[ASC-list] Past, present and future of ASC

Regan Forrest regan at reganforrest.com
Tue Nov 19 05:27:38 UTC 2013

Hi again,

Like Merryn, I have experience of SIGs within Museums Australia (I'm one 
of the people keeping the Evaluation and Visitor Research Network 
going). I'm also President of the SA Branch for my sins (see why I 
usually take a back seat with ASC? ;) )

Looking at how the discussion is unfolding, I'm starting to wonder 
whether geography (ie. state branches) is necessarily the best way to 
organise such a diverse group as ASC, particularly in the era of Skype, 
Wikis and Google Hangouts. Geography-based branches are starting to feel 
like the legacy of a bygone era.

This is not to denigrate what happens at state level by any means. But 
in my experience of comparable organisations, it does kind of build up 
the assumption that "something", usually event-focused, needs to happen 
in each state for people who happen to be there to feel like they're 
getting a slice of the action. And events are time consuming and 
increasingly costly to organise (unless you have a tame venue provider 
who can offer you space for free or as good as). Also, smaller states 
are always going to struggle to 'compete' (not quite the right word, 
sorry) with those that have larger memberships and so can put more 
things on. Then of course there are the members based outside of capital 

ASC is a big tent and grouping people by geography seems a bit arbitrary 
when shared interest might be a better way of doing it. This would be a 
longer-term decision than for next week's AGM, but maybe ASC might want 
to entertain the prospect of de-emphasising a state-based branch 
structure and building more activity around groups with shared interest 
such as SIGs.

Just putting it out there . . .


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