Opening of "Pasifika: Island Journeys." Museum of Anthropology, June 2003 Children in African Museums, First GCAM workshop, Nairobi, 1997 (NMK) GCAM delegates at Olorgesaillie Archaeological Site, Rift Valley, Kenya, 1997 Dance Troupe entertaining delegates, GCAM workshop, Nairobi, 1997 Education Officer, Peggy McGeary and CAM intern, Caroline Lanthier. Presentation on Holetown Museum, Barbados, 1999 Delegates in discussion, Liverpool, 2003 Museum of Anthropology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, 2000 Northwest Coast Totem Pole, Museum of Anthropology
Conferences & Workshops
CAM On-Line Discussion Forum

Conference Information



Abstracts: Word Doc PDF

Program: Word Doc PDF

Location and Rationale



Contact Information


Commonwealth Museums:
Culture, Economy and Climate Change and Youth
May 25 to 27, 2011

Organized by the Commonwealth Association of Museums
Hosted by the National Heritage Board, Singapore, at the Singapore Asian Civilisations Museum (ACM)

This three day program will feature three main theme sessions, CAM’s Triennial meeting and Singapore museum excursions. Additional activities may be scheduled for May 24 and May 28. Preliminary program information is available. Click above.

We are very pleased to announce that the keynote speaker for the conference will be His Excellency Dr. Davidson Hepburn, President of the General Conference of UNESCO, former Chairman of the Board, National Museum of the Bahamas, Antiquities, Monuments and Museums Corporation.



Part 1:
Museums, Culture, and Sustainable Development Part I will address the need for museums to play a lead role in promoting culture as means of social and economic development, using Putting Culture First and the Commonwealth Statement on Culture and Development as discussion documents. This conference will expand on the productive discussions of Putting Culture First at the GCAM4 meeting (October 2009) in Stanger, South Africa. As in Africa, the rich diversity of cultures in South-East Asian and South Pacific nations is faced with challenges from globalization, migration and urbanization. Part 1 will highlight these issues and explore ways in which museums can not only help preserve cultural heritage, both tangible and intangible, but also promote traditional and contemporary culture as resources for sustainable development.

Part 2:
World Watch Two: Conserving Cultures in the Face of Climate Change Part 2 will focus directly on the need for museums as cultural organisations to use the links between culture and development to play a role in addressing both general issues of climate change and its specific impact on cultural continuity. As a follow up to World Watch One in Guyana and with added impetus from the CHOGM communiqué of November 2009, World Watch Two will examine the growing global impact of climate change on the human (i.e., threats to cultural heritage and property, migration pressures and economic issues) and the natural environment, including potentially extensive land submersion, particularly South Asia and the South Pacific. This session is intended to build on the theme of culture and development, with an emphasis on the ramifications of climate change on the protection of land, livelihoods, cultural diversity and property, tangible and intangible. This session will feature case studies chosen to encourage an action-oriented series of discussions that will lead to a suggested common action plan for museums.

Part 3:
Connecting with Children and Youth Part 3 will continue CAM’s longstanding commitment to focus on children and youth. The month of May begins the “Children’s Season” for museums in Singapore. This provides a unique opportunity to explore the role museums have in assuring the survival of cultural memory and articulating a hopeful vision of a future for young people in our communities. Given the themes of part 1 & 2 of this conference, here is an opportunity to explore how museum programming can creatively engage youth in the fundamentals of both global and local environmental awareness, but also the issues surrounding the need to sustain a sense of community identity and reinforce fundamental values of tolerance, respect and understanding of cultural diversity in the face of urbanization, migration, and economic disruption. There are lessons from history but also from other nations and cultures today. This session is intended to share case studies of successful museum-based initiatives which may also form a backdrop to visits and tours of Singapore’s excellent museums and their programs for children and youth.


To be held in Singapore as a continuation of CAM’s efforts to hold programs in all regions of the Commonwealth. Singapore is a transportation hub more easily accessed by countries in South-East Asian and the South Pacific. Singapore has exemplary museums featuring wide cultural diversity.

In addition to museum visits, the two main sessions and their emphasis on museums effectively engaging in civil society, the conference will provide an opportunity for CAM to discuss its updated Distance Learning Program in Museum Studies, both the print and online versions, and its Cultural Property Project. The Singapore conference will also host CAM’s triennial general meeting including elections.

Conference program builds on Canberra conference of 2006 organized by the ICOM Cross Cultural Task Force to which CAM contributed, World Watch One, Guyana, 2008 and the 4th GCAM conference, South Africa, 2009.


A reasonably priced hotel has been selected for participants. Most meals will be provided and registration fees will be applied to conference expenses and visits to Singapore museums will be included. Transportation will also be provided as necessary.

Booking form for accommodation: Word Doc PDF

Accommodation is being provided for those from developing countries and specific application must be made as soon as possible. Contact Lois Irvine for forms (see contact information below).


Conference fee will be $150 Can. or US for participants from developed countries. Cost is $60 Can. or US for participants from developing countries.

Registration form: Word Doc PDF


Conference Organizer and Conference Committee Chair
Catherine C. Cole
Further inquiries and proposals should be addressed to and Lois Irvine, Secretary General, CAM: or