Saving our collections

In 2016 the Bendigo Historical Society made a budget submission to council to address urgent storage needs for the BHS collection currently stored in a portion of the Bendigo Regional Archive Centre in Nolan Street, Bendigo.
The council allocated $15,000 for a strategic report investigating the storage needs of five heritage groups in Greater Bendigo.
The resulting Strategic Report on Greater Bendigo’s Historical Artefacts by Dr Megan Cardamone was presented to council in February 2018.
The report is available on the council website.
This report concluded that there was an urgent need for an extra storage facility for objects and artefacts and recommended that the original plans (drawn up in 2009) for such a storage building next to the current BRAC building be completed, and qualified curatorial staff be employed by the council.
The report also recommended the immediate installation of three ATCO buildings to alleviate the severe shortage of appropriate storage space at Nolan Street.
Volunteers are doing an amazing job under difficult conditions, working to preserve the Bendigo community’s heritage collection.
About half of the BHS collection of 45,000 items has been catalogued. This cataloguing must be completed so that the whole collection is available for any future museum.
The report also recommended that the council develop a Heritage Collection Policy to ensure the future survival and preservation of the collections of more than 20 heritage groups in Bendigo and to support and assist the heritage groups who are struggling to survive.
The council needs to accept responsibility for securing the future of these vulnerable community collections before they are lost.
The final recommendation in the report was that a feasibility study be commissioned to determine the best options for a museum for Bendigo.
A feasibility study by experts in this field would determine the most appropriate facility for the available collections and the most suitable space to tell the stories of Bendigo including the stories of pre-white settlement.
Surely the people of Bendigo deserve to have a choice about the type of museum they want.
One that is built to comply with national standards and administered by qualified curatorial staff.
A museum to complement our art gallery, new military museum and the Golden Dragon museum.
If a feasibility study recommended a new, modern and innovative purpose-built exhibition space on a green fields site with parking and easy access for everyone to all facilities, it would have my vote.
Implementing the four recommendations of the Strategic Report on Greater Bendigo’s Historical Artefacts is essential to preserve the heritage collections of greater Bendigo so that they are available for any future museum.

Barbara Poustie,
Bendigo

 

Genuine divide

Peter Lesuey’s letter published on June 22 is very valid in its assertion that Jacinta Allan would do well to travel from Bendigo to Melbourne by train rather than fly so as to taste real world experiences upon which she and most other politicians pontificate and make decisions.
Perhaps if the minister for health found herself waiting for hours at a public hospital or told to wait months or even years for specialist treatment things might change.
Imagine the education minister had an obligation to send his/her children to a public school; one wonders if the funding models might be more studiously revisited?
And don’t forget the poor souls hanging out for assistance with public dental access, a bit of “real world experience” might not go astray there either.
There is a genuine divide in this country and it is getting worse.
We have the homeless, the addicted, the incarcerated, the entrenched and inter generational poverty stricken and that rapidly expanding group of the working poor but their representation remains with smirking privilege across the country.
But it will not change as anyone who knows the political system can attest.
Get on that train often all you politicians and public servants and give the money you save to the homeless: your time is of no greater value than anyone else’s.

Stephen Colbert,
Wedderburn

 

Off track

The City of Greater Bendigo along with the Bendigo Mountain Bike Club have silently worked for up to four years on the 50-kilometre mountain bike racing track plan within the Greater Bendigo Regional Park, between Spring Gully and South Mandurang, without discussing what they were planning with other interested parties.
The four-year process lacked input from groups such as the Field Naturalists, who have been conducting Brush Tailed Phascogale conservation project of state significance in the area, the orienteer’s, the Family Nature Club, U3A bushwalking groups, La Trobe Outdoor Ed and the many others who enjoy and value parks.
As a result the final report, Spring Gully Trail Network Master Plan, is one-dimensional and lacks credibility, as it fails to recognise that there are other groups and individuals that use this area and that they will have their interests impacted by what is proposed.
The one-page Ecological Desktop Conservation Review contained within the final report fails to discuss the ecological damage that can and will result from the racing track.
It does not consider the effect the proposal will have on matters of national environmental significance and important populations or critical habitats of listed vulnerable species.
Nor does it discuss the unavoidable impact the racing track will have on species of state and regional significance.
So far the plan has cost the city $89,000.
Council was asked for its estimated 10-year costs due to the need for ongoing maintenance but it appears that such information is commercial-in-confidence.
It seems that there are some things the citizens of Bendigo must not be told.

Stuart Fraser,
Bendigo

 

Sell off

The federal government has now targeted the ABC to be sold off.
What have we got left to sell after already selling off all our commodities such as gas, water, electricity, closed down our car industries and sold off farming land and the TAB.
They have made all these free trade agreements that do nothing to support our farming industries.
The government are beating their chest on all these so called jobs they have created, how many of these jobs are permanent not casual part time positions?
Now we see that another Australian company Telstra will shed 8000 jobs over the next three years.
Maybe they will start trading people for slave labour, so much for us supposedly being the lucky country.

Ivan Kitt,
Bendigo

 

Lipoedema awareness

June is recognised worldwide as Lipoedema Awareness Month.
Did you know that one in 11 Australian women are affected by lipoedema – and most have yet to receive a diagnosis?
Are your legs heavy, swollen and painful?
lipoedema typically affects the thighs, buttocks and lower legs, and sometimes the arms, and may, although not always, cause considerable tissue enlargement, swelling and pain.
It may significantly impair mobility, the ability to perform activities of daily living, and psychosocial wellbeing.
It is not widely recognised by medical professionals despite having been first diagnosed in the 1940s.
Increase in lipoedema is often noticed when significant hormonal changes happen.
If you have lipoedema or think you may have some symptoms it is important to remember it is a medical condition and not your fault, and caring for yourself is the most important thing you can do.
Lipoedema Australia is the peak national body and is dedicated to improving the lives of those affected by lipoedema through education, advocacy and support.
If you wish to know more about this condition please contact www.lipoedemaaustralia.com.au

Maree Edwards MP,
State Member for Bendigo West