Digital technologies, the spirit of place and active citizenship at the Museum of Australian Democracy

Jans, Edwina and Karp, Daryl (2018) Digital technologies, the spirit of place and active citizenship at the Museum of Australian Democracy. In: ICOMOS 19th General Assembly and Scientific Symposium "Heritage and Democracy", 13-14th December 2017, New Delhi, India. [Conference or Workshop Item]

Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial Share Alike.

Download (1MB) | Preview

Abstract (in English)

Australia has one of the world’s leading democracies and our open society is the envy of many. Across the world, however, democracy is under threat. Freedoms are being curtailed, regional conflicts remain unresolved and populism continues to rise. Australia, too, is caught up in this tide, with research showing that satisfaction and trust in Australian democracy is at its lowest level since 1996. Situated at the heart of the national capital, Canberra, and located within the National Heritage listed Old Parliament House, the Museum of Australian Democracy (MoAD) is ideally positioned to address these vital issues. More than 350, 000 people engage with MoAD’s programs each year and it is an essential element of civics and citizenship education for Australian school students. Built in 1927 Old Parliament House was the home of Australian parliament until 1988. It witnessed dramatic changes in democratic rights and responsibilities – the increasing empowerment of Australia’s Indigenous people, including the right to vote; the ratification of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights; rights for women; disability discrimination legislation. Its heritage values speak to ideas of equality, freedom, justice, representation. The digital environment has the power to extend and enhance the visitor experience with heritage values, not just in respect both to the processes of conservation and restoration, but in building active and engaged communities. Interpretation is no longer a passive experience; visitors are demanding tailored experiences, including the opportunity to comment, participate, and even co-curate. Using a number of recent projects as case studies, this paper will share the ways in which MoAD is approaching the intersection of cultural heritage and democracy using the digital environment. It explores opportunities and challenges of the democratisation of knowledge making at a time when digital technology is rewriting the rules of engagement between politicians, citizens and trusted cultural institutions.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Jans, Edwina
Karp, Daryl
Languages: English
Keywords: Australia; Museum of Australian Democracy; education; digital ressources; visitor experience; creative tourism
Subjects: I.CULTURAL TOURISM > 02. Tourism management
National Committee: ICOMOS International
ICOMOS Special Collection: Scientific Symposium (ICOMOS General Assemblies)
ICOMOS Special Collection Volume: 19th General Assembly, New Delhi, 2017
Depositing User: intern icomos
Date Deposited: 11 Jan 2019 14:11
Last Modified: 11 Jan 2019 14:11
References: Australia ICOMOS (2013) The Burra Charter: the Australia ICOMOS Charter for Places of Cultural

Significance 2013 Australia:Australia ICOMOS

Edelman Trust Barometer (2017) Annual Global Survey,

Evans, M, Halupka, M and Stoker, G (2014) The Power of One Voice: power, powerlessness and

Australian democracy, Australia: Institute for Governance and Policy Analysis, University of Canberra

and Museum of Australian Democracy

Evans, M, Halupka M, Stoker G (2016) NATSEM Budget 2016: Who do you trust to run the country,

Australia: Institute of Governance and Policy Analysis, University of Canberra

Evans, M, Halupka, M and Stocker, G (2017) How Australians imagine their democracy: the power of us,

Australia: Institute for Governance and Policy Analysis, University of Canberra and Museum of

Australian Democracy

ICOMOS (2008) Quebec Declaration on the Preservation of Spirit of Place, Adopted at Quebec, Canada,

October 4th 2008

Museums Association (2013) Public perceptions of – and attitudes to – the purposes of museums in

society, UK: Museums Association

Office of Policy and Analysis (2002) 21st century roles of national museums: a conversation in progress,

USA: Smithsonian Institution

Viner, K (2016) How technology disrupted the Truth The Guardian 12 July 2016 in Dubow, T, Devaux, A

and Manville, C (2017) Civic Engagement: How can digital technology encourage greater engagement in

civil society? RAND Europe

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item



Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics