The Mary MacKillop Exhibition Centre and Archives, now known as the Mary MacKillop Museum, is the latest community museum to achieve Registration status in History SA’s standards program.
Community History Officers Amanda James and Pauline Cockrill, who run the program for History SA, have been working closely with the museum and archives management team at the Mary MacKillop Centre in Kensington to achieve registration since September 2014. The Centre is located on the historical site of St Joseph’s Convent, established by Mary MacKillop in 1872, where she lived, prayed and worked until 1883.
Amanda and Pauline had great pleasure in formally presenting the Centre’s Director Sister Pat Keane and Mission and Site Co-ordinator Sister Mary Ryan with their Registration certificate at afternoon tea on 29 October in the presence of members of the Sisters of St Joseph, volunteers and staff including archivist Suzanne Ryan who had made a considerable contribution to this milestone.
The museum is currently working on the redevelopment of the exhibition space at the centre which promises to reopen with exciting new interactive interpretive displays in June 2016.
Mary Mackillop Museum is the 63rd registered museum in the program. Registration is the entry level of the Community Museums Program (CMP), History SA’s accreditation and grants program for regional, local and specialist community-based museums. There are currently 54 registered museums and 9 accredited museums throughout South Australia. Established in 1982, it sets standards for community history museums, and provides grant funds (currently set at $150,000 annually). More information about CMP which is based on the National Standards for Australian Museums and Galleries can be found here
Mary MacKillop (1842–1909), now formally known as St Mary of the Cross MacKillop, was an Australian nun and declared Australia’s first saint by the Catholic Church in 2010. Although originally from Melbourne, she travelled to Penola, South Australia to work as a governess to provide for her family in 1860, opening a school and forming the Sisters of St Joseph there in 1866. The Mary MacKillop Penola Centre which cares for the original schoolhouse is also a registered museum in History SA’s Community Museums Program.