Museums, The Mining Sciences and Public Education

Organization: The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 10
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1989
The mining industry has recognised for some time the importance of supporting programs which serve to educate the Australian public about the socio-economic benefits of mineral resource development. More recently, industry leaders have realised that the future development of the industry will depend on attracting sufficient young people to commit to a career in the industry. Apart from lending support to the traditional education institutions in Australia, the industry now has the opportunity to participate in the development of education programs in museums. Whilst historic, mining-related theme parks such as Sovereign Hill and Coal Creek in Victoria serve very effectively the objective of relating past mining activities to the socio-economic development of Australia, there still exists the need to provide a facility which, under the same roof, excites interest in geology, mining, mineral processing and the role of minerals and energy in modern society. The redeveloped Geological and Mining Museum (the "Mining Museum"), which is located in The Rocks area of Sydney, meets this objective. With the central themes of formation and transformation this new Museum, which aims to be the best of its type in the world, will use modern museum exhibit techniques and the resources of the Minerals and Energy Information Centre to educate the community including teachers and school children. In the best tradition of museums, outstanding mineral and other collections will complement a comprehensive range of interactive, high technology exhibits which will include a number of exploratory "hands on" facilities. Australian companies are joining with Government to fund this exciting new museum. There is still a need for industry professionals to realise that a modern "mining" museum is no longer just a repository for objects of mining heritage but is also an important centre which serves as an important educational and public relations interface. The Education Section of the new "Mining Museum", which is linked closely with the new Minerals and Energy Information Centre, will be working closely with appropriate mining-related Tertiary institutions to develop specific career programs aimed at secondary students who wish to pursue a career in the mineral resource industries.
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