Members of AusHeritage visited Malaysia and India recently for a number of meetings to further develop relationships and to investigate potential new projects. The team included Vinod Daniel / Daniel Aspac (Chairman); Roger Beeston / RBA Architects and Conservation Consultants (Deputy Chairman); Robyn Riddett / Anthemion Consultancies (Secretary); Graham Ormsby / Ormsby Design Group (Treasurer); David Huxtable / LookEar (Board Member); and Peter Douglas / Extent Heritage (Member).

AusHeritage delegates and participants in the workshop at Think City

The following events took place: Workshop with Think City in Kuala Lumpur; Workshop with Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur; Meeting with Deputy Minister and Department Tourism and Heritage Commission in Kuala Lumpur; Meeting with Public Works Department Government, Tamil Nadu in Chennai; Meeting at Government Museum Chennai; Meeting with Thinkthrough Consulting in Delhi; Meeting with INTACH (Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage) in Delhi; and Meeting with Meinhardt in Delhi.

In addition, informal meetings were also held with The Australian Consul General, Australian Trade Commissioner and the Secretary of the Heritage Hotels Association of India.

Staff of the Public Works Department and AusHeritage delegates

The various events included presentation of the capabilities of AusHeritage as an organisation and of the individual delegates. Our hosts included the directors and staff of the organisations as well as Austrade in some instances.

Think City spoke of its planning for Kuala Lumpur’s Creative and Cultural District and led a walking tour. The Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia workshop allowed staff to consider risks in museums relative to their own museum.

Egg whites beaten by hand are a traditional component of the plaster mix

The Malaysian Deputy Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture discussed archaeology and recommended a couple of potential projects. The Public Works Department of Tamil Nadu, explained with a site visit, the traditional process of plastering and roof paving. The Commissioner of the Government Museum Chennai outlined some of the proposed improvements to the museum noting that improvements could be made potentially with the assistance of AusHeritage.

The traditional method of grinding raw materials is being used as it is more efficient than a grinding machine as used by the British

An MOU was signed with Thinkthrough Consulting who outlined their process of investment in cultural projects.

Vinod Daniel and Parul Soni with the MoU between Thinkthrough Consulting and AusHeritage which was signed at the end of the meeting

INTACH discussed their past 35 years of work and suggestions as to how AusHeritage could be further involved in their education programs and in their cultural mapping process. Meinhardt discussed the need for an AusHeritage Capability Statement that could be used for potential projects.

Interior of the 1890 – 1896 wing of the Connemarra Library which is part of the broader Government Museum site

Outcomes that evolved from the mission relate to further cooperation with cultural heritage organisations in Malaysia and India, and the potential for projects involving AusHeritage as a whole and for individual members.