Funding Australia’s Maritime Heritage

Oyster punt, Merimbula-Imlay Historical Society Inc/Old School Museum. Source: ANMM.

Sharon Babbage, How MMAPSS is Funding Australia’s Maritime Heritage, Australian National Maritime Museum, 10 February 2015

The museum is thrilled to announce the 2014–2015 recipients of grants through the Maritime Museums of Australia Project Support Scheme (MMAPSS), supporting not-for-profit organisations to care for Australia’s maritime heritage.

We’re also pleased to announce that applications are open for 2015-16.

In total, we received 61 project applications for 2014-15 requesting $474,376 in funding, as well as six internship applications. Grants were awarded to 29 organisations including in-kind support offered to ten organisations and Internships were also offered to three applicants.

See the full list of 2014-15 winners on our website.

The museum congratulates the successful applicants and organisations, and wishes them the best of luck in seeing their projects through.

Since 1995, the MMAPSS scheme has distributed more than $1 million in support of over 300 projects across Australia. Grants of up to $10,000 are offered annually to support not-for-profit organisations that care for Australia’s maritime heritage, with a focus on the areas of collection management, conservation, presentation, education and museological training.

Each project is unique, covering a broad spectrum of maritime heritage, from oral histories, photo archives and diving outfits to vessels of every shape and size, including bark canoes, pearling luggers, skiffs and flying boats.

One of last year’s recipients, the Mission to Seafarers Victoria (MtSV), embarked on a project to continue work on their program of cataloguing, preservation and storage. The mission holds a heritage collection of some 10,000 items dating to the mid-1800s.

At the time of applying, the material was housed in cabinets in the mission’s archival room and sorted into broad-category boxes, ready to be further sorted, catalogued and correctly stored.

The mission reported that, as a result of this grant, they were able to purchase a large volume and variety of archival materials that will appropriately house and conserve their collection for years to come. They consider it a key priority to house the collection at the utmost professional standard, particularly given the high degree of research potential, allowing for ongoing handling and easy retrieval.

As this organisation highlighted in its acquittal, the underlying objective of cultural institutions is essentially to make collections as accessible to the public in as many ways as possible, and they remarked that the MMAPSS grant they received went a long way to enhancing their ability to meet demands for physical access to the collection.

Since 2000, the museum has also hosted MMAPSS internships, which run for up to two weeks. Funding of up to $3,000 is available through the internship program to assist staff and volunteers from regional and remote organisations to develop skills and knowledge and to create a valuable network of professional contacts.

Applications are now open for the 2015–2016 round of MMAPS, with applications closing on 21 March 2015. See our website for more details.

Sharon Babbage
MMAPSS Coordinator

The Maritime Museums of Australia Project Support Scheme is funded by the Australian Government