A new museum in the 21st century is a rare opportunity to bring together the best of contemporary practices, focusing on the city’s people whether as characters from the past or today’s visitors, and displaying their stories in exciting new ways.
In the Bunbury Museum and Heritage Centre, the City of Bunbury has brought together state of the art exhibition and collection care standards in one of the city’s best-loved buildings, the 1886 Bunbury Boys School.
The new museum presents charismatic objects selected from its own collection, and sourced from major cultural partners including the Western Australian Museum, private collectors such as Kerry Stokes and Andrew Forrest, the Fremantle Prison, and overseas institutions ranging from the Museum of Natural History at Le Havre, France, to the New York Public Library.
However by far the major partner to have helped bring these Bunbury stories to life is the Bunbury Historical Society. The Society has a huge collection of images and objects, which have been generously shared with the Bunbury Museum and Heritage Centre to be presented to new audiences in different ways.
A variety of audio visual presentations feature Bunbury’s unique shipwreck stories, people linked to the museum building, early Bunbury, the port, and Bunbury’s built heritage.
Interactive displays allow visitors to select for themselves what stories interest them most, and hear, for the first time, the voices of Noongar people speaking their language and reflecting on their lives.
The Bunbury Museum and Heritage Centre is a contemporary museum, reflecting the interests of the community and visitors, and interacting to build knowledge and community spirit.
Tours of the museum, and a range of talks, launches and presentations are all scheduled, as well as touring exhibitions from two of Australia’s national museums being arranged for 2017 and 2018.
A school program aligns with the Western Australian Curriculum, and presents stories for a range of Year groups.
The Bunbury Museum and Heritage Centre also presents stories from the City of Bunbury’s Local Studies Collection, which has been caring for the city’s important heritage documents and images for over thirty years.
Artworks from the City of Bunbury Art Collection relating to Bunbury’s history and heritage are also displayed.