A new era for the Landsborough museum

AFTER a 45-year history of community-based management of the Landsborough Museum, Sunshine Coast Council recently agreed to take over the museum.

The Landsborough and District Historical Society has operated the museum since 1987, managing its 14,000 object collection in the former Landsborough Shire Council chambers – a council-owned, state heritage-listed building.

Due to the ever-increasing challenge of attracting a volunteer base, combined with the demanding skills and experience required to manage the financial obligations of caring for the collection and running the museum, the society requested that council take over the reins.

Council will now begin the formal process of taking ownership and developing a strategic plan for the future of the museum and its collection – a process the council expects to complete by early 2022.

Sunshine Coast Council community portfolio councillor Rick Baberowski said that while he was pleased council could step in, the call for help from the historical society showed the enormous pressure volunteer groups faced.

“The Landsborough and District Historical Society has given 45 years of dedicated service to help preserve and, most importantly, share some of this region’s heritage, and this is no small feat,” Cr Baberowski said.

“I’d like to sincerely thank the society and all past and present members who gave their time, effort and energy to this endeavour.”

While there is a feeling of nostalgia among society members, they are pleased and excited about council’s decision and are looking forward to the future working with the council to provide a world-class experience to museum visitors.

Museum volunteers

Landsborough and District Historical Society president Tim Venter said the members realised some time ago that, with volunteer numbers declining, they needed to address the reality that they couldn’t continue to care for the collection to the professional standard it deserved.

“The administrative aspects of operating the business were taking over our capacity to adequately care for the collection,” Tim said.

“Our volunteers will now have the opportunity to put their efforts into researching and preserving the history of the region.

“We are excited about the future possibilities of new programs and new exhibitions that showcase the Sunshine Coast to the local community and visitors to the region.

“I would like to thank all the volunteers and members of the society who have, over the past 45 years, given their time, enthusiasm and energy to care for the collection,” Tim said.

Sunshine Coast Council coordinator of heritage services Peter Connell said preserving the collection and ensuring the continuity of the council-owned building as a museum was critical to the region’s heritage.

“The museum is a key component of a planned heritage precinct in the Landsborough Placemaking Master Plan 2020 and can now continue to fulfill its function as planned,” Peter said.

“Additionally, the collection can stay intact, preserving a key period of our region’s heritage.”

The museum’s management and the collection will be funded by the council’s heritage levy.

The levy, charged to every rateable property in the region, is used to document, research, conserve, protect, promote and provide access to tangible and intangible items, places, facilities and events that define the stories, history and values of the people, communities and culture of the Sunshine Coast.