MMAPSS grants and internships
The museum’s Maritime Museums of Australia Project Support Scheme (MMAPSS) provides grants of up to $15,000, in-kind support and internships to non-profit organisations, such as museums and historical societies, that care for Australia’s maritime heritage. Usually these are community-based and often run by volunteers. The grants are designed to fund a range of projects, including those related to restoration, conservation, collection management and exhibition development. MMAPSS is administered by the museum and jointly funded by the Australian Government with support provided by the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications. MMAPSS demonstrates the diversity of the nation’s maritime heritage and the important role that local communities, smaller museums and historical societies play in preserving it. The scheme was initiated in 1995 and since then the program has distributed more than $1.8M and supported organisations across Australia to run more than 440 projects and over 60 internships.
Funding available in 2019–20 was $125,000, with a maximum allocation of $15,000 to any one grant. We received 38 project applications, requesting a total of $370,000 in funding, and ten internship applications. The selection committee awarded grants to 17 organisations, and in-kind support was offered to nine organisations. The maximum amount of $15,000 was awarded to two organisations and internships were offered to all ten applicants. Funding was paid, and projects undertaken or funding expended, in this reporting period.
Bushfire-affected areas were prioritised in the MMAPSS grants process. Four successful organisations were bushfire affected, including one project that would benefit eight organisations on the South Coast of NSW.
A summary of each project funded under MMAPSS is published below.
Information on grants awarded to the museum is available at sea.museum and at Grants received
Value of grants
Number of project grants
Number of projects supported in kind
Number of internships
Recipients by State and Territory
New South Wales
Age of Fishes Museum $2,490
Upright display stand
The Age of Fishes Museum at Canowindra houses 360-million-year-old internationally significant fossils. It has 200 sandstone slabs (80 tonnes) and currently only 12 upright display stands. The stands make the fossils more accessible to visitors, improve the professionalism of the displays and promote tourism. Funding is awarded to build one stand.
Ballina Naval and Maritime Museum $1,600 and In-kind Support
Light craft in a heavy sea – The story of PV Richmond and its life and times on the Richmond River at Ballina
As the pilot vessel for the port of Ballina, PV Richmond and its crew played a major part in Ballina's rich maritime history. Funding is awarded for interpretation, and in-kind support is also awarded for a curator from the ANMM to inspect the vessel and help prepare a vessel management plan (VMP).
Eden Killer Whale Museum $4,950
Conservation assessment of the skeleton of the orca (killer whale) known as ‘Old Tom’
Funding is awarded to engage a specialist cetacean conservator to undertake a detailed condition assessment of the skeleton, with a view to identifying any urgent and future preservation needs for the long-term display of this icon of Eden’s unique whaling history.
Friends of the North Coast Regional Botanic Garden $15,000
Botanists’ Walk: A project in honour of the 250th Anniversary of Cook’s voyage
This project aims to show three things: how the First Peoples seen by Cook and his crew collected and used plants in their daily lives; how Endeavour’s botanists collected, stored, recorded and eventually took back to Europe nearly 30,000 samples of local flora; and the importance of this trip in our knowledge of plant taxonomy.
Lawrence Historical Society Inc In-kind support
Restoring the Clarence River flood boat Cedar Queen
Flood boats were a part of life on the Clarence River from the late 1800s to around the 1970s. This heritage-listed boat has been on display at Lawrence Museum in recent years, without restoration. Lawrence Museum is now constructing a new display area, and Cedar Queen will be a main feature. In-kind support is awarded for a curator from the ANMM to inspect the vessel and help prepare a vessel management plan (VMP).
Lismore Rainforest Botanic Gardens Inc $10,900
Endeavour 2020 – creation of educational resource and establishment of Banks’ Garden
Native flora identification wheels will be designed and printed for use by primary school students during tours of the Lismore Rainforest Botanic Gardens and the Arakwal National Park. All plants will be those collected by Joseph Banks during his voyage on the Endeavour. A small garden, featuring the plants on the wheels, will be planted and maintained at the Lismore Rainforest Botanic Gardens as a living collection.
Manning Valley Historical Society Inc $1,285
Showcasing boatbuilding and shipping on the Manning River
The Manning Valley has a remarkable maritime history that was crucial to river and coastal trade in the early years of NSW. Wingham Museum acknowledges this history with its modest, but significant collection of maritime artefacts, photographs and research materials. A kiosk-style information point will be placed at the Manning River display to provide access to photographs and other audio-visual material, that is not currently available to the public.
Port of Yamba Historical Society / Yamba Museum $1,000
Looking to Conserve
Funding is awarded to engage a professional conservator to conserve two maritime instruments, a hand-held brass/leather telescope and a boxed sextant. These objects have been identified as requiring urgent conservation to prevent any further deterioration.
Ballina Naval and Maritime Museum – Internship
Secretary – Up to $2,000 for one week at the Australian National Maritime Museum.
Camden Haven Historical Society Inc – Internship
Volunteer – Up to $2,000 for 1 week at the Australian National Maritime Museum.
Board of the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory – In-kind support
Aboriginal Watercraft Conservation Project – Phase One: Assessment
The Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory has a select collection of significant Aboriginal watercraft; three of these require assessment, conservation and treatment. In-kind support is offered for staff from the ANMM’s Curatorial and Indigenous teams to collaborate on a session that fosters the sharing of knowledge.
Darwin Military Museum – In-kind support
Four showcase units
The Darwin Military Museum has acquired a growing and valuable naval and maritime collection of artefacts in recent years and seeks four 'showcase' glass display cabinets to suitably house and display this collection in a dedicated space. In-kind support is offered for one of the ANMM’s Interpretation and Design team to ascertain whether there are appropriate ex-ANMM showcases that can be delivered to the Darwin Military Museum.
Norfolk Island Museums and Research Centre – Internship
Museum and Research Officer – Up to $2,000 for one week at the Australian National Maritime Museum.
Norfolk Island Museums and Research Centre – Internship
Museum and Bookshop Attendant – Up to $2,000 for one week at the Australian National Maritime Museum.
Cooktown Re-enactment Association – In-kind Support
Continent of Smoke
This project aims to develop an online accessible account of Cook’s 1770 voyage taken from the combined journals of the four principal journal keepers on board HMB Endeavour. In-kind support is offered for an ANMM staff member to work with the association to assist with the development of this project.
Rockhampton Art Gallery $9,250
Maritime Heritage Interpretation Strategy and Plan for the new Quay Street Cultural Precinct
This project proposes to develop a Maritime Heritage Interpretation Strategy and Plan for the new Quay Street Cultural Precinct, bringing together the sites of Customs House, Bonds Store, Horse Stables and the New Rockhampton Art Gallery with an overlay of maritime history and activities focused upon post-European settlement to the region. Funding is awarded to engage a cultural and museums services specialist to consider site and place to establish a post-European settlement narrative of Rockhampton’s maritime history, including Indigenous engagement.
National Trust Australia Queensland James Cook Museum – Internship
Museum Visitor Services Coordinator – Up to $2,000 for one week at the Australian National Maritime Museum
National Trust of South Australia Goolwa Branch $854 and in-kind support
Presentation and Interpretation of the relics from the South Australian Government cutter Water Witch
The Water Witch was the South Australian Government supply vessel that was used to carry out surveys along the coastline and also to support early expeditions. It sank at Moorundie in December 1842 and in 1986 a number of artefacts were salvaged. Funding is awarded to prepare story boards and in-kind support is offered for one of the ANMM’s Interpretation and Design team to ascertain whether there are appropriate ex-ANMM showcases that can be delivered to the organisation.
Port Adelaide Historical Society $5,000
Preservation of the ST Tancred wheelhouse
Tancred saw service with the Royal Navy and Royal Australian Navy during World War II and later with the Australian Salvage Board then the Department of Marine and Harbours, South Australia. Tancred was cut up for scrap in 1988 but the wheelhouse section was retained and is on display at the Port Adelaide Historical Society Museum. Funding is awarded for work to preserve the wheelhouse.
South Australian Maritime Museum and Britt Gow (joint application) $10,000
The Duchess, Pamela and the Captain
This exhibition will showcase photographs documenting life on the windjammer Herzogin Cecilie taken by British journalist Pamela Bourne in the 1930s. The goal of the South Australian Maritime Museum (SAMM) is to link communities across one of the longest shipping routes in the world through this extraordinary collection from rural Victoria that encapsulates a global story. SAMM will work with small museums in Finland and South Australia to produce an exhibition based around this collection. SAMM plans to digitise the entire Bourne collection. Funding is awarded for design and film production.
Dover History Group Inc $4,000 and in-kind support
Maritime History of Dover and the far south of Tasmania
This project is for the digitisation and conversion of local maritime history displays, presently presented on foamboard, to more modern museum-style banners. In-kind support is also awarded for a representative from the Australian National Maritime Museum (ANMM) to provide professional interpretation and design advice and assistance.
Maritime Museum of Tasmania Inc In-kind support
Preparation of a vessel management plan for the yacht Westward
Westward is one of this museum’s most significant collection items. It was built in Battery Point, Hobart, in 1947 by Jock Muir and won (on handicap) the Sydney to Hobart races of 1947 and 1948. The yacht is on the Australian Register of Historic Vessels. In-kind support is awarded for one of the Australian National Maritime Museum’s Curatorial team to inspect of the vessel and assist in preparing a vessel management plan (VMP).
Maritime Museum of Tasmania Inc – Internship
Assistant Curator – up to $2,000 for one week at the Australian National Maritime Museum.
Woodbridge School Marine Discovery Centre (MDC) – Internship
Primary Coordinator (teacher) – up to $2,000 for one week at the Australian National Maritime Museum
Woodbridge School Marine Discovery Centre (MDC) – Internship
Secondary Coordinator (teacher) – up to $2,000 for one week at the Australian National Maritime Museum
Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village and Museum Warrnambool City Council $6,500 and in-kind support
Whales: Beneath the Surface
Through an exciting blend of science, storytelling, artefacts and art, Flagstaff Hill will create an exhibit which will allow visitors to immerse themselves in the fascinating world of the whale. Funding is awarded for consultation sessions, interpretation panels, production of a soundscape and digital technology, and the design and production of family activity packs, education resource kits and school activities. In-kind support is also offered for a representative from the ANMM to provide professional interpretation and design advice and assistance with furthering the museum’s interpretive displays.
National Trust of Australia (Victoria) $9,000
Polly Woodside tall ship online education resources
The Polly Woodside tall ship in Melbourne delivers tailored education excursions to over 9,000 students annually in Humanities and STEM curriculum areas including History, Geography and Mathematics. Funding is awarded to support the National Trust to develop free online teacher resources for schools to access related to maritime history and heritage.
Port of Echuca Discovery Centre $4,000
Preservation Needs Assessment
The Port of Echuca Discovery Centre last engaged a professional to undertake a Preservation Needs Assessment in 2007. Since then much has changed at the Port of Echuca, altering many of the recommendations outlined in the original document. Funding is awarded to engage a qualified conservator to undertake an assessment of the centre’s paper-based and photographic collection to ensure items are stored correctly.
Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village and Museum – Internship
Curator of Collections – Up to $2,000 for one week at the Australian National Maritime Museum.
Albany’s Historic Whaling Station $13,250
Whaler’s Tales: Oral histories of Albany’s past whaling community
Albany’s Historic Whaling Station is a unique maritime museum. This project aims to expand its oral history collection for archival purposes as well as to have authentic material for application in targeted audio-visual exhibits being planned for the museum. Funding is awarded to engage a production company to undertake interviewing, filming and editing.
Busselton Jetty Incorporated $15,000
Busselton Jetty undersea sculptures
Planning is under way to provide underwater sculptures near the seaward end of the Jetty in view of the Underwater Observatory and proposed Australian Underwater Discovery Centre windows. Funding is awarded towards the design, construction and implementation of the first sculpture, a model of the liner Pericles. The ship was wrecked on 31 March 1910. The wreck lies 5.6 km south of Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse at a depth of 35 metres. The sculpture will centre on Australia’s maritime heritage and archaeology, history and marine life and will rest at a maximum depth of 8 metres, to a height of 5–6 metres deep. Underwater educational plaques will provide information about the Pericles, maritime history and aquatic life in the area.
Broome Historical Society and Museum – Internship
Administrator/Collection Manager – Up to $3,000 for one week at the Australian National Maritime Museum.