The Black Box
Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, Introducing The Black Box, June 2015
In an exciting new pilot program, this term the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (TMAG) will be offering live virtual tours for Tasmanian Aboriginal students in Catholic schools in the North and North West of the state.
The program is based around an engaging new resource, The Black Box – a Tasmanian Aboriginal cultural loan box that features unique and powerful teaching objects and resources for guided use in the classroom.
Because of the importance of maintaining cultural authenticity and integrity, the loan box comes with a live virtual tour conducted by Tasmanian Aboriginal community members and TMAG educators.
The box contains a range of significant objects and stories chosen and made by Aboriginal people, including: string basket, kelp water carrier, shell necklace, a model midden, stone tools, as well as culturally related objects such as a mutton bird chick specimen and mutton bird oil.
All objects in the box have teaching notes and discussion pointers.
Guidance on cultural sensitivities, significance and thematics, handling of the objects and how to make the most of having them in the classroom is provided by the live virtual tours.
The virtual tours connect classrooms to TMAG’s popular ningina tunapri exhibition, and an Aboriginal Facilitator who talks students through the contents of the loan box.
This term’s pilot program is sponsored by the Tasmanian Catholic Education Office for Catholic schools, before the second phase of the program is rolled out to state schools from 2016, sponsored by the Department of Education’s Aboriginal Education Services.