ASSEMBLY: A New Conversation about Museum Research

ASSEMBLY is an exciting and necessary research related initiative,  currently being developed by the Australian Museums and Galleries Association (AMaGA), in collaboration with the Australian National University and Monash University.

By working together, we aim to initiate this process by asking:

How might we convene a dialogue across the Australian museum and university sectors to reimagine research collaboration aligned to their shared public values?

We suggest that the introduction of support structures or supportive mechanisms designed to foster shared dialogue and develop a greater sense of collectivity within the sector are integral to this process and can help “us” build our combined research capacity.

We are looking to nurture this conversation by hosting a series of nation-wide assemblies later this year. These gatherings will be convened online, and the curation of each session will be seeded by a series of think pieces drafted by Sejul Malde (ANU) and Vince Dziekan (Monash) along with Katie Russell (AMaGA).

You can read the first of these articles Episode 1 – Shaping a new path for university and museum research partnerships in Australia 

Through this first thinkpiece we hope to initiate a conversation within the Australian museums and galleries sector by setting out why thinking differently about the role and value of research can help them to purposefully interrogate, productively understand and proactively respond to the pressing strategic demands and changing public contexts they share with universities. It is our belief that there are currently unrealised, yet mutually beneficial opportunities presented for both universities and museums[1] that they can activate together through developing a new collective and practice-driven approach to research as a key strategic institutional capability shared between these knowledge institutions.

While focused at a national level, this project also forms into an expanded network of research observatories being established internationally through association with the Institute for Digital Culture (University of Leicester, UK). 

Interested practitioners associated with any Australian museum, gallery or university are invited to join us to explore these ideas further; as only by doing so collectively, can we determine and map our way forward.

More definitive information about ASSEMBLY will follow in the coming weeks. 

If you are interested in the ideas behind this initiative and would be keen to collaborate with us in its continuing development, please get in touch with Sejul Malde [[email protected]].