Community News

Lesley presenting Anne Dinham with Life Membership

Yamba Museum activity steps into the ‘now’

After the Covid-19 lull of the past two years the Yamba Museum was finally able to hold its long awaited AGM meeting and elect a new committee for the forthcoming year. Planning has already commenced with exciting projects and exhibitions.

The 2021/22 elected Committee has retained some of the hard working past position holders being Lesley Pickering as President, Jan Angelo ascending to the Vice President role, Anne Dinham as Secretary, Kerry Hulm as Treasurer with ordinary members Sally Huxtable, Margaret Lawrence, Bev Mansfield, Brenda Salisbury, Graham Young, Glenis Kerr and Gai Pritchett.  Lesley welcomed all to the new committee – especially new member Gai Pritchett and Janette Angelo taking the Vice President role.  

President Lesley and Vice President Janette introduced five recipients of Life Membership of the Society, presenting four (present at the AGM) with a certificate and historical print from the PYHS collection.

Anne Dinham – current and previous Secretary, previous Vice President and Education Officer. Member since March 2006.

Mark Maunsell – long term front desk volunteer, plus has assisted researchers and maintenance jobs. Member since June 2003.

Susan Ong – behind the scenes creative role for museum displays and in-house exhibition preparation and presentation. Member since September 2005.

Paul Stephen – long term front desk volunteer and mentor, also served on committee. Member since July 2005.

June Alexander (presented personally afterwards) – very active in younger days and supporter through various artistic donations. Member since 1990.

Mark Maunsell

Lesley addressed the members with her annual report quoting:

“Our membership numbers increased from 127 in June 2019 to 133 June 2020 to a high of 166 in June 2021. This gradual growth reflects recognition our role in the community and an interest in Yamba’s history. Several new members became active volunteers, either on the front desk or in the Flinders Room, assisting researchers Rob Knight and John McNamara, in particular improving our extensive digital Image Library and digital Newspaper Index. These include Nicole Don, Robyn Adams, Alison Silling, Phil Cousemacker and Sue Spence in the library. Eris Flaus continued to support us with database back-up, website additions and desktop design.

I very much thank Susan Ong who has been able to enliven the entrance area with her temporary displays, and once again pulled out of storage the crowd-pleasing telephone exchange.

Our Bookshop Coordinator Glenis Kerr has leapt into her role conscientiously, creating a new bookshop area and carefully monitoring the sale of books and prints of archival photographs. This is an important income source for us.

Earlier this year we published the 5th edition of our best-selling title Yamba Yesterday, yet the formal launch took place at the 40th Birthday party on Friday September 24, with Susan Howland giving a wonderful backstory about her husband Keith and Stuart Lee and how the book came to be. Many thanks again to Rob Knight and John McNamara for guiding the project and to Trish Bowes for her first chapter contribution.

Weighing up the intensity created by the construction work during 2020 and the impact of the Covid pandemic, I’m very proud of our achievements. During testing times Committee colleagues and volunteers showed commitment far beyond public view. I thank our members and community supporters for ensuring our viability, and organisational capacity. Thanks to my husband for his understanding. I look forward to another year of success. Our Roadmap is in good order and invites all members to participate in our Society.”

This week the Museum was a base for artist-in-residence and award-winning musician Teddy Blake Rhodes whilst he composed his special form of ‘sonic’ production, taking inspiration from the Museum and its collection.  Blake now joins three young emerging NSW-based musicians selected to take their careers to the next level through the first Generations Fellowships from Powerhouse Museum in collaboration with Create NSW and music management and touring company Astral People.

Teddy Blake Rhodes

Each artist will receive $25,000 in financial support to undertake a six-month residency with the Powerhouse Museum and receive in-kind industry mentoring and networking from Astral People during their respective residencies. During their fellowship the three NSW-based contemporary musicians will further develop their skills and knowledge as artists and gain autonomy within the music industry.

Gai Pritchett