Contemporary Migrant Experiences Project
The Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (TMAG) has commenced a new initiative to strengthen connections with migrant communities in Tasmania and help tell their stories.
The Contemporary Migrant Experiences project is dedicated to better reflecting the cultural diversity of Tasmania’s population through TMAG’s collections.
Around 12 per cent of the state’s population was born overseas, according to the 2016 census, and people from 177 different countries speaking 159 different languages now call Tasmania home.
Running over the next two years, the project’s primary focus is on documenting the lived experiences of migrants who have settled in the state since 2000.
It aims to empower individuals and migrant communities in relation to their heritage, and affirm and reflect their place in Tasmania, at TMAG, and in community-held collections.
The project has been funded by an anonymous donation and a grant from the National Foundation for Australia-China Relations. Libraries Tasmania is partnering with TMAG in 2021 to focus on the cultural heritage of Chinese Tasmanians.
TMAG has engaged Grace Williams as Project Officer, and she will be working part time on the project while also finishing a degree in law and running Citizen Tasmania, which she founded in 2019 to empower people to take individual and collective action to tackle human rights challenges within their communities.
Grace’s work in this area has been recognised with many awards including winning the 2018 Human Rights Youth Award for harnessing the power of storytelling to inform and engage diverse communities in important discussions about human rights and diversity in Tasmania.
In 2019, she was based at the Institute for Human Rights Studies in Indonesia and with funding from the Department of Foreign Affairs New Colombo Plan, she conducted research into the freedom of religion and expression in multi-faith communities.
During at her time at TMAG, Grace will be liaising and building relationships with the broader migrant community and recording and documenting individual stories that reflect individual and collective experiences.
She will also assist in building TMAG’s collections, facilitate workshops to empower recent communities to document and care for their heritage and also contribute to an exhibition on contemporary migration.
“I am committed to supporting inclusion and hope to cultivate a strong sense of belonging in migrant communities by ensuring that they are included in TMAG’s collections and reflected in the museum,” Grace said.
More information about the project and how migrant communities can get involved will be available via TMAG’s website and social media channels over the coming months.
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Image details: Grace Williams in the collection storage area at TMAG’s Rosny Collections and Research Facility.