Delegates to "Curatorship: Indigenous Perspectives in Post-Colonial Societies" Victoria, Canada, 1994 Presentation of first Distance Learning program certificate to Jennifer Wishart, Jamaica, 1989 Holetown Community Museum, Barbados Museum and Historical Society, 1999 Dionisio Mula with his sculpture, Maputo, 1999 (Jennifer Fredrickson) Baskets, National Art Gallery, Botswana, 1995 Martin Segger & Duncan Cameron, Victoria Cowrie Shell headdress from West Africa, Transatlantic Slavery Gallery, Liverpool, 2001 GCAM delegates overlooking Lake Nakuru, Kenya, 2001 (NMK)
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CAM Bulletin No. 21 March/April 2014

President's Message

By Rooksana Omar

Associations like CAM are fertile grounds for exchanges, discussions, empowering members and affording them the opportunity to grow. While our world is becoming "flatter" through social networking, globalization and the ease of international travel, CAM is increasingly playing an important and decisive role in navigating the world of museums in the Commonwealth and beyond.

I am heartened to observe that one of CAM's strategic objectives, Professional Learning, is continuously fulfilled. Many museum staff members have benefitted from our Distance Learning Program and many more will derive benefit from this training. These colleagues have grappled with issues that CAM has identified and raised as discussion points that are impacting on our practice. As our membership becomes more active and participates in vigorous exchanges, sharing and using this platform as a breeding ground for the germination of ideas, discussion and adding further impetus to your work in the public domain this platform has the potential to create the depth of intellectual debate and scrutiny of our practice.

Our work in the 21st century museum context is complex as there has been a shift in our practice: from wanting to display power to addressing issues of poverty, public engagement, knowledge creation, social justice, human rights issues, gender issues, education, access and leading in the context of adding to broader discussion on what it is that makes museums central to community life within the our domain of operation.

CAM is your association and we are on a proactive trajectory as you can see from our interactions with you our membership and beyond. Use this vital network and let's grow the organisation to develop frameworks that set the foundation for the new postmodern museum irrespective of it size and wealth of collections.

If you haven't yet registered to join us in Glasgow do so hurriedly as we shall be looking at museums Taking it to the Streets. What a wonderful opportunity to share and develop our own case studies that others can reference.


CAM's 2014 membership campaign is now on. You will receive an invoice by the end of March. The membership will vote on whether or not to increase membership fees and change the membership year to a calendar year at the Triennial General Assembly in May so renew now to save! CAM accepts payment by electronic transfer, bank draft or PayPal:

CAM's 2014-2018 Strategic Plan

The CAM Executive Council is currently considering a draft Strategic Plan. The Plan will be brought to the CAM membership for adoption at the CAM Triennial General Assembly in May. In the meantime here are the highlights; if you have any comments, suggestions, or questions please contact the Secretariat. The vision, mandate, values and objectives build on the existing statements previously held by the organization. The strategic directions reflect CAM's immediate priorities as well as those of our closest affiliates the Commonwealth Foundation, ICOM, MAC and PIMA in the next few years. This Plan is informed by the Membership Survey and discussions with CAM members and partners held in various parts of the Commonwealth last year.

Draft Vision:
Museums in which museum workers and audiences are able to fully participate in the development of a peaceful, equitable and sustainable society

Draft Mandate:
To develop the capacity of museum workers and museums to inspire and shape people's lives

Draft Core Values:

Integrity: CAM acts in the public trust, demonstrating transparency in all its undertakings and accountability to both funders and Civil Society. CAM pursues its mission with commitment, discipline and rigour.

Diversity: Recognising that the plurality of the Commonwealth is the strength of the Commonwealth, CAM is committed to equal opportunity for all and respect for difference.

Collaboration: CAM is committed to engaging diverse communities in museums and working collaboratively and through partnerships.

Ingenuity: CAM is committed to acting as a catalyst that brings stakeholders together to generate creative and innovative solutions and promote thoughtful analysis and learning.

Draft Objectives:

Global Community: Fostering and strengthening links between museums and members of the museum profession in the Commonwealth and between museums and their communities

Professional Excellence: Promoting a high standard of museum activity in the Commonwealth

Professional Learning: Encouraging life-long learning and assisting in professional development and training through distance learning course, internships, workshops, seminars

Communication: Facilitating the dissemination of knowledge and information on all professional matters

Collaboration: Working in collaboration with other international and national museum organizations and other agencies in the achievement of these goals

Draft Strategic Directions 2014-2018
1. Ensure the long-term sustainability of CAM
2. Strengthen CAM's global leadership in the heritage sector
3. Develop museum and heritage expertise
4. Increase CAM membership and membership value


Taking it to the Streets
May 14-16, 2014
Scotland Street School Museum, Glasgow

Registration Now Open!
Register by March 15 to save!

- Three days of plenary sessions, panel discussions, site visits, receptions and more
- Workshop on Participatory Governance and Museums, May 17 (invitational)
- Taking Heritage Practice into Contested Places, tour to Northern Ireland, May 18-20 (optional)

For information contact: Rachel Erickson, Curatorial Intern:; +44 7512 924 586 OR Catherine C. Cole, Secretary-General, CAM:; 1-780-424-2229

Keynote Speaker: Mel Young, President and Co-Founder Homeless World Cup
Mel Young is recognised as one of the world's leading social entrepreneurs by the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship. He is a Schwab Fellow of the World Economic Forum.

Previously he worked as a journalist; co-founded The Big Issue in Scotland in 1993; co-founded Senscot (Social Entrepreneurs Network Scotland); former President and Honorary President of INSP (International Network of Street Papers). He also set up City Lynx magazine and New Consumer Magazine and worked on a community newspaper in Wester Hailes in Edinburgh in 1990s.

He is currently the President of the Homeless World Cup which he co-founded in 2003. Also a non-executive director on two boards: Sportscotland and Glasgow Life; member of the World Economic Forum Sports Agenda Council. He has been awarded five honorary degrees. He is a lifelong supporter of Hibernian FC and is the author of Goal: The Story of the Homeless World Cup.


Namibian Facebook Study Group Starts CAM Distance Learning Program
by Dr. Jeremy Silvester, Project Planning and Training Officer, Museums Association of Namibia

Participants in the Namibia DLP at their startup meeting in Windhoek, February 3, 2014

A group of 12 curators and students have started working on CAM's Introduction to Museum Studies. The initiative is the result of a partnership between the Commonwealth Association of Museums and the Museums Association of Namibia (MAN). Participants include curators from museums such as the Keetmanshoop Museum, Nakambale Museum, the National Art Gallery of Namibia and the Ombalantu Baobab Tree Heritage Centre. The course is being tutored in Namibia by Dr Jeremy Silvester, MAN's Project Planning and Training Officer.

The program is ideal for museums in Namibia for three reasons. Firstly, Namibia is a huge country and our museums are scattered, so it is difficult and expensive to bring people together for classes. Secondly, over the last few years MAN has prioritised the task of connecting all our museums to the Internet and so the online aspects of the program are now accessible to the majority of our members. Finally, many of our museums and museum curators have not previously had the opportunity to study. The course covers all the core areas of knowledge that the curator of a small museum needs - governance, collections management, exhibition design, conservation, educational programming, etc.

One of the innovations made by the group has been the establishment of a Facebook Group where the tutor and students can discuss their readings, display photographs (to show good and bad museum practices) and comment on questions and ideas posted by other students. It must be one of the few courses where students are actually encouraged to go on Facebook! The group is only accessible to those on the course and their comments can only be read by other members of the group.

Students have received course readers with all the articles that they need to read during the course as well as three books: Museum Basics, Museums in Motion and Running a Museum and have already started working on their first assignment, an essay about the history and development of their museums. Students have also identified some exciting topics for the projects that they will work on during the year. Ideas include the creation of a new mobile exhibition about Namibia's underground lakes, the development of a Collections Policy, the collection of craft work from a local community, the design of new captions for a new exhibition of historical photographs of northern Namibia and the production of a museum catalogue.

Congratulations to Distance Learning Program Graduates in Nevis!
By Lois Irvine

Congratulations to Executive Director Evelyn Henville, Finance Officer Nicholette Walters, Museum Attendant Cynthia Hughes, Museum Attendant and Shops Manager Gennifer Broadbelt and Archivist Gail Dore from the Nevis Heritage Centre (Nevis Historical and Conservation Society) on successfully completing the CAM Distance Learning Program. They have been in this program together from the beginning under the strong guidance of David Robinson, a museum colleague from the United States who spends his winters in Nevis. It has been a particularly diligent group and their projects combined the best result that a host organization can hope for: benefit to the museum for which they work and benefit to each person. They together, with individual responsibility for specific parts, put together a “Project Proposal to Develop an Alexander Hamilton Exhibit in Hamilton House, Charlestown, Nevis,” a large project focused on their museum's long-term development. Well done!


Museums can and do plan an important role in community awareness of MDGs and in meeting specific goals. To see what progress has been made since 2000, download the discussion paper at:

Let's ensure that culture generally and museums specifically are not overlooked in the post-2015 development agenda. Send a brief article and photo of any programs your museum has introduced to address the millennium development goals to the Secretariat.


UNESCO Workshop on the Underwater Cultural Heritage and the Small Island Developing States (SIDS), Apia, Samoa, 29 August 2014
Underwater Cultural Heritage (UCH) has a great importance for the Small Island Developing States (SIDS). UCH, whether it concerns sunken cities, shipwrecks, or fish weirs, UCH in SIDS including those in their Terittorial Waters and Exclusive Economic Zones, largely remain unused potential for research, education and sustainable development. UCH also illustrates the history of sea level fluctuations as a reaction to climate change. UNESCO Workshop on UCH and SIDS to be held as a side event of the 2014 SIDS Conference in Samoa will address challenges and opportunities that are specific to SIDS in terms of the UCH management, and promote SIDS ratification of the UNESCO Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage (UCH).
Contact: Akatsuki Takahashi, Programme Specialist for Culture, at the UNESCO Office for the Pacific States in Samoa for more information:

Dick King House Museum, South Africa
By Nduduzo Makhanya

The Dick King House Museum is a local history museum situated in Isipingo, a small town found in the south of Durban in the province of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. It is located in a house that once belonged to Richard Phillip King (1813-1871), better known as Dick King, who made history by travelling for 960 kilometres (600 m) on horseback for ten days from Durban to Grahamstown during the Voortrekker War between the English and the Afrikaner settlers. The house, which is a natural heritage site, had been deserted almost to the point of dilapidation until it was salvaged by the KZN Heritage Society and brought to life through the help of community volunteers.

The museum has been established not only to preserve history, but to also respond to current social challenges that face the youth in particular, such as high levels of unemployment, which leads to idleness further resulting in more social problems such as alcohol and substance abuse, teenage pregnancy and the spread of HIV/AIDS. The museum serves as a platform for community development through education, art development and social entrepreneurship.

We would appreciate any kind of help in the form of donations, sponsorship referrals, guidance and any other assistance that you may deem necessary for our growth. For further information contact: Nduduzo (Ndu) Makhanya at

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