious collection.

A strong focus of the historical display is the relationship between the missionaries and the Yuat Aboriginal people, including the sharing of culture, skills and knowledge between the two groups.

The art collection comprises European religious art from the last four centuries in particular. It also includes contemporary art and sculpture with a religious focus.

The museum is located in a building originally built to house and educate Aboriginal girls. The chapel of the school is the focus of this display, which covers the relationship between the religious sisters who cared for and taught the girls, as well as religious observance.

SOURCE

New Norcia museum successful in ABC Radio national competition (New Norcia, Media Release, 5/8/08)

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