20/10/2016

Funding for Ration Shed Museum, Cherbourg – Federation Chamber

I rise to congratulate the Ration Shed Museum at Cherbourg on its successful application for funding from the Coalition Government’s Indigenous Advancement Strategy.

Cherbourg, the home of the Wakka Wakka people, is an Aboriginal community in my electorate that was settled by the Salvation Army in 1899 and was taken over as a Government settlement in 1904. 

The Government, through the Aboriginal Protection Act, controlled almost every aspect of life at the settlement, including the amount of food people consumed, which was distributed from the Ration Shed. 

Today, Cherbourg is governed by its own elected Council.

Cherbourg’s interesting history is both happy and sad and it is very important that the story of its people is continued to be told.

The Ration Shed Museum is a valuable regional asset and forms part of Cherbourg’s Historical Precinct.  It opened in 2004 and its interpretive displays convey the history of Cherbourg and its people.

Run by Chairperson Sandra Morgan, the Ration Shed houses art, photographic displays, and documents, and it is an iconic tourist attraction that helps to sustain the local community.

A range of education, artistic and cultural courses are delivered at the Ration Shed. 

Events and exhibitions engage both the community and visitors to Cherbourg, giving them an authentic experience as to how life in Cherbourg was – and how the community has grown and developed over the years.

In 2016 approximately 1,800 people visited the Ration Shed to learn more about local Aboriginal history and I trust the funding I am announcing today will enable the Ration Shed to attract more visitors.

The Coalition Government is providing $237,000 to the Cherbourg Historical Precinct to help it to continue the important work of the Ration Shed over the next year. 

The Ration Shed Museum is well integrated into the Cherbourg community.  It provides jobs for 11 people and there are opportunities to create more local jobs through this project.

The funding will be used to improve the safety standards of the buildings in the Historical Precinct so they can better accommodate visitors. 

The grant will also strengthen the organisation by supporting governance, leadership and the development of strategies to improve its long term sustainability.

Funding will also provide new education opportunities for preschool children, youth, women, artists, people with disabilities, and assist with the rehabilitation of offenders, through workshops and activities.

I look forward to visiting the Ration Shed on Tuesday and I congratulate Sandra Morgan and her committee on the success of their application.