Thanks to social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter this campaign, Unite 4 Heritage, has come to my attention. It was launched this year by the Director-General for UNESCO Heritage in Baghdad. According to the official campaign website “the #Unite4Heritage campaign builds support for the protection of heritage in areas where it is threatened by extremists.” A major part of this campaign is encouraging everyone around the world to take photos of a heritage building or site. This can either be something important to an area or to an individual (obviously it can fulfil these two roles simultaneously). Basically, by raising awareness of heritage in your own area this raises awareness worldwide and may even help prevent any widespread heritage attacks from happening again.
On Tuesday this week I was thrilled to participate in this campaign by taking a selfie in front of the Commissariat Store in Brisbane. The Commissariat Store is the oldest continuously occupied building in Brisbane – now home to the Royal Historical Society of Queensland and the Convict History Museum. It’s tucked away on William Street in Brisbane’s CBD and is a striking reminder of how the modern-day city of Brisbane developed out of the 1800s.
I’ve been volunteering here for about a month and just in this short period of time I have come to be mesmerised by this heritage building. Unfortunately it is THE ONLY building with convict connections in Australia not to be UNESCO World Heritage listed. Despite this, we are so excited to be the only heritage building in Australia accepted (really recently) for the digital CyArk preservation and digitalisation program. Check them out here: http://www.cyark.org. Absolutely exciting stuff will be happening! The building will be mapped using state of the art technology and preserved in this way for future generations.
As well as this I’m working in a team to introduce an audio guide for the museum. The amount of work that goes into this process is intense. So far we’ve selected the free audio guide program IZI.Travel. It’s an app that anyone can download and select our file to tune in to. The specifics of the guide are still on the table but without doubt it will happen soon enough! The best thing about this app is you can upload short videos, photographs and extra bits of information.
Getting involved with this museum has been one of the best decisions I have ever made and now you could say I have a bit more love for Brisbane than I did before. We do have an amazing history and we should be so proud of what heritage we have left. Support it, love it and get involved!