UNE’s Associate Director of University Collections, Ms Narelle Jarry, has been awarded a prestigious global travel grant to develop her expertise in utilising university collections to enhance teaching, learning and research.
Established in 1991, the Gordon Darling Foundation offers domestic and global travel grants to visual arts professionals in Australian public institutions. Grants are used to develop capability in projects such as collection management initiatives, art publications, research projects, symposia and exhibition development amongst others.
Narelle’s role as Associate Director, University Collections is newly established and responsible for coordinating UNE’s diverse museum and teaching collections in addition to managing conservation priorities, policies, resources and facilities.
“I’m very grateful for the grant,” Narelle said. “They are strongly contested but I believe my proposal was very relevant to the dialogue taking place in the arts and cultural sector at the moment”.
Narelle intends to travel to the UK and Europe to learn more about object-based learning and protocols around Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural material.
“My goal is two-fold. I want to meet with university colleagues who have well established programs and strategies that use objects to facilitate deep learning, and develop my expertise in this area.
“And, I want to visit cultural institutions in Europe that acknowledge their colonial collecting practices, and have supported repatriation of significant material or revival of connections with Indigenous communities.
“Indigenous cultural material can significantly contribute to creating a culturally rich environment but, as a first step, we need to acknowledge the legacy of historical research and collecting undertaken in these communities.
“I believe materials from university collections can be embedded in modern teaching and learning pedagogy and so revive our connections to the living culture. I further believe we can use it to make a positive contribution to ATSI communities, staff and students with whom we engage on daily basis.”
Narelle is yet to confirm travel dates due to the widespread lockdown brought about the COVID-19 pandemic.