Key cultural conference puts Newcastle in the spotlight

16 May 2023

Newcastle will become the cultural capital of Australia this week, with almost 500 representatives of the country's museums and galleries sector gathering in the city for their annual conference.

The Australian Museums and Galleries Association (AMaGA) 2023 National Conference is one of the largest business events being hosted by City of Newcastle this year, and is expected to inject almost $1 million into the local economy.

Delegates from across Australia, New Zealand and around the world are taking part in four days of workshops and panel discussions from May 16-19, tackling "brave conversations and new connections in changing environments".

City of Newcastle's cultural facilities will be showcased to the delegates throughout the conference, with events being held at Newcastle City Hall, Civic Theatre and Newcastle Museum, while the packed program also includes a special presentation on the expansion of the Newcastle Art Gallery.

Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said Newcastle's rich cultural heritage and capacity to host major business events made it a perfect fit for AMaGA's national gathering, which was also held in the city in 2009.

"Newcastle has a proud legacy of preserving, sharing and celebrating culture, history and art through its iconic and award-winning cultural facilities," Cr Nelmes said.

"Our city also offers broad appeal as a host destination for large-scale business events, with top-class conferencing and meeting facilities as well as a range of quality accommodation options.

"We are proud to be the first regional area to play host to the AMaGA National Conference for a second time, and encourage the visiting delegates to explore all the city has to offer while they are here."

City of Newcastle Director Museum, Archive, Libraries and Learning Julie Baird, who is also the AMaGA National Council Vice President, said the national conference provided an opportunity for members of the sector to share, collaborate and learn.

"The conference is a wonderful chance to learn from the experiences of our colleagues in this sector, expand our networks, discuss opportunities to collaborate with others and discover new and exciting travelling exhibitions that we might be able to bring to our facilities," Ms Baird said.