Tiagarra museum may reopen doors

Advocate, LIBBY BINGHAM – 27 June 2014

DEVONPORT tourist attraction Tiagarra Museum and Cultural Centre could reopen at least a few days a week in September.
Six Rivers Aboriginal Corporation is calling for more volunteers to help at the centre and wants feedback from the community on what it is that people would like to see happen at the financially-embattled Tiagarra.
SRAC board member Paul Docking hopes the centre has enough volunteers to finally open the doors again in September, well before summer and the next tourist season.
An open day is being held at Tiagarra on July 12 as part of NAIDOC Week.
“We want as many volunteers as we can get – both indigenous and non indigenous people,” Mr Docking said.
“We already have some volunteers offering to help at Tiagarra and we need more.
“We have a lot of our artefacts that have been donated over the years and they’re still sitting in their boxes with their cabinets sitting here empty.
“We want people who come to Tiagarra to get a hands-on experience.
“To be handed a tool like visitors get at centres in the Northern Territory.
“First we want to open it all up for discussion, so people can tell us what they see and want to see at Tiagarra.
“We can then put it together in a package and present it to the enlarged stakeholder group.”

Mr Docking said people can register their interest to become a volunteer at the open day and record their ideas for Tiagarra.
“If we know we can open for two or three days a week in September we can get the information out to all the tourism providers and the visitor centres.”
Mr Docking said SRAC met again recently with the Devonport City Council and was talking to the council about what support it can
provide for the day-to-day operation of Tiagarra.
He said Tiagarra was no different to a lot of museums around the country that were struggling to survive and achieve their funding needs.
“I can see Tiagarra as different to what’s at museums in Hobart and Launceston …,” Mr Docking said.
“For 18 years at Tiagarra you’ve had people who are passionate not only for reconciliation, but also to display our culture to the world that’s coming in the door.
“Having Tiagarra shut has hurt a lot of people.”
More than 17 months ago SRAC said it could no longer run Tiagarra under the old business model and the doors were shut except to group phone bookings.
SRAC’s lease of Tiagarra expires in 2015.
The building is owned by the Devonport City Council which maintains it.
NAIDOC Week open day Tiagarra, July 12. Guided tours of the museum at 11am and guided walks of the headland at 2pm.