Regional museums dealing with art and with history are distributed around the country, bringing to local audiences items of significance and understanding of the past and the present. They all share several important features: they contain amongst their treasures many works of national as well as local significance; and the contribution to them by volunteers is immense. In the case of local history museums those contributions are often critical, for without them the museum would not exist. All of them share one other critical feature: they contribute to a sense of personal and community identity.
Margaret Rich reviews the development of regional art museums in Victoria. Kimberley Webber with a number of museum people from around the country outlines the recent history of regional museums in mainland Australia. Kylie Winkworth reflects on the achievements and challenges which still face regional museums.