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This new digital platform will share regional and community Western Australia's extensive collection of cultural, creative and natural material with a world-wide audience.

Developed as part of the State Government's $1 million election commitment to promote regional museums and collections, Collections WA is a shared resource that can be used by every community collecting institution across Western Australia. It will share the stories of our unique environment, history, culture, and identity.

Trialled by a pilot group of 10 institutions from across WA over the past few months, the platform is now available to be used by any bona fide collecting institution.

Culture and the Arts Minister David Templeman today launched the platform to the wider collecting sector, and encouraged every institution with a connection to community culture to sign up. This includes groups such as Aboriginal language centres, Returned and Services League branches, historical societies and school archives.

Objects already uploaded include a rare letter written by a young World War One soldier who deserted the home army, and snuck across the country to join the imperial force so he could fight overseas. Housed at the Princess Royal Fortress Military Museum in Albany, the letter is written to the young man's father who was also on his way to fight on the European front lines.

Aboriginal community corporation Nyamba Buru Yawuru has objects that document the continuing cultural heritage of the Yawuru people, the native title holders of the land in and around Broome. The City of Karratha Local History Archives collection includes a photograph of Red Dog, the Dampier cattle dog made famous by the book and movie of the same name.

Western Australia has significant connections to local, national and international stories, many of which feature in the objects housed in regional collections not yet uploaded to Collections WA. Stories like the 1979 crash of the first US space station Skylab in outback WA that can be explored at the Esperance Museum, which has the world's most comprehensive display of Skylab memorabilia.

Collecting institutions will receive training on the Collections WA platform from the Australian Museums and Galleries Association WA (AMaGA WA), which also provides professional services to develop and sustain more than 400 collecting organisations across WA.

Collections WA will connect to the Culture WA portal that provides access to WA's four main collecting institutions, the Western Australian Museum, the Art Gallery of Western Australia, the State Records Office, and the State Library of Western Australia. It will also be linked to Trove, the National Library of Australia's digital search engine.

The platform is part of a digital package that will also include a tourism portal, which will connect with other tourism platforms to drive tourism to the regions. This is especially timely following the opening up of regional borders after the lifting of internal COVID-19 travel restrictions.

The regional and community collecting institutions' initiatives are being developed and managed by the Collections Sector Working Group.

Led by the Western Australian Museum, it comprises senior representatives from the State Library of WA, Art Gallery of WA, State Records Office, Art On The Move, AMaGA WA, Australian Libraries and Information Network WA, Public Libraries WA, Australian Society of Archivists, National Trust WA and the WA Local Government Association.

For further information about how to sign up to the Collections WA portal, visit the AMaGA Western Australia website.

Read the full media statement.

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Page reviewed 30 July 2019