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Marea Buist (centre) at the Imagine Award ceremony with The Hon Don Harwin MLC, Minister for the Arts (on right) and Ray Christison (left) who is a heritage consultant from Lithgow, who Marea has known and worked with over many years. Image: contributed

Marea wins at 2019 IMAGinE awards

Lynne Mowbray|

Former president of the Port of Yamba Historical Society/Yamba Museum, Marea Buist has recently taken out the Individual Achievement award at the 2019 Museums & Galleries of NSW IMAGinE awards.

A media release put out by the Museums & Galleries NSW described Marea’s achievements.

‘For over 20 years Marea has played an active role in the development of the Yamba Museum and has shared her passion for lifelong learning through organising an extensive number of workshops and mentorships. Marea has been responsible for leading, recruiting and developing a band of dedicated volunteers which has seen the Museum grow into the award-winning organisation it is today.

Marea has also been responsible for securing a large number of grants, including for a new museum building and, more recently, $250,000 to build a function room and Yaegl Interpretation Garden.

Additionally, through Marea’s regional leadership and coordination of the Far North Coast Chapter of the Australian Museums and Galleries Association (AMaGA), Marea has arranged training and professional support, and mentored and inspired hundreds of museum volunteers and workers across the region. Marea has also played an active role in advocating for the sector at a local, state and national level and it is through her persistent representation to local government that the region has been supported.’

Marea said that she didn’t know about her nomination for the award and it was a big surprise.

“I found out by accident,” Marea said.

“I received a call from Grafton Regional Gallery director Niomi Sands, asking me if I was going to the IMAGinE Awards.

“I said yes I am, because somebody nominated me – but I don’t know who it was.

“She replied, ‘I may have had something to do with that’.

“The awards night was on Thursday, 28 November at the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney.

“I’ve already won it once, back in 2008, so I didn’t expect to win it again.

“When they announced the winner, I just thought, ‘Oh my God’!

“It was a real surprise. I didn’t really expect it,” she said.

Marea, who stood down as president of the Port of Yamba Historical Society/ Yamba Museum earlier this year, said that winning this award was definitely a nice way to start her retirement.