Guest blog from Sarah-Jane Rennie Museums & Galleries New South Wales

My name is Sarah-Jane Rennie and I’m the Manager of Sector Development at Museums & Galleries New South Wales in Australia.  For the next three weeks I’ll be on secondment at Museums Galleries Scotland.  This is a wonderful opportunity to exchange ideas with a likeminded organisation which I hope will enable me to bring new ideas back to Australia.  If you’re interested in getting a bit of an idea about Museums & Galleries NSW and the sort of things that museums and galleries are up to in Australia, please visit our website.

New South Wales (NSW) is a state of Australia that covers an area of 802,000 km² with a population of 6.4 million people (4.2 million of whom live within greater metropolitan Sydney).  Within Sydney alone there are 180 different nationalities represented and 30% of the state’s population were born overseas.  There are about 620 museums and galleries across NSW of which approximately 400 are totally run by volunteers.  I’m involved in a range of programs that support the work of museums and galleries across the state of NSW including a grants program for volunteer museums, a museums standards program that supports museums in various regions of NSW to achieve minimum standards and the Museum Advisor program that provides funds for a museum specialist to work with volunteer managed museums within a local government area for 20 days per year.

I’m delighted to be here in Scotland and hope to come out and visit some of your wonderful museums and galleries and get a bit of an idea of the sort of work you’re doing with Scottish communities.

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