Event: Museum exhibition launch

On July 20, 2021 50 people (the maximum allowed!) attended the launch of the first Marks-Hirschfeld Museum of Medical History exhibition, A cause for celebration: 70 years of the Marks-Hirschfeld collection. The event took place in the Mary Emelia Mayne Room, the new function room of the Mayne Medical Building.

Curator Charla Strelan and Museum volunteer Robert Craig conducted the proceedings. After a welcome and acknowledgement of the Turrbal and Jagera people as the Traditional Owners of the land on which Brisbane is built, Charla introduced the exhibition, which follows the arc of the Museum collection from 1950 until today. She thanked the Museum volunteers for their dedication and enthusiasm, as for decades they have conscientiously overseen the collection and advocated for its conservation. She concluded by drawing attention to the new Museum brochure and the new website.

Professor Geoff McColl, Executive Dean of Faculty of Medicine, was our first guest speaker. Professor McColl re-iterated his support of the Museum through the difficult periods of building renovations and COVID restrictions. Professor McColl has played an active role in Museum life, including as Chairman of the Museum’s Executive Committee. He consistently promotes the Museum’s role in education and research activities and has vocalised his support for the volunteers and the growth of the collection, all of which has been very welcome.

The final speaker was Associate Professor Geoff Ginn, History Convenor at UQ, with special interests in late-Victorian social policy, museums, heritage, and the history of religion. Professor Ginn highlighted the role of museums as educational and social institutions which have a powerful public role to play as providers of dreams and inspiration. He reminded us of the many smaller museums in Queensland such as the Fort Lytton quarantine museum which house medical historical items and the need for us to collaborate with and support others to achieve the Museum collection’s full potential for storytelling.

In closing, Robert Craig again drew attention to the website and the Museum brochure, emphasising that volunteers, contributions to the newsletter and donations are always very welcome. He had already noted in his introduction the absence in the Museum collection of First Nations representation, despite rich traditions of health and healing. The Museum dearly wishes to rectify this omission.

See photos from the event


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