What is CAM?
The Commonwealth Association of Museums (CAM) is a Commonwealth professional association and an international non-profit NGO working towards the betterment of museums and their societies in the Commonwealth family of nations and globally.
It is therefore concerned with the major issues and problems of the contemporary world. CAM wishes to work from the museum perspective, within the Commonwealth framework, and with Commonwealth governments and the people of our member states through their museums and Non-Governmental Organizations, to achieve our common goals. We welcome collaboration with others outside the Commonwealth.
- 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 assist professional development and training through distance learning course, workshops, seminars
facilitating the dissemination of knowledge and information on all professional matters
working in collaboration with other international and national museum organizations and other agencies in the achievement of these goals
While based mainly in the Commonwealth, CAM welcomes opportunities to work with museums and agencies throughout the world.
CAM carries out its programs and activities with a firm focus on a number of overarching themes including:
- Museums & Society
A major theme is the importance of fostering a strong role for museums in their societies and communities and attention to the most urgent contemporary issues. Museums are encouraged to use their resources and knowledge of the cultural and natural heritage of their countries to ensure that the critical link between culture and development is used effectively for the development of society. It follows that within our areas of concern are the preservation and safeguarding of heritage, both tangible and intangible, cultural and natural, and biodiversity and environmental sustainability.
- Museums & the Commonwealth
In line with the above focus, the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meetings pinpoint the most pressing global concerns and the Declarations are considered as guidelines within which the broadest CAM initiatives are undertaken. Included in this framework are the Millennium Goals of the United Nations.
- Museum & Young People
Several CAM programs seek to involve children and young people not only as an audience for museums but as participants along wit other parts of the community is museum development. CAM also includes children and young people and those concerned with them in workshops and activities where possible.
In line with the above objectives and themes, CAM programs have been developed to meet those ends and consist of conferences, symposia, workshops, and other professional and community-oriented activities. As far as possible, programs and activities are based on the belief that interaction through CAM can lead to rewarding and productive contacts with other museum professionals and museums within and without the Commonwealth with benefits to all parties.
CAM Organizational Structure
The Association is governed by an Executive Council consisting of a President, two Vice-Presidents, a Secretary, Treasurer, and six Council members. A Commonwealth-wide General Assembly with elections is held every three to four years and other meetings take place as programs develop. Annual General Assemblies are held in conjunction with other programs or separately as can be arranged in order to conduct annual business. The general membership is informed through the CAM Bulletin, website and email and the Executive Council may meet formally or informally once or more between elections.
Many of the Executive Council have been involved in the Association for some years and efforts are made to elect two to three new members to Council regularly. Many are also Directors or senior management staff of major museums in their own countries along with one or two in the curatorial or museum education field. Those who are now consulting have previously held senior positions. Curricula vitae of Council members are available.
CAM is particularly interested in working with other international museum and cultural organizations to make the most of all our limited funds and accomplish common goals.