ENVi: A special interest group for school and community engagement professionals working in Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums in Victoria, Australia.

community of practice, networking, reports

President Report (with special thanks to Ian Watts)

Presented at the National Gallery Victoria on Monday 26 February 2018

The last two years have been full of activity and introspection for ENVi.

In 2016-17 we conducted eleven events, attracting a combined audience of approximately 300 attendees. Our website boasted 2,300 views in 2017.

As a result of declining numbers at our events, we conducted a review of our operations in 2017. We looked at our point of difference, who our audience might include, other groups we might partner with, and we discussed the best programming options for our audience. We concluded that our aim is to provide networking and professional learning opportunities for museum educators to gain an insight into the big picture of our profession. We created a new logo and undertook an audit of museum and gallery educators in Victoria to create a more comprehensive contact list. We conducted a number of events with MAE, MA Vic and with the Melbourne City Experience Network. At this early stage, it appears we are attracting a wider audience to our programs and we have a very diverse line-up of events planned for 2018. We have a large number of nominations for our next committee and I believe ENVi is in a healthy position going forward.

ENVi is a volunteer-run organisation. Our planning and programming occurs above and beyond the full-time work schedules of most of our committee. I’d like to thank the entire committee for their time and commitment. Thank you in particular to Melissa Bedford for her role as Minute Secretary, and to Silvia Ercole who has been our Treasurer. I’d also like to thank Christine Healey for managing our website brilliantly, and Andrew Hiskens for his generous hospitality in hosting all of our meetings at the State Library of Victoria and in particular for convening our strategic planning meetings.

This BGM marks a very special occasion in that it is Ian Watts’ last event as a committee member. After forty-five years of volunteer involvement in museum education networks, Ian has decided not to renominate. Many of you will be unaware of the full contribution Ian has made because he has often worked behind the scenes and not sought the limelight. Ian’s achievements are too many to mention in this context, however I thought I’d take this opportunity to highlight just a few. He has held almost every office on state and national museum educator bodies and represented Australia internationally through ICOM as well. He has been involved in running innumerable conferences including the ICOM General Assembly in Melbourne in 1998, Learning Opportunities and Museums Conference in 2001, Doing Things Differently, Making a Difference in 2016. Ian has been the energy behind today’s orientation event. He initiated and drove the MA MAPDA (publications) national awards for over a decade. He helped save the Victorian education network from folding almost fifteen years ago, and he was instrumental in bringing the executive of Museums Australia Education to Victoria to ensure its sustainability. It has been Ian’s persistence and his ability to encourage and inspire others that has made his contribution to museum education in Australia so valuable.

I do hope Ian is not disappearing and that we will see him at many events in the future. On behalf of us all, I’d like to thank Ian for his incredible contribution and the profound influence he has exercised over so many years to make MA Education an effective and vibrant force.

Pete Hoban
ENVi President


Events in the last two years

23 June                 Including Learners with a Disability at Melbourne Museum
5 October            Doing Thing Differently, Making a Difference with MAE
17 September    Reflections on Collections at MUMA

29 March             Evaluating Education Programs in Cultural Organisations with Melbourne City Experience Network
23 May                 Marketing Your Education Program with Melbourne City Experience Network
16 June                 Van Gogh at NGV
11 July                   How to write a successful Grant Application with City Experience Group
23 August            Working with Children at Melbourne Museum
2 November       The Great Museum Debate with MA Vic
23 November     Travellers’ Tales at the Islamic Museum

3 thoughts on “President Report (with special thanks to Ian Watts)

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  2. Thanks to the entire committee and those who have been so active over the years. Pete you deserve a special mention yourself!

    Ian Watts has been a true and committed member and driver of countless events, publications and activities. His famous networking (how many lunches would that be Ian?) has meant that museum educators have been connected locally, nationally and beyond for all those years. Congratulations and thanks, Ian.

    David Jay

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