HERITAGE NORTH ASSOCIATION INC
The Heritage North Association Inc, formerly The Museums and Historical Societies Association of Far North Queensland was reactivated in April 1992 after being in recess for several years. During this period of recession a number of museums and historical society organisations had established small museums or were in the process of collecting and cataloguing artefacts and historical records. Following a number of requests for advice and assistance directed to the Cairns Museum, the Cairns Historical Society President at the time, Les Sim, called together a meeting of kindred organisations to reform the Museums and Historical Societies Association of Far North Queensland.
The Association's role is to organise workshops, arrange for specialist speakers and consultants and seek grant funding on behalf of its members. At the Annual General Meeting, usually held in August each year control of the Association for the coming year is passed over to another member organisation by rotation. At the AGM an invited speaker addresses the meeting on a topic of historical or museum interest. This address is now titled the Hugh Borland Memorial Lecture, named in honour of a prominent North Queensland teacher who spent much of his life recording, documenting and writing the history of North Queensland. Annual museum reports are also read and tabled, common problems discussed and future events planned. Up to four general meetings are held at different venues throughout the year.
A quarterly newsletter produced by Gil Jennex, voluntary librarian of Cairns Historical Society, keeps members informed of coming events and items of museum interest. It is through the Association and quarterly newsletter that member organisations are able to share new ideas and attempt to find solutions to the many problems facing small, volunteer run museums.
In 1999, a Museums Development Officer position was created for Cairns and district. This move was an initiative of Arts Queensland, Queensland Museum and the Cairns City Council. The role of the Museums Development Officer is to liaise with the volunteers who have taken on the task of being responsible for the management and presentation of the small museums in the district and to give professional advice and assistance when asked for. The first appointee to the new position was Dr Maria Friend who was appointed in November 1999.