Burke Museum Exhibit People of Beechworth Celebrates Residents | border mail

community, beechworth, people of beechworth, burke museum, history, pioneers, exhibition

When Amandhi De Silva told her children she would be featured in a museum, they said, “How come? You’re not dead yet.” This automatic assumption shows why further exposure from the northeast is not only welcome, but necessary. People of Beechworth, now open in the city’s Burke Museum, celebrates the people of today, not just the “bearded white men” seen as pioneers in the past. Jen Allan, visitor services and tourism industry coordinator for Indigo Shire, said the museum aimed to create a more modern display of contemporary experiences. “It’s a beautiful contrast between historic Beechworth and those who are still making history as we speak; a lot of history has been written in the past two years, pandemics and bushfires,” he said. she declared. “To be able to tell these stories, help show how resilient and strong our community is and remind our community of that.” The project received funding from the Federal Government’s Regional Tourism Bushfire Recovery Grant Scheme, as well as the Indigo Shire Council and a donation from the family of longtime volunteer Ern Hawking. IN OTHER NEWS: Head of Collections Ash Giffney says after developing the concept from 2019, the “hard work” of confirming attendees and arranging photoshoots and interviews took around eight months. Each contemporary subject is associated with a historical counterpart, connected by themes such as food, sport, entertainment or race. Beechworth photographer Erin Davis-Hartwig created 10 large-scale portraits of residents like firefighter Tracy McVea, musician Liv Cartledge, anthropologist David Lawrence and former Indigo mayor Jenny O’Connor. Young sportsman Kane Scott and college student Corey Jackson are part of the group, as are well-known volunteers Kathryn Chivers and James Tool, who, by the way, is also listed as a “rascal”. An open photoshoot captured another 82 portraits of Beechworth residents, couples and families displayed in a slideshow. Further shoots are planned for the coming years. Vietnam veteran Terry Walsh, like others, thought “Why me?” when approached to participate, but values ​​recognition of Beechworth’s military ties, which extend beyond the two world wars. “American Civil War veterans, Mexican War veterans, Waterloo veterans and of course Boer War veterans rest in our historic cemetery,” he said. As the second son of a family conscripted for Vietnam, Mr Walsh could have retired but instead chose to follow his older brother, who also survived the war. “The boots I wore in Vietnam had been worn by my brother when he toured Vietnam a year or two earlier,” Mr Walsh said. Amandhi, originally from Sri Lanka, moved to Beechworth in 2012 and started cooking and selling potlucks, which continue despite the challenges of bushfires and COVID restrictions. She felt honored to be part of People of Beechworth because “so many people do good things with food”. “You do what you do from the heart and you hope people like it, and just keep going,” she said. “Even though we stayed open and fed the city, the city fed me too, because it’s a two-way thing.” The mother of two praised the concept of the exhibition. “The idea of ​​tying these things together, the past and the present, makes it more relevant to the young people and people of Beechworth today,” she said. “I think it’s pretty important to know that what you’re doing right now is actually making history for generations to come.” Walsh praised staff for helping visitors think beyond the historic image of the town’s gold mine. “Yes, we have all that, but we have grown, we have developed, we have learned and we are also a modern society,” he said. A modular and ongoing exhibit, People of Beechworth will evolve each year as new profiles are collected and showcased. Because, as the exhibition itself notes, “these stories don’t end there.” Our reporters work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. Here’s how you can continue to access our trusted content:


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