The new Bunbury Museum and Heritage Centre will provide an invaluable resource for locals and tourists, Culture and the Arts Minister John Day said today.
Officially opening the museum, the Minister paid tribute to the years of hard work by dedicated local volunteers, sponsors and the City of Bunbury.
“This is an outstanding facility that will fascinate, inspire and educate generations to come,” he said.
“It is wonderful to see a building dating back to 1886 assume a new life as a heritage centre that will carry this community’s stories forward far into the future.”
After decades of debate about the location of a museum in Bunbury, responsibility for the former school was transferred from the Liberal National Government to the City of Bunbury in 2013, when restoration began, with support from Lotterywest.
“In addition to extensive heritage work, the refurbishment has included a climate-controlled storage area, LED track lighting, security system and exhibition furniture and equipment to enable dynamic and interactive displays,” Mr Day said.
“Themes explored in the new museum centre include traditional Noongar culture, local whaling and port history, shipwrecks, exploration and the pioneering exploits of early European settlers.
“I am also pleased to see numerous valuable artefacts from the WA Museum collection on loan, in what I am sure will be a mutually beneficial arrangement to spread the appreciation of our State’s unique and fascinating stories.”
Objects from the WA Museum include drawings of the Le Geographe, the ship after which French explorer Nicolas Baudin named the South-West’s famous Geographe Bay in 1801.
“The museum’s designers have also managed to incorporate spaces for travelling exhibitions, which will further boost the centre’s appeal to locals and tourists,” the Minister said.
- Contributors and cultural partners include the Kerry Stokes Collection, Andrew and Nicola Forrest, WA Museum -Shipwreck Galleries, Fremantle Prison, Bunbury Historical Society, National Gallery of Australia, State Library of New South Wales
- Entry to the Bunbury Museum and Heritage Centre is free