Volunteers to bring new life to Tiagarra

ADVOCATE, Libby Bingham, p.2 – 28 Aug 2014

PARTNERSHIP: Devonport City Council community services executive manager Evonne Ewins and taskforce chairwoman Alderman Annette Rockliff at the Tiagarra Museum and Cultural Centre. Picture: Jason Hollister.
AFTER it was closed for two tourist seasons the Tiagarra Museum and Culture Centre will reopen at the Bluff next month.
It is reopening for three days a week using volunteer staff.
A new business model and funding to redevelop the iconic venue is yet to be determined.
The Devonport City Council discussed Tiagarra’s future behind closed doors as part of the confidential items at Monday night’s council meeting and has agreed to continue its support of the Six Rivers Aboriginal Corporation lease until 2015 when it will be reviewed again.
Devonport City Council’s executive manager of community services Evonne Ewins said the council has committed to work closely with the SRAC on the potential redevelopment of Tiagarra.
“This will be spelled out in a partnership agreement which will help us to understand the level of support required to assist with the operations of the facility,” Mrs Ewins said.
“Given it is going to be a volunteer-based model, we need to ensure that there are structures for the management of volunteers in place.
“The risk management is done and business elements and that’s where the council can assist and support those operations.”
Mrs Ewins said the successful redevelopment of the Bass Strait Maritime Centre has given the council some good experience of how to redevelop a cultural centre and museum.
“This is a great opportunity to look at how we can best support Tiagarra in the redevelopment of its exhibitions which are outdated and require updating.
“I think there are a range of funding avenues that we can target as well.
“Whether that’s funding through employment incentives, Aboriginal cultural programs, youth programs or regional funding.

“I understand people at SRAC with success and experience in this are writing some grant applications as we speak.”
Mrs Ewins said the old Tiagarra business model would be revisited again as part of the process of pulling together a new and more sustainable business model.
“The idea is that we will take baby steps,” she said.
“Tiagarra is a tourism asset but is equally important for the educational and cultural awareness this kind of facility and its community brings,” Mrs Ewins said.