Neos Kosmos on the 3rd of August reported on a proposed name change for the Immigration Museum. The uproar arose after a Herald Sun report, indicated the Immigration Museum was looking to change its name to Museum of Shared Humanity. The CEO of Multicultural Arts Victoria, Veronica Pardo, passed off the concern as pure “semantics”, yet misgivings from ethnic communities ran much deeper.
George Lekakis OAM, the Former Chairperson of Victorian Multicultural Commission (VMC) and former Chair of Multicultural Arts Victoria (MAV) said, “The name honours the preservation of humanity’s largest movement of people across the globe”.
Mr Lekakis then called on the Victorian Government to “recognise that it’s time for the Immigration Museum to have its own board and manage its own resources, dedicated solely for the purposes this iconic institution was originally established”.
Contrary to the Herald Sun report, the Immigration Museum’s General Manager Rohini Kappadath was adamant a change of name is not on the cards – as yet.
Lynley Crosswell the CEO and Director of Museums Victoria, stressed that Museums Victoria “have no intention at this stage on name change”.
The Museums Victoria CEO also expressed her desire to bring communities to the table.
“We need the guidance and advice of the established and traditional communities,” she said.
READ MORE: Immigration Museum: Adrift or a new path?
Neos Kosmos can confirm that Museums Victoria and the Immigration Museum will continue with consultation around Immigration Museum Strategy and Content plan.
We have on good authority, that Museums Victoria and the Immigration Museum are putting final touches on a consultation that will be rolled out in September and include meetings with peak bodies such as the VMC, Australian Multicultural Foundation, Ethnic Communities Council of Victoria and Centre for Multicultural Youth.
Neos Kosmos can confirm that Museums Victoria and the Immigration Museum will also run public forums in October and November across metropolitan Melbourne, and will try to do the same in regional centres.
Neos Kosmos can ratify that the General Manager of the Immigration Museum Ms Kappadath has had meetings with former Chairs of the VMC, Mr Lekakis OAM, and Mr Stefan Romaniw OAM among others.
The Minister for Creative Industries, Martin Foley at the time of the first report said to Neos Kosmos: “The importance of bringing all multicultural communities along during the ongoing consultation process has been made clear and the museum will consult with all those involved over the coming months. No changes to the museum’s name, exhibitions or other operational matters have been decided or finalised”.
The Minister made clear that “any new initiatives will be in addition to the longstanding work it does in collaboration with our multicultural communities, with their stories and history continuing to be at the heart of what the museum does.”
Neos Kosmos will continue to follow the story and we look forward to reporting on the process of consultations as they occur.