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“The View from Here: Sustainability, Community and Knowledge Systems” – Auckland 2024

The Commonwealth Association of Museums (CAM) 2024 Triennial Conference will be held in Auckland, New Zealand, under the title: The View from Here: Sustainability, Community and Knowledge Systems. Visit our conference website here.

Auckland’s unique place in the South Pacific links us to many nations and communities who are living with the effects of disruption. Whether through the legacy and impacts of climate change, colonisation or political unrest, diaspora communities are increasing in number and complexity in the Asia Pacific region. Our location, both geographically and historically, profoundly influences our perceptions, our identities and our responses to these challenges. Worldwide, each museum confronting these issues will have a similarly unique perspective.

Museums are not neutral spaces; they have a key social role of connectivity and engagement. We must work within and beyond the walls of our institutions in new and dynamic ways. Museums are shifting the power of the colonial collecting institution to a model of shared authority and multiple indigenous and diasporic viewpoints. Connecting and engaging diverse communities with the big questions of our time, enriched through intergenerational learning and a deeper understanding of place, provide important opportunities for social cohesion and wellbeing.  

CAM invites the museum community to Auckland to explore the role of museums in a world that is changing demographically and environmentally, and to share and discuss their unique perspectives on common experiences and challenges. Of most value to this agenda, space will be made for indigenous-to-indigenous discussion and reflection. Under an umbrella theme of kaitiakitanga (guardianship), keynotes, workshops and facilitated discussions will be held on the subjects of:

Sustainability: both institutional sustainability and sustainability in an era of climate change and a changing world.

Community: experience of and potentiality for refocussing museums to address changing populations, including recent migration and diasporas. Enacting social change through addressing decolonisation, reconciliation and community engagement.

Knowledge Systems and Practices: bringing different lenses or non-western perspectives to museum systems. Moving the leadership of the discussion of decolonisation and indigenisation away from of ex-colonial powers, and towards First Nations.


Conference Date: 3-8th March 2024 

Locations: Tāmaki Paenga Hira Auckland War Memorial Museum and Waikato Museum Te Whare Taonga o Waikato.

Events: Pōwhiri and cultural protocols, site visits, introductory addresses, workshops and discussions, networking events, cultural showcase, gala dinner, CAM Annual General Meeting. 

New Zealand

New Zealand is situated in the south-western Pacific Ocean. Due to its remote position it was one of the last large landmasses to be settled, with Eastern Polynesian people arriving on these shores between 1200CE and 1400CE, over time developing a distinct Māori culture and identity. European contact and British colonisation occurred from the late eighteenth century with significant British settlement after the 1840s. Today, following periods of European, Pacific peoples and Asian migration, New Zealand has a diverse population, with 72% of the population identifying as being of European descent, 16% Māori, 9% Pacific peoples and 15% Asian. Over 27% of New Zealand’s population was born overseas, the majority living in Auckland, New Zealand’s largest, most ethnically diverse city.

Host Organisations:

Auckland War Memorial Museum | Tāmaki Paenga Hira is one of New Zealand’s oldest and largest cultural and research institutions, with internationally recognised Natural Science, Human History and Documentary Heritage collection. The Museum’s collections and exhibitions tell the story of New Zealand, its place in the Pacific and its people. The building and institution also hold a significant role as Auckland’s principal war memorial. 

Waikato Museum | Te Whare Taonga o Waikato‘s exhibitions, events and programmes tell the stories of the Waikato region, from a regional and global perspective, and include visual art, social history, tangata whenua and science from touring exhibitions, and the museum’s own collections. The Museum’s 13 galleries feature more than 25 new exhibitions and 100 public events annually. Through this interactive programme, the museum aims to engage and inspire local and international visitors.

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