Emerging Curators Program for Cocos (Keeling) Islands

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Number: A35/2019

Relevant: Cocos (Keeling) Islands

Date: 15 April 2019

The Australian Government, through the Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities’ Territories Division, provides funding to the Western Australian Museum, to bring museum services to the Indian Ocean Territories (IOT).

This month, the Museum is bringing its award-winning Emerging Curators program, where local people work alongside lead and specialist WA Museum curators to produce exhibitions, to the Cocos (Keeling) Islands (CKI).

Curator Tim Eastwood will be working with local people on CKI between 5 and 19 April to establish an oral history and documentary project which will coincide with celebrations to acknowledge CKI’s 35th Anniversary of Self Determination when the islands' residents voted to become a democratically run, self-governing territory of Australia.

To celebrate this historical date, the island life and its community, a full week of exciting events was organised including traditional dance displays featuring a unique blend of Cocos Malay tradition and Scottish line dance steps, jukong sailing boats racing across the Cocos lagoon, and tastings of locally made Cocos Malay food.

The Emerging Curators program will provide professional development to two staff members from the Shire of Cocos (Keeling) Islands, and other community members, in documenting community celebrations and the oral history recording process. It will also empower local Cocos-Malay people with skills to continue to interview senior members of the community and provide material for future exhibition redevelopment for the Home Island Museum.

This initiative aligns to the Our Christmas Island 2030 Strategic Plan and the Our Cocos (Keeling) Island 2030 Strategic Plan which are being implemented. Our Strategic Plans include actions to preserve history and heritage in the IOT. Copies of the Plans are available at https://regional.gov.au/territories/publications/index.aspx

For more information, or to register your interest in the Emerging Curators program, please contact Isa Minkom, Community Development Coordinator, at the Shire on +61 891626649 or at info@cocos.wa.gov.au

Natasha Griggs
Administrator Christmas Island and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands