Australia – Indonesia Museum (AIM) Project

Kemendikbudristek Collaborates with Australia Holds Interpretation Training and Museum Exhibition Development 

From 2021 to 2022, the Government of Indonesia will cooperate with the Australian Government to increase the capacity of human resources, especially in the field of museums. This collaboration is called the Australia–Indonesia Museum (AIM) Project. This curatorial training entitled Interpretation and Museum Exhibition Development Training is a series of events from the Australia Museum Project in collaboration between the Ministry of Education, Culture, Research and Technology, the Republic of Indonesia and the Australia-Indonesia Institute, the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. 

The AIM Project is organized by the Directorate General of Culture through the Directorate of Manpower Development and Cultural Institutions together with Deakin University through the Cultural Heritage Asia-Pacific Group. This training also collaborates with the Indonesian National Museum, Western Australian Museum (WAM), and Southeast Asia Museum Services (SEAMS), and several museums in Indonesia such as the Jakarta History Museum, Vrederburg Fort Museum, Dr. Yep, Radya Libraries Museum, Makassar City Museum, La Galigo Museum, Sri Baduga Museum, and Aceh City Museum.

The Director of Manpower Development and Cultural Institutions at the Indonesian Ministry of Education and Culture, Judi Wahjudin, in the opening moment of the event said, “The AIM project aims to bring together curators in Indonesia and Australia to build a collaborative approach in the field of research and interpretation of museum collections. Through joint curation of online exhibitions, the aim is to find new narratives about the relationship between the two countries. With this training, it is hoped that the curators can become the driving force of the museum so that the museum can become a window of information to Indonesian culture.” 

Furthermore, Judi Wahjudin explained that this activity will produce a prototype to understand the cross-cultural significance of objects and methods for interpretation and presentation, in the form of an online digital exhibition. These results can be achieved through regular training and mentoring, and will result in an exhibition presenting the objects of good practice from this collaborative training.

In August the participants attended the first online training session that focused on Significance training. AIM Project participants have applied a significance approach to five (5) objects from the collections of the Indonesian National Museum and the Museum of Western Australia (WAM). As a continuation of the significance training, the current training will focus on Interpretation training and museum exhibition development. 

The ‘Museum Exhibition Interpretation and Development Training’ will build on the Significance training and will focus on how to develop museum object interpretation & exhibition planning. As part of the training, participants will develop an object interpretation plan based on the results of the significance assessment that has been completed in the Significance Training

In this training, the participants will also visit two museums, namely the National Museum and the MACAN (Modern and Contemporary Art in Nusantara) Museum to see the process of interpreting the collections carried out by the two museums.

This training has three main objectives:

  1. To impart the acquired knowledge on significance training and get feedback on the approach.
  2. Improve the skills/capacity of participants to develop museum interpretations (object labels, theme panels, designs/other interactive media).
  3. Improving the skills/capacity of participants to develop exhibitions (including online exhibitions).

These two training sessions will then be followed by the preparation of the online exhibition content. The preparation of the content will be carried out until April 2022, and the online exhibition will be launched in May 2022

The curatorial training was attended by 22 participants from various museums in Indonesia. This participant is the result of selection and is the best in the curatorial field. It is hoped that all participants will gain good knowledge and be able to contribute to museums in Indonesia. The trainers will come from Deakin University, the Western Australian Museum and Southeast Asia Museum Services, as well as resource persons from the MACAN Museum, the National Museum of Indonesia, and the University of Indonesia. In addition, this project can increase cultural cooperation between Indonesia and Australia, especially in the field of museums.

In addition to this national curatorial training, the AIM project has also held regional training in several museums in Indonesia. 

This regional training is conducted online with the host museums:

  1. Jakarta History Museum on August 26, 2021
  2. Fort Vrederburg Museum and Dr. Museum. Yep on 23-24 September 2021
  3. Radya Pustaka Museum on 30 September – 1 October 2021
  4. La Galigo Museum and Makassar City Museum on 29-30 October 2021
  5. Sri Baduga Museum Bandung on 18-19 November 2021
  6. Aceh Museum on 8-9 December 2021

This regional training aims to increase the capacity of museum curators in the local area, especially knowledge about assessing the significance of museum collections. The approach used is Significance 2.0 (by Roslyn Russell and Kylie Winkworth), which is a significance assessment method that was originally developed in Australia and is now being used in several other countries, including in Asia.

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