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Workshop on Assessing Museum Objects Using the Significance Methodology held from 19-20 August 2021

As part of the Australia-Indonesian Museums (AIM) project, a workshop on assessing museum objects using the Significance Methodology was held from the 19-20 August 2021. The online workshop brought together twenty-eight (28) AIM participants, representing fifteen (15) museums from across Indonesia, and six (6) participants from the Western Australian Museum, along with facilitators from Deakin University, SEAMS, National Museum of Indonesia, and the Ministry of Education, Culture, Research and Technology, Indonesia.

The objective of the workshop was to provide training on the ‘Significance 2.0: a guide to assessing the significance of collections’, which was first published in Australia in 2001 and updated in 2009. The approach is now widely used across the Australian museum sector and provides a common framework or ‘language’ for analyzing all kinds of items and collections. As part of the AIM project, participants will critically examine this approach and adjust it to the Indonesian context.

As part of the training, the participants completed a significance assessment of five (5) objects; Four (4) objects were from the collection of the National Museum of Indonesia, while one (1) object was from the Western Australian Museum. The objects included: (i) a model of a perahu boat from Sulawesi that was recently repatriated to Indonesia from the Netherlands; (ii) a silver bracelet taken during a Netherlands East Indies military expedition to Aceh (ca. 1903); (iii) a statute of an elephant that was gifted to the City of Batavia (Jakarta) in 1872 by the King of Siam Raja Chulalongkorn; (iv) the spear of Prince Diponegoro; and (v) the portico of the Batavia fort that was found in the wreck of the Batavia in Western Australia.

Each group completed detailed analysis of the objects and presented their work on day two of the workshop. The results of these assessments will be used to develop an online exhibition that will be launched in June 2022.

The AIM Project is made possible through grant funding from the Australia-Indonesia Institute of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and the Ministry of Education, Culture, Research, and Technology of the Republic of Indonesia. #aimproject#australia#indonesia#museumworkshops


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