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Wireless Hill Collection Significance Assessment Jan 2012

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Wireless Hill Collection Significance Assessment Jan 2012 Powered By Docstoc
					Wireless Hill Telecommunication Museum
  Collection Significance Assessment




                Cathleen Day
               Heritage TODAY
                 PO Box 635
            MT LAWLEY WA 6929
              Tel: 0419 958 932
               Fax: 9471 8817

        Prepared for the City of Melville

                 January 2012
                                                                CONTENTS
Part One ......................................................................................................................................... 1
Executive Summary ...................................................................................................................... 1
Key Recommendations ................................................................................................................. 3
Consultants, Budgets and Timetable ........................................................................................... 6
Location.......................................................................................................................................... 6
Consultation with Owners and relevant people ......................................................................... 6
Copyright and Source of Historical Information ....................................................................... 9
Museum Themes ........................................................................................................................... 9
     Objects .................................................................................................................................. 10
     Photographs/Film/Video ....................................................................................................... 10
     Archives ................................................................................................................................ 10
     Oral History and Aural Recordings ...................................................................................... 11
Collection Storage Locations...................................................................................................... 11
Condition of the Collection......................................................................................................... 12
Accession Records and Object Files .......................................................................................... 13
Significance Assessment ............................................................................................................. 13
History of Wireless Hill Telecommunications Site 1912-1967 and prehistory of
Telecommunications. .................................................................................................................. 15
Timeline of the Wireless Hill Telecommunications Museum and the Formation and Use of
the Collection ............................................................................................................................... 19
     The History of the Museum Building ................................................................................... 23
Comparative Analysis ................................................................................................................. 25
     Comparative Collections within Western Australia.............................................................. 25
     Comparative Collections in Australia ................................................................................... 25
     Telecommunication Collections in the World ...................................................................... 27
     People contacted in the course of comparative analysis studies: .......................................... 27
     Conclusion of Comparative Analysis ................................................................................... 27
Statement of Significance: Wireless Hill Telecommunications Museum Collection ............ 29
Part Two....................................................................................................................................... 31
Individual Key items: Wireless Hill Telecommunications 1912-1967 .................................... 31
     Statement of Significance – Wireless Hill Telecommunications.......................................... 33
Individual Key items: Morse Code Equipment ........................................................................ 34
     Statement of Significance – Morse Code Equipment ........................................................... 42
Individual Key items: Electronics ............................................................................................. 43
     Statement of Significance - Electronics ................................................................................ 47
Individual Key items: Military Communication ...................................................................... 48
     Statement of Significance – Military Communication ......................................................... 60
Individual Key items: Transmitters/Receivers......................................................................... 61
     Statement of Significance – Transmitters/ Receivers ........................................................... 69
Individual Key items: Domestic Radio Receivers and Speakers ............................................ 70
     Statement of Significance – Domestic Radio Receivers and Speakers ................................ 82
Individual Key items: Broadcasting .......................................................................................... 83
     Statement of Significance - Broadcasting ............................................................................. 86
Individual Key items: Telephones ............................................................................................. 87
     Statement of Significance – Telephones ............................................................................... 88
Individual Key items: Television ............................................................................................... 89
    Statement of Significance – Television ................................................................................ 96
Individual Key items: Space....................................................................................................... 97
    Statement of Significance – Space ...................................................................................... 100
Individual Key items: Amateur Radio .................................................................................... 101
    Statement of Significance – Amateur Radio ....................................................................... 102
Part One
Executive Summary
    Significance is a guide to help assess the significance of the heritage objects and
    collections in your care. It takes you through a simple significance assessment
    process that equips you to make sound judgments and good decisions about
    conserving, interpreting and managing objects and collections, now and into the
    future.1
                                                                       Heritage Collections Council
Assessing the Wireless Hill Telecommunication Museum Collection for significance was
completed by consultant Cathy Day of Heritage TODAY with the assistance of City of
Melville Staff and a group of people consulted over the course of the project. The
assessment was a phase in the overall planning for the future best use of the
Telecommunication Museum space. Vision 2020 and the Wireless Hill Interpretation
Plan, prepared for the City of Melville, both highlight the need to address the
sustainability of the Telecommunications Museum and associated collection as well as
the best use of the heritage site.

The historical evidence, old photographs and provenance supporting the assessment of
the significance are an amalgamation of consultant research and information supplied
by special interest groups and individuals with specialist knowledge. The historical
notes and associated evidence were rarely found in the archives of the Museum as very
little information about the artefacts has been stored.

The Wireless Hill Station engine room which houses the museum collection is an
appropriate building for the museum owing to its strong heritage value and association
with the early history of telecommunications in Western Australia which was first
established in 1912. The Wireless Hill Station is on the Western Australian Register of
Heritage Places.

The museum since 1979 has remained almost static with change to the displays.
Despite layers of effort by a number of curators over the years there is little information
about the individual artefacts of the collection and it appears that many items were
initially collected without any policy or clear mission – a historical similarity with many
museums set up in Western Australia in the 1970s. The objective of protection of
equipment superseded by the pace of telecommunications technological development
has led to an eclectic collection of interesting items. However, there are also a number
of items intrusive to the telecommunications theme and many duplicated items.

The Wireless Hill Telecommunications Museum is uncommon as it is a specialist
museum vested in a local government authority, the City of Melville. Local Government
Authorities are normally more readily associated with local history reflecting the identity
and sense of place of the district or the history of the heritage site. However, in 1979
the City of Melville accepted the responsibility for this collection and, after the
Significance Assessment of the Collection, Heritage Today believes it has an ethical
responsibility to make sure a refined, focused telecommunications collection is
preserved.

1
 Heritage Collections Council, A Guide to Assessing the Significance of Cultural Heritage Objects and
Collections, Canberra, Commonwealth of Australia, 2001.p.9
Wireless Hill Telecommunications Museum
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In assessing the significance of the overall collection, established criteria of historic,
aesthetic, scientific and social/spiritual values based on the Burra Charter were used.
In order to give the best overall picture of the significance of the entire collection, the
collection was divided into themes already used in the Museum. Ten themes were
identified for this project, Wireless Hill, Space, Transmitters and Receivers, Telephones,
Television, Broadcasting, Radios, Morse Code, Electronics and Military Communication

Research of the telecommunications themes throughout Australia, to find comparable
collections, revealed many Telecommunication museums and collections. A number
were the result of the Telstra Museums that had been set up in most states in the
1980s. Though the Telstra Museums didn’t operate for long the mantle of ownership
was transferred to volunteer groups or moved to other museums. In WA when the
Telstra Museum was closed down most of the collection is thought to have been
transferred to the Melbourne Telecommunications Museum. Though much of the
collection of Wireless Hill Museum is replicated in other telecommunications museums,
the artefacts representing military communication and space themes are not common.

The Wireless Hill Telecommunication Museum Collection has various levels of
aesthetic, historic, social and scientific significance, the scope of significance ranges
from exceptional to intrusive.

Recommendations for the Wireless Hill Telecommunications Museum focus on ways to
rejuvenate the museum space and concentrate on providing dynamic displays to
encourage continuous connection and visitation to this significant heritage site.
Assembling from the collection a set of telecommunications equipment that allows for
changing exhibitions will free up the space for other Wireless Hill or City of Melville
focused topics to be explored in the museum space. It will also allow for interpretation
of the Wireless Hill Station which was not developed adequately in the museum.




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Heritage TODAY
Wireless Hill Telecommunications Museum
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Key Recommendations
The recommendations put forward by Heritage TODAY have been influenced by a
number of factors including;
    The findings of the significance assessment of the Wireless Hill
      Telecommunications Collection;
    The history of how the collection was formed;
    The Interpretation Plan and the Wireless Hill Vision 2020 plan compiled for the
      City of Melville with community consultation;
    Experience of the consultant with the significance assessment and re-location of
      the World of Energy collection;
    Consultation of a number of disparate groups with specialist interests in the
      Wireless Hill Museum collection during the course of this project;
    Comparative analysis of Telecommunications Museums in other states of
      Australia.

It is recommended that:
   1. the current museum building be developed as a more flexible space to allow
      dynamic displays to attract different audiences to Wireless Hill Park. This is
      consistent with the plans outlined in the Wireless Hill Interpretation Plan which
      states “the strategic vision is to develop a core exhibition experience around the
      Wireless Hill Story, presenting the station history alongside the natural and
      indigenous history. The Engine House (the Telecommunications Museum) would
      be designed and developed in the future to also incorporate multimedia displays
      and storage space for educational programs.”

   2. the City of Melville recognise an ethical responsibility to keep and conserve a
      refined collection that reflects the theme of Telecommunication in Western
      Australia owing to the fact that the City of Melville accepted a
      telecommunications collection to be vested in the City in 1979.

   3. the collection also focuses on topics related directly to Wireless Hill, in particular
      the former Applecross Station. The information regarding the operation of
      Wireless Hill from 1912-1967 is only scantily available in the current museum.
      This should be addressed in the development of the new exhibition space and
      include the few items that have provenance connected to the operation of the
      Wireless Hill Station in a permanent display that takes up a small part of the
      museum space and will always be accessible by visitors of temporary exhibitions.

   4. the City of Melville does not add to the collection unless significant items are
      offered with strong provenance that can contribute to the story of the Wireless
      Hill (Applecross) Station. These items are only to be accepted with clear
      documentation and if storage space is available.

   5. the City of Melville continue to hold that proportion of the Wireless Hill Museum
      Collection that can be used for dynamic displays on telecommunications in WA.
      This includes items with high interpretive potential or can be used in interactive or
      educational programmes.




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Heritage TODAY
Wireless Hill Telecommunications Museum
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    6. these dynamic, temporary exhibitions could include:
       i)    telecommunication themed exhibitions following the themes of the current
             museum developed with specialist advice and collection items on loan (to
             be returned at the end of the life of the exhibition);
       ii)   displays targeting the themes of military or space communications as
             these two themes are not as frequently interpreted in telecommunication
             museums in other states;
       iii)  exhibitions developed with multimedia and interactive displays such as:
                      Feeling the vibrations of a loud speaker,
                      Sending a message from one end of the gallery to the other using
                       Morse code,
                      How a television screen produces colour from just red, green and
                       blue,
                      Telecommunication using hand held signal lamp,
                      Comparing the quality of a range of loud speakers from different
                       eras,
                      How electricity was generated for a pedal radio,
                      ‘Reading the News’ with a teleprompter and a closed circuit
                       television camera,2
       iv)     More than Humpty Dumpty: Taking it apart and putting it back together
               again. Workshops on how to build, fix and operate telecommunications
               equipment targeting young people and using enthusiastic volunteer
               specialists wanting to pass on knowledge and experience of former
               generations;
       v)      holiday programmes;
       vi)     specific education programmes targeting school curricula,
       vii)    Sculptural/Graphic Art/ Installation art works focusing on historic and
               contemporary telecommunications using the collection as stimuli for these
               creative works.
       viii)   nostalgic exhibitions of “the way we once lived” targeting older generations
               of people - recognizing the importance of collective memory;
       ix)     themes showing both historic and contemporary telecommunications of
               organisations such as the Royal Flying Doctor Service and Fire
               Emergency Services Authority (and donated entry fees could go to the
               targeted groups as a fundraising exercise)
       x)      tactile exhibition for the visually impaired and physically disabled
       xi)     Suitcase of things to form the basis of a show and tell at schools to
               encourage visits to museum temporary displays
       xii)    As suggested by Bob Lockley
               “It would not be difficult to make a display of QSL cards that would be of
               interest to the general public, with a selection of 100 cards accompanied
               by a list of the countries shown. Many HAMs (amateur radio operators)
               have lived in the City of Melville including some on Wireless Hill, so with
               the cooperation of the archivist for The Wireless Institute of Australia’s
               National Collection a top class display could be developed.”


2
  Richard Rennie, A comparison of the potential of the Wireless Hill Telecommunications Museum with
the Fremantle Light and Sound Discovery Centre, April 2010.
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Heritage TODAY
Wireless Hill Telecommunications Museum
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   7. the Museum display which has remained almost unchanged since 1979 be
      dismantled and all the items targeted for further exhibitions be put in storage in
      the northern wing of the current museum to be ready for an exhibition celebrating
      the Centenary of the Wireless Hill Station in September 2012.

   8. all very large artefacts with low interpretive value be deaccessioned to either the
      donor, if known, or appropriate incorporated, collecting associations.

   9. all items that are intrusive to the Telecommunications themed collection be
      deaccessioned to either the donor if known, or appropriate incorporated,
      collecting associations.

   10. if more than one of any item is held in the collection, that two of each artefact be
       kept and any other duplicates be deaccessioned by return to the donor if known
       or to an appropriate incorporated collecting association.              Incorporated
       associations that are known to exist or have expressed interest in deaccessioned
       items of the Wireless Hill Collection include the

           i) Morsecodian Fraternity;
           ii)    Northern Corridor Radio Group, Whiteman Park
           iii)   Vintage Wireless and Gramophone Society of WA
           iv)    Army Museum of Western Australia
           v)     RAAFA Aviation Heritage Museum of Western Australia
           vi)    Australian Museum of Motion Picture and Television
           vii)   Australian Computer Museum Society WA Inc
           viii)  Australian Historical Telephone Society

   11. further research be done to expand the archive, oral history and artefact
       collection with specific provenance to Wireless Hill (Applecross) Station. A note
       found in the records of the museum indicate, that there are 38 files lodged in the
       National Archives about the early development of the Wireless Hill Station in
       1912. An initial search has not revealed these files and it is recommended that a
       more in depth search be carried out.

   12. Promote the new museum space as a place of social inclusion that contributes to
       well-being by allowing people to connect with the exhibitions by providing:

            An atmosphere to make people feel welcome
            Generous wheelchair access
            Braille interpretation/ a tactile exhibition/audio descriptions
            Benches/seats for chronically fatigued
            Safety for people with balance issues
            Hearing impaired – transcripts of auditory displays
            Training that includes communication and welcoming people with different
             disabilities




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Heritage TODAY
Wireless Hill Telecommunications Museum
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Consultants, Budgets and Timetable
The City of Melville invited Cathy Day of Heritage TODAY to compile the significance
assessment of the Wireless Hill Telecommunications Museum as part of the overall plan
to develop the potential of the heritage listed area under the Wireless Hill 2020 report
and the celebration of the centenary of the Wireless Hill station in 2012.

The timetable for the report was determined partially by the consultation process and
partially by the collaboration of City officers and Heritage TODAY. However, it was
deemed necessary to finish report as soon as possible owing to the pressing need to
prepare for the centenary celebrations of the Wireless Hill Station in 2012.

Location
The Wireless Hill Telecommunications Museum is in the old engine room of the
Wireless Hill Station which was built in 1912. The building is on the State Register of
Heritage Places.




Consultation with Owners and relevant people
Consultation with the museum/collection care community is an important element of a
Significance Assessment of a collection. Community consultation in The Wireless Hill
Telecommunications Museum included:

The Morsecodian Fraternity of WA Incorporated
Terry Keays            President
Barrie Field           Specialist Radio Morse
Richie Bright          Specialist Landline Morse
Bert and Beryl Tyler
Don Tyler


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Heritage TODAY
Wireless Hill Telecommunications Museum
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                           Terry Keys and Richie Bright at the
                          Morsecodian Fraternity Display Table

VHF Group
Tom Berg           Founding member of Museum Advisory group
Robert Lockley
Terry Leitch

Friends of Wireless Hill Bush Group
Dalton Moffatt

Amateur Radio Operators
Arthur Hayward
Mark and Margarete Bussanich (call sign VK6AR)

Stakeholders Reference Group (2020 Visioning project)
Paul Headley

Melville Council Staff (Present and Former)
Betty Skinner             Administration 1970-1991
Soula Veyredier           Immediate past Wireless Hill Museum Curator/CDO
Gina Capes                2011 Wireless Hill Project Curator
Kaylene Poon              Local History Officer and Guide for Wireless Hill Museum
                          groups by appointment
Leeann Reid               Manager, Community Services
Helen Munt (Burgess)      Former Curator
Denise Cook               Former Heritage Services Officer




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Heritage TODAY
Wireless Hill Telecommunications Museum
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Army Museum of WA Volunteers
Frank Beardmore      specialist in Military communication equipment
Shaun Lee




                                       Frank Beardmore

Australian Motion Picture and Television (Australian Media Museum)
Daryl Binning            President
Ross McDonald

Interested in history of Television/Radio
Clive Woodward
Ken McKay           (use to operate large video machine in Wireless Hill collection)
Ian Stimson         (once worked for 6PR, in radio 1953-1985, has his own collection
                    of cinema and television equipment)
Gordon McColl

Vintage Wireless and Gramophone Society of WA
Richard Rennie    scientist and researcher on light and sound production in WA
Rodney House
Andrew Wakeman
Lawrie Bugeja

Australian Computer Museum Society WA Inc
Tony Epton       (14 members, indicated Ian Hill, Seattle interested in PDP6)

People who were involved in the initial setting up of the museum
Betty Skinner (Quicke) City of Melville Administration
Paul Green-Armytage    Designer of 1979 Museum layout

Others
Allan Watson
Graeme Grieve
Leigh O’Brien             History Department, Western Australian Museum
Kenneth McCarroll
Helen James
Bruce James       (Institute of Engineers)
Graham MacDonald
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Heritage TODAY
Wireless Hill Telecommunications Museum
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Australian Historical Telephone Association (WA Branch)
Bruce Nottage
Andrew Wakeman Member of Vintage Wireless and Gramophone Society as well




                    Consultation Meeting held Wednesday 31 August 2011

Copyright and Source of Historical Information
All photographs used in the body of the report have been taken by Heritage TODAY or
are owned by the City of Melville unless attributed otherwise. Thank you to Richard
Rennie of the Vintage Wireless and Gramophone Club of WA for his images of radios
and Paul Green-Armytage for his c1970s images of the museum collection before it was
organised into the Museum displays.

At the conclusion of this project the copyright of the report is transferred from Heritage
TODAY to the City of Melville who will have all rights under the Copyright Laws of
Australia.

Museum Themes
For a coherent approach to determining the key objects of the Wireless Hill
Telecommunication Museum, the collection was categorised and then for each field a
representative sample of significant items was taken for assessment. The fields
determined for the Wireless Hill Telecommunications Museum are:
Associated Objects to Wireless Hill
Morse Code Equipment
Electronics
Military Communication
Transmitters and Receivers
Domestic Radio Receivers and Speakers
Broadcasting
Telephones
Television
Space
Amateur Radio
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Heritage TODAY
Wireless Hill Telecommunications Museum
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The Collection
Objects
The objects in the collection number in the thousands however, the museum has
suffered a fairly traditional beginning of taking in items without a clear collection policy
or assessment of how the object adds value to the collection. Therefore, there are a
number of items that are duplicated or do not contribute to telling the story of
telecommunications. The old record players are an example of this. Though interesting
items in themselves the domestic record players do not fit in any of the themes
developed initially for the museum. This is an example of an item that becomes intrusive
to the collection.




Photographs/Film/Video
There are approximately 155 photographs belonging to the Wireless Hill collection,
which are digitized and sit amongst the general City of Melville Local Studies
photographic collection.     There are an additional 100 photographs of more
contemporary images of the site, which have yet to be digitized. These include some
from the Troode collection, which is a Council collection of site images of buildings and
images from commemorative occasions that occurred at the City of Melville (circa
1983–1995). There are very few photographs of the station in operation between 1912
and 1967. Many of the early photographs appear to be of the museum recording its
opening and operation.

Archives
                                          The archival collection of the museum is not
                                          large. There are some journals that were
                                          collected by the VHF group kept in the City of
                                          Melville basement archives. There is also a
                                          single man’s ship radio operator’s license from
                                          1931 which is interesting but not part of a
                                          consistent collection.

                                         A number of ephemera items have been kept
                                         with the most comprehensive collection being
                                         the QSL amateur radio cards. These have
                                         been sorted into geographic location source
and are an aesthetically significant representation of amateur radio activities from the
1920-60s.
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Heritage TODAY
Wireless Hill Telecommunications Museum
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Also a note was made in some of the documentation for the museum that indicated
early documents of the site history which are held in the Commonwealth Archives in
Melbourne (38 files in archives). During an electronic search for these files in the
National Archives a note was found on unique Western Australian Commonwealth
records including files on the Western Australian Telecom Museum3. These may have
documentation on events pertaining to Wireless Hill. Further searches also revealed
files on registers of radio communications licenses 1954-81 and files on broadcasting
both radio and television4. However, no evidence was found of the site history and it is
recommended that further research be done to uncover the whereabouts of these files.

Oral History and Aural Recordings
There are seven oral history recordings in the collection that are directly concerned with
Wireless Hill. Of these only one appears to have been recorded from an interview of an
original employee at the Wireless Hill Station. Two oral histories of former staff from the
station – Mr John Knight and Mr Ron Cocker were recently recorded (2011) by Ms
Jennifer Griffith, Historian, as part of the Canning Bridge community project, however, to
date they have not yet been completed or accessioned into the collection.
Given that the last employees of OTC left the site in 1967 (44 years from the timing of
this report) it will be difficult to find many people with associations to the actual
telecommunications station. However to expand the oral history collection, it may be
possible to find people in the early broadcasting field with links to Radio and Television
relayed through Wireless Hill.
Other recordings of note in the collection are simulated radio broadcasts, a recording
from space of John Glenn orbiting above Perth in 1962 and an oral history with Fred
Hull on the establishment of Royal Flying Doctor base in Port Hedland.

Collection Storage Locations
Owing to pressure on the storage at the museum, the items not on display are kept in
various places.
Within the Museum
A room on the northern side of the Museum holds shelves stacked to the ceiling with
many objects both accessioned and non-accessioned, in condition from fair to poor,
ranging from authentic to intrusive to the collection policy and many spare parts and
small unidentified items. Another room to the south side of the museum has open
storage where radios, televisions and old speakers are on display without any
interpretation.

Hickey Street Storage
At the corner of the Wireless Hill Park are former single men’s quarters where more
items from the museum are stored. Some are objects left over from the Telecom
Museum from the 1980s. These are stored in three secure though dusty rooms without
climate control. However, on immediate inspection these items are mostly duplicates of
objects already on display or held in the main collection and their condition is not overly
compromised by the storage environment.

3
  http://www.naa.gov.au/naaresources/publications/research_guides/guides/perth/chapter01.htm
accessed 20 September 2011
4
  http://www.naa.gov.au/naaresources/publications/research_guides/guides/perth/chapter05.htm
Accessed 20 September 2011
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Heritage TODAY
Wireless Hill Telecommunications Museum
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Items include console radios, computers ,boxes of radio technical manuals, boxes of
spare parts and valves, a computer, an announcer console




                                  Storage at Hickey St


City of Melville Basement Archival Room
Fragile items from the Wireless Hill Museum are kept at the City of Melville Archive
Room. The items which include archives, photos and objects are in dust free climate
controlled conditions.

                                    Condition of the Collection
                                    Since 1979 the majority of the collection of objects
                                    has been held in mostly sound storage areas.
                                    Owing to the fabric of most of the objects being
                                    plastic or metal there has been little deterioration
                                    of the objects’ condition. Main display areas are
                                    relatively dust free and the building structure
                                    controls extreme heat or humidity environment
                                    changes. Any fragile items of glass or paper that
                                    are at risk of damage are safely held in good
                                    museum standard conditions at the City of Melville
                                    offices. There, the compactus units are in a
                                    climate controlled office free from natural light with
                                    low humidity and a controlled temperature.



                                    Gina Capes in the compactus in the
                                    City of Melville Archive Holding

Policy Development
In 2010-2011 a large effort was put into forming or updating the museum policies.
Policy and planning documents include:
Wireless Hill Vision 2020
Wireless Hill Museum Exhibition Policy 2011
Wireless Hill Museum Conservation Policy 2011
Wireless Hill Museum De-accession and Disposal Policy 2011
Wireless Hill Interpretation Plan
Wireless Hill Telecommunications Museum Collection Policy 2011
Wireless Hill Loans Policy 2011
Wireless Hill Disaster Management Plan 2011
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Heritage TODAY
Wireless Hill Telecommunications Museum
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Accession Records and Object Files
The object files of the collection have suffered organisational disorder owing to many
layers of individual curator/manager attention, changing systems and new technology.
This is not a criticism of any individual as from a close scrutiny of the system there have
been real attempts by each person to address the matter. However, the result is a
mixture of items recorded on the Mosaic database with little provenance or donor
information, old index cards and old accession forms, some with donation information.
Some items have been tagged with accession numbers and some not. There is no
known retrieval system from the storage spaces and identifying items is based on
individual knowledge of past volunteers. During the assessment process experts from
different backgrounds were invited into the storage room to identify items of their area.
This process helped overcome the lack of documentation through object files.

Significance Assessment
For a coherent approach to determining the key items of the Wireless Hill
Telecommunication Museum a thematic method was used. The themes were based on
the main items that contribute to the story of telecommunications. Significance has
been evaluated by a combination of descriptive gradations and a numerical scale. The
descriptive gradations are based on the following:
Exceptional - Rare or outstanding items of State or National significance; high degree
of intactness/authenticity; items can be interpreted relatively easily.
High - Outstanding item of local or state significance; high degree of original fabric;
alterations do not detract from significance.
Moderate - Item of important local significance; may have altered or modified elements;
Little - Alterations detract from significance; does not fulfil criteria for local significance;
difficult to interpret.
Intrusive - Damaging to the item’s heritage significance; conflicts with museum’s
collection policy.
The following numerical assessment table has been developed by Heritage TODAY to
show the results of the application of the Burra Charter assessment criteria to the
individual items. If the rating is overall very high it is considered the individual item may
have national or state significance while a middle rating would have local significance
only. If the item has a very low assessment it may be deemed intrusive to the
collection.


Significance
Assessment and Comparative Criteria High                                             Low
 Aesthetic Significance                  1        2             3       4         5
 Historic Significance                   1        2             3       4         5
 Social/ Spiritual Significance          1        2             3       4         5
 Science/Research                        1        2             3       4         5
 Rarity value                            1        2             3       4         5
 Condition                               1        2             3       4         5
 Representativeness                      1        2             3       4         5
 Interpretative Potential                1        2             3       4         5
 National Significance          State Significance                   Local Significance
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Heritage TODAY
Wireless Hill Telecommunications Museum
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The statement of significance for the Wireless Hill Telecommunications Collection is
written based on the following criteria summarised in Significance 2.0. 5
Historic significance
    Is it associated with a particular person, group, event, place or activity and how is
      this important?
    What does it say about an historic theme, process, or pattern of life?
    How does it contribute to understanding a period, place, activity, industry, person
      or event?
Artistic or aesthetic significance
    Is it well designed, crafted or made?
    Is it a good example of a style, design, artistic movement or an artist's work?
    Is it original or innovative in its design?
    Is it beautiful, pleasing, or well-proportioned?
    Does it show a high degree of creative or technical accomplishment?
    Does it depict a subject, person, place, activity or event of interest or
       importance?
This criterion is most relevant to works of art, craft, design and decorative arts, but may
also apply to items of technology.
Scientific or research significance
    Do researchers have an active interest in studying the item or collection today, or
       will they want to in the future?
    How is it of interest or value for science or research today or in the future?
    Is it of research potential and in what way?
    What things in particular constitute its scientific or research interest and research
       value?
This criterion only applies to items or collections of current scientific value, or with
research potential such as archives, natural history or archaeological collections.
Items such as historic scientific instruments are generally of historic significance.
Social or spiritual significance
   Is it of particular value to a community or group today? Why is it important to
      them?
   How is this demonstrated? How is the item kept in the public eye, or its meaning
      kept alive for a group? For example, by use in an annual parade or ceremonies,
      or by maintaining traditional practices surrounding the item.
   Has the community been consulted about its importance for them?
   Is it of spiritual significance for a particular group?
   Is this spiritual significance found in the present?
   Does it embody beliefs, ideas, customs, traditions, practices or stories that are
      important for a particular group?

Social or spiritual significance is always specific to a particular, identified group of
people. This type of significance only applies to items and collections where there is a
demonstrated contemporary attachment between the item or collection and a group
or community. Items or collections of social history interest are of historic significance.



5
 Roslyn Russell, Kylie Winkworth Significance 2.0: a guide to assessing the significance of collections
http://www.environment.gov.au/heritage/publications/significance2-0/part-5/index.html, 2010
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History of Wireless Hill Telecommunications Site 1912-1967 and
prehistory of Telecommunications.
Compiled by Gina Capes the City of Melville Wireless Hill Project Curator, from
researching through various Museum archival documentation, the Wireless Hill
Conservation Plan, old Museum Committee minutes, the publication A History of
Wireless Hill Melville: 1912-1967, by Michael Cullity (1993) and the Register of Heritage
Places – Assessment Document, compiled by the Heritage Council of WA (1997).

The local Nyungar people have had a long and continuing association with the Wireless
Hill site, an association which was dramatically altered by European settlement and
ensuing conflict and dispossession. Wireless Hill was once known as “Yagan’s
Lookout”, providing perfect views of the surrounding area. Yagan was born in 1810 and
was the son of Midgegooroo, the leader of the Beeliar tribe who were custodians of the
Melville, Fremantle and Cockburn districts. Yagan was a well-known figure in the early
days of the Swan River colony, respected by the settlers for his strong personality and
independence. He also advocated peace, believing blacks and whites could live in
harmony. The area surrounding Wireless Hill was an area he claimed as his own for he
used it as a home base, lookout, and a communication vantage point. The European
settlers saw the importance of this area, for similar reasons..
1830s – First known surveying and records of European settlement in the Melville area.
1896 – Guglielmo Marconi conducted the first demonstration of wireless telegraphy from
the Post Office in London, using Morse code.
1900 – The name Melville Road Board replaced the East Fremantle District Road
Board.
1905 – The Federal Government introduced the Wireless Telegraphy Act allowing the
government complete control over wireless activity, and the Postmaster General was
given exclusive rights to transmit and receive messages and issue wireless licences.
1910 – The Federal Government announced Telefunken/Australasian Wireless Limited
as the successful contractors for the two national wireless stations. Wireless equipment
started to become more common on ships.
1911 – February: the Federal Government notified Melville Road Board of its intention
to survey a site in Applecross. September – The Federal Government purchased the
Applecross site from London and Australia Investment Company and clearing of the site
and construction of the station commenced. The German Jetty (also later known as
Brick Landing) on the Swan River became the spot to where all the construction
materials were ferried.
1911-1912 – The Applecross Wireless Station was built on the peak of the hill. The
three buildings at the crest were originally the Operators Building, the Engine House,
and the Store (the store being built in 1915). The buildings were surrounded by three
large concrete anchor blocks (4.6m high) for the supporting mast guy wires. There was
also one small brick and tiled roof toilet, a buggy shed and stables, windmill and well.
The station had a mast 121 metres tall, weighing approximately 51 tonnes. A 1.5m
open picket fence surrounded the Engine and Operators building. The larger site was
fenced by a 1.8m high barbed wire fence. At the bottom of the hill at Hickey Street
(near Canning Highway) a group of dwellings were also constructed which housed the
operating and maintenance staff.

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1912 – The station became operational under the Postmaster General’s Department.
The original wireless equipment was a crystal receiver using local galena ore and a 25w
quenched arc transmitter supplied from Germany by Telefunken Company. It was
powered by a 60hp Gardiner engine driving a 50 cycle alternator.
Applecross Station was the first of a pair of Wireless Stations planned as part of a
national network to provide a communication link with London and to establish direct
wireless telegraphy communication across Australia. Wireless Hill was an exact pair to
the Pennant Hill Station in NSW although this has now been mostly demolished. These
stations together with smaller coastal stations in Melbourne, Hobart and Brisbane also
formed an important link in a network of coastal shipping communication around the
Australian coastline prior to World War One.

1913 – Amalgamated Wireless of Australasia Limited is formed with the merger of
Australasian Wireless Limited and Marconi Company.

Early roles of Wireless Hill included –
    24 hour surveillance for SOS messages from ships
    Sending medical advice to ships with no doctor
    Sending and receiving weather reports
    Sending time signal
    Communicating with Antarctic bases

1914-1918 World War One – The station played a significant strategic wartime
communication role and the surrounding bush was cleared at this time for security
reasons. During this time the Australian Navy took control and installed a 60KW
Poulsen arc transmitter and valve operated receivers.

1920 – Control of the station was returned to the PMG, then passing to AWA in 1922,
who installed valve transmitters.

C1925 – AWA installed a 5 KW coastal service transmitter for radiograms; equipment
for police communication VK-1 (in the Stores building), and a short wave broadcasting
station VK6-ME.

1931-32 – Nicholsons Ltd., who were the local agent for AWA, began commercial
broadcasting with a ‘B’ Class transmitter 6PR of 500W (Radio Station 6PR) via
Applecross Station. Wireless Hill was the original site of 6PR radio. Their 50th
anniversary was Oct 1981, and Oct 2011 is their 80th anniversary.

1931 document refers to the old access road as “Radio Drive”. This is possibly the
oldest known macadamised road in WA, and thus of heritage significance.

1938 – Work commences on upgrading housing in Hickey Street to include electric
power, water heaters and septic tanks.

1939 – The Royal Australian Navy (RAN) again takes over control of the Station, owing
to the outbreak of World War Two.

1942 – Generating machinery was removed from the Engine Room and the building
became the Transmitter Hall.
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1943 – The operating staff moved to Bassendean, where they were housed in a
concrete bunker.

1945 – RAN vacates the Station with the cessation of the war.

1946 – The operating staff returned to Applecross, while all the transmitting and
receiving equipment still remained in the original Engine Room/ Transmitter Hall.

1947 – Control of the station was moved to Overseas Telecommunications Commission
(OTC) who then moved the receiving equipment to Bassendean and the transmitter
operators to the old cable station at Mosman Park.

1954 – The mast is repainted.

1955 – The WA VHF (very High Frequency) group is established.

1958 – OTC informally discussed the closing of the site and Melville Road Board began
negotiating for the land with the assistance of the State Government.

1959 – The first television broadcast (TVW7) in WA via Applecross Wireless Station.

1960 – Two rhombic antennae were used for the NASA space mission.

1961 – Melville Road Board became the Shire of Melville.

1962 – Shire of Melville became the Town of Melville.

1962 – The 120m mast was replaced by a shorter mast of 46m. Two log periodic beams
were installed at the station by OTC as part of the NASA program.

1964 – The German Jetty was demolished.

1967 – Wireless Hill was rezoned as an A class Reserve and purchased jointly by Town
of Melville and the State Government. The original operators building became the
Caretaker’s residence. The 46m mast was dismantled.

1968 – OTC ceased all operations at the Station and moved to Gnangara. The Town of
Melville became the City of Melville. The transfer of land, now referred to as Swan
Location 8404, from the Crown was completed.

1969 – Applecross Wireless Station (fmr), also known as Wireless Hill was vested in the
City of Melville.

1971 – The hill was renamed Wireless Hill Park

1975 – A Museum was approved. The VHF Groups rendered assistance from the WH
headquarters during the Darwin Disaster (Cyclone Tracy), by special dispensation of the
PMG, handling messages from Darwin residents who were not able to use conventional
facilities, as these were being used by official and relief agencies.


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1979 – (14 October) the Museum was opened as a contribution to the 150 th Anniversary
celebrations of WA.

1980s – An extension is made to the Store building which became the control centre for
the State Emergency Service.


1992 – Wireless Hill was classified by the National Trust of Australia (WA).

1994 – The Institute of Engineers, Australia, erected a plaque at Wireless Hill in
recognition of the heritage significance of the former Wireless Station.

Heritage listings
Wireless Hill Park and Museum is listed separately in the City of Melville’s Municipal
Inventory and is listed as a heritage place of special significance. Both are also in the
State Register of Heritage Places, coordinated by the Heritage Council (adopted 2
September 1997) and are considered nationally important and are listed on the Register
of the National Estate.

Conservation Plan
A Conservation Plan was completed in 1998 and serves as a guide for management of
this Heritage Precinct.

Site Interpretation
An Interpretation Plan was completed in 2011 which integrates both the cultural and
natural heritage values of the site.




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Timeline of the Wireless Hill Telecommunications Museum and the
Formation and Use of the Collection
This section was prepared by Gina Capes Wireless Hill Project Curator City of Melville
(see referencing notes for previous timeline).
1962 – The original mast was dismantled; no longer used owing to advances in
technology.
1968 – Overseas Telecommunications Station (OTC) officially ceases operation. Mr
Norman Odgers was the station’s last Manager.
1970 – The WA VHF group approached the City of Melville Council (COM) and
submitted a proposal to establish a telecommunications museum in the building. Much
equipment had been amassed by the VHF over the years (acquired & donated).
1972 – The City of Melville 19 promulgated by-laws to enable the preservation of the
reserve and facilities, and was officially opened as a ‘park’ in that year.
1975 – Cyclone Tracey, Darwin. VHF group operating
radio communications onsite in main building are able
to assist by relaying communication from members of
public in Darwin with radio receivers who are cut off
from usual telecommunications (no phones/ electricity).
1978 – Museum planning continues to progress and
funds established to engage the services of Design
Consultant Mr Paul Green-Armytage (from WAIT now
Curtin University) to design the museum display.
The VHF group of WA (Inc) established the museum in
association with the City of Melville. A concept plan
was adopted with nine themes to be the focus.
The WA VHF Group passed the items over to the COM
for ongoing care and management. The COM
accepted financial responsibility for the Museum.
                                                                The collection before the
The Wireless Hill Telecommunications Museum Advisory Committee (WHTMAC) was
                                                       establishment of the museum 1978
formally constituted in June 1979, consisting of –    Photo Courtesy Paul Green-Armytage


             Mayor,
             Two Councillors,
             Director of the WA Museum (or nominee),
             Director General of Education (or nominee),
             Hon Curator,
             Two VHF group representatives.

There was also a Technical Advisory Group /Committee (TAG), which reported to the
WHTMAC. People who contributed their services in the initial stages included –
Betty Skinner (formerly Quicke)   Co-Ordinator
Harry Pearson                     Representative of Education Department
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Jack Walker                      Space exploration
Fred Hull                        Pioneer of Royal FDS
Tom Burg                         VHF Group
Jack O’Sullivan                  Hon Curator
Graeme Grieve
John Quicke                      TV & Radio
Paul Green-Armytage              Design Consultant
Jim O’Toole                      OTC

Upon appointing the Hon Curator, Mr Jack Sullivan (in addition to the formation of the
Advisory Committee), the museum fulfilled the necessary requirements under the
Museum Act of 1973 to be officially endorsed as a municipal museum (Museums
Association of Australia).

Aug 1979 - original collection policy noted in committee minutes. The museum was
officially opened on 14 Oct 1979 by Mayor Howson. Attendance figures from Oct 1979
to Jun 1980 were recorded as 4048.
1980 – Mr Eric Smith becomes Hon Curator (previously site caretaker), now assuming
both duties and lived onsite in cottage (former operators building).




                              Eric Smith, Honorary Curator


Aug 1980 – Curator reports he is in the process of cataloguing all files and items in
“collection area”. The report to be submitted to the Advisory Committee for
recommendation (retain /dispose).

1981 – A special exhibition of Morse code keys (on loan from Mr David Couch) went on
display for May 16 and 17th. Over 75 keys were loaned, including the oldest one dating
back to c1876. (Newspaper clipping, 1981)
1982 – April minutes from meeting 20/4/82 item 4: ‘Evaluation of Museum Collection’ –
consideration by the TAG on the determination of significantly representative
equipment.
June 1982 – Museums Association of Australia accepted WHTM as a member and ABC
(Education Unit) – Schools program – “Here in the West” 29/6/1982 was recorded for
future museum use (copy unknown?).
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July 1983 – 50th anniversary of the launch of the First National Radio Station (1932)
October 1982 Jamboree of the Air (organised by VHF group) for the Scouts and Guides;
coverage by Channel 9 News team.
1983 – Museum Reference Library – 121 reference books accessioned, card indexed &
allocated catalogue numbers (Eric Smith, Hon Curator)
March 1983 – Special temporary exhibition of North West Gas Project.
July 1983 – Jamboree of the Airwaves (WIA group), Scouts & Guides.
1984 – Telethon fundraiser appeal – Wild Geese International: command post on CB
radio at Wireless Hill.
1986 – A plaque of the City was dedicated to Mr Fred Hull for outstanding contribution
(16 years) to the WH collection, 50 years affiliation with the Royal Flying Doctor Service.

1987 – A visit from international guest Anne Moncrieff, Head of Conservation at the
London Science Museum.
1988 – October – donations from the former Telecom Museum (now closed) has left the
WHTM desperately short of space (noted in advisory meeting minutes).
1989 – Mr Couch officered to donate part of his Morse code key collection.
1990 – Mr Eric Smith passed away. Museum
without Curator for over 6 months.
1991 – Appointment of new Hon Curator and
Caretaker, Mr Andrew Davey.
1992 November 21-22: Talking to the World;
the History of Telecommunications in WA. This
was a major event in the museums history –
link up to other museums and stations
worldwide and NASA.


1994 –Wireless Hill was recognised by the Institution of Engineers for its significant
contribution to telecommunication links between Australia and the rest of the world. A
plaque ceremony commemorated this event.

1995 – January – Overland Telegraph Insulator and telegraph code books donated and
accepted into the collection.
1995 – (23 March AC minutes) A 2nd accessioning volunteer begins working on the
collection one day a week.
1995 – Advisory Committee starting to address:
   1. Terms of reference
   2. Mission Statement
   3. Why do we have a telecommunications museum?

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Late 1990s – focus at Melville turned to the opening of a new municipal museum, the
Melville Discovery centre (MDC), to be located at Civic Centre, showcasing local
Melville history. Around this time a Heritage and Museum Service Advisory Committee
was established (presumably amalgamated with the old WH advisory committee), to
cover all museum services.
2001 – MDC was officially opened, with newly appointed Curator Linda Tetley. MDC
continues to be the focus of Museum Services, and WH takes a back footing.
2002 – by early 2000’s the Morsecodian Fraternity indicated that they would no longer
volunteer to put on displays on Sundays, due to low attendances.
By mid 2000s – Museum no longer staffed by weekend volunteers, open by
appointment only with Local History Officer (weekdays only). VHF group and affiliates
continued to operate (on an ‘ad hoc’ basis) amateur radio activities out of the ham
shack side room.
October 2005 – Curator Karina Lamb conducted an open day onsite, which attracted
hundreds of visitors.
2007/8 – Community consultation commenced re: future visioning project for entire site
(including museum future).
2008 to 2011 – The museum continues to open by appointment only; tours conducted
be Local History Officer. Displays remain unchanged. Ongoing accessioning of new
items is actively discouraged owing to overcrowded storeroom, and lack of forward
planning.
2009-10 Curator sought Lotterywest funding to engage consultants Mulloway Studio to
prepare an Interpretation Plan, which will address the need for a holistic vision for the
site; a plan for the upgrade of facilities and conservation work to be carried out. This
also includes recommendations for the museum collection.
2010 – WIA (Wireless Institute of Australia) celebrates 100th anniversary with special
call sign licence to operate out of WH for a week in October.
Curators/Heritage Officers since 1979
   1. 1979                 Jack Sullivan (Hon Curator)
   2. 1980 – 1990          Eric Smith, previous fabricator (Hon Curator)
   3. 1991 – 1995          Andrew Davey, (Hon Curator)
   4. 1995 – 1997          Helen Burgess
   5. 1998                 Denise Cook (Heritage/ Museum Development Officer)
   6. 1997 – 2004          Caroline Crundall (Coordinator, Heritage/Museum Services)
   7. 2004                 Lee Ord (Cultural and Museum Officer for WH and MDC)
   8. 2004 – 2005          Karina Lamb
   9. 2005- 2009           Soula Veyradier
   10. 2009 – present      Gina Capes




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                          In 2011 the Museum is still actively used by Amateur Radio
                          groups who run an electronic mail post office in the open
                          storage room on the south side of the museum. The system
                          receives mail for users and directs mail to other ‘post offices’
                          when not destined for a local user. The difference between
                          this system and a conventional post office is that the mail is
                          electronic and sent using radios and modems.                The
                          equipment was owned and run by the Western Australian
                          Digital Communications Association and other Amateur radio
                          groups.




The History of the Museum Building
This history was compiled using information derived from the HCWA Register of
Heritage Places Assessment prepared on 22 September 2011 with permission from the
Office of Heritage.
1911 – Clearing of the site commenced.
1912 – The original 1912 station consisted of the Operators’ House (or Transmitter
Building), the Engine House (also known as the Generator Room or Transmitter Hall),
and later, the Store. Circulating water tanks were also installed near the Engine Room
for cooling purposes. The Engine House and Operator’s House were surrounded by a
1.5m open picket fence. The store, which was built after these two buildings (c1912 to
c.1920), and after the fence had already been erected, was always outside this
boundary. All the buildings had red face brick cavity walls with tiled roofs. The original
tiles were reportedly Marseille type and were replaced and this may have been done in
1942.
The Engine House is the largest of the three buildings, and currently houses the
Telecommunications Museum. It has two small additions including an outside toilet at
the north west corner which has been in existence for at least 50 years. The second
addition involved filling in the porch/veranda area with fibrous cement cladding to form a
small room. The Engine House has a concrete floor with channels or trenches cast in
for the provision of services to the original machinery. These channels are not visible
today as the museum flooring is carpeted. There are three internal trusses supporting
the roof which incorporates a longitudinal clerestory roof light. The three rooms have
tongue and groove timber ceilings on the rake. The interior has been redecorated over
the years and there is little resemblance to the industrial look in photos from the 1920s
and 30s.

A battery room ran along the side of the building, there are two large metal louvered
apertures, presumable to facilitate ventilation of the battery room. The floor of the
battery room was originally covered with lead, which was removed in 1942. The third
room is on the other side of the building, and in 1942 the Fordson auxiliary electric
generating set was housed there, prior to being shifted to the Store.

In 1942 the building became known as the Transmitter hall.

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1943 – The operating staff moved to Bassendean, where they were housed in a
concrete bunker.

1946 – The operating staff returned to Applecross, while all the transmitting and
receiving equipment still remained in the original Engine Room/ Transmitter Hall.

1947 – Control of the station was moved to Overseas Telecommunications Commission
(OTC) who then moved the receiving equipment to Bassendean and the transmitter
operators to the old cable station at Mosman Park.

1968 – OTC ceased all operations at the Station and moved to Gnangara.

1968/69 – Unfortunately there were several episodes of vandalism to the buildings after
OTC moved out and before City of Melville moved in, including the smashing of
windows and removal of all metal fittings. Although the buildings at this point were under
threat of demolition, this did not end up occurring, however the timber feeder switching
towers, of which there were three surrounding the former Engine House were
dismantled and all associated wiring within the Engine House were removed.

Late 1960s early 70s – The VHF Group operates its radio communications from WH
headquarters, and starts to amass a collection of various telecommunications
equipment that is stored in the Engine Room. This will go on to form the beginnings of
the museum collection.

1975 – A Museum was approved.
1979 – (14 October) the Museum
was opened as a contribution to
the 150th Anniversary celebrations
of WA.

1980 – Although there are a
number of porcelain insulated
connectors remaining on the walls,
other porcelain stand off insulators
were removed from the ceiling
structure during renovations for the
museum in 1980.

To present day – the Engine Room
houses     the     Wireless   Hill
Telecommunications Museum.                      Wireless Hill Engine Room date unknown




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Comparative Analysis
Comparative Collections within Western Australia
The Inter-Colonial Communications Museum in Albany in the former Old Post Office
was the only other specific repository for communications equipment in WA. However,
when University of WA took over the site the collection was given to the Albany
Historical Society to display at the P&O Co-operative Storage Museum. The small
collection comprises a number of items such as a telephone box and teletype machine
but most of the collection is in storage and has not been displayed. A small collection of
communications equipment associated with Post Offices can also be found at the Post
Office Museum at Jarrahdale. It has a collection of comparative material such as Morse
code keys, telephones and switchboards and also does Morse code demonstrations.
The Wireless Hill Museum is the only museum solely focused on the historical collection
of telecommunication artifacts in the state.

Comparative Collections in Australia
Victoria
Museum Victoria visits the Victorian Telecommunications Museum, Melbourne.
“The museum is housed in the Telstra Hawthorn telephone exchange near Glenferrie
Station and is managed by a group of volunteers who are passionate about preserving
Australia's telecommunications heritage. The items come from both Telstra and the
volunteer affiliate that manage the collection. A highlight was a Morse code
demonstration from Brian, John and Bob, members of the Victorian Morsecodian
Fraternity who meet at the museum every week. They explained how Morse code
worked and reminisced about the days when they would hop on the red Post Master
General bike and deliver the typed messages to their recipients, including some lottery
winners”.6 Open by appointment only.




                                     Telephone Box Display
                         Photo Courtesy of Nicole Alley, Museum Victoria


6
 http://museumvictoria.com.au/about/mv-blog/dec-2010/victorian-telecommunications-museum-visit/
accessed 19 September 2011
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South Australia
Whyalla Telecommunications Museum
Part of the Mt Laura Homestead Museum in Whyalla, the Telecommunications Museum
was opened in November 1997, and contains an historic collection of artefacts covering
Australian telecommunications history. The items range from the overland telegraph era
(1870) to modern satellite communications. An extensive collection of Morse code,
telephone, telegraph, radio and associated equipment can be viewed, along with
pictorial and three dimensional displays. Also on display are several items from the
original overland telegraph line.7 Phil Fisher caretaker of Mt Laura Homestead Museum
said the collection was formerly the South Australian Telstra Collection. The collection
is almost intact but static as the display has not been updated to reflect modern
changes in technology. 8

Adelaide Telecommunications Museum Electra House Adelaide
The Telecommunications Museum features mementos of the postmaster Charles Todd,
illustrates the arduous beginnings of communications in the second half of the 19th
Century and the laying of the overland telegraph line from Port Augusta to Darwin in
1872, later followed by the submarine cable to Java which made possible long-distance
communication with Europe.9 Research to determine the status of the museum
revealed the museum was closed a number of years ago the whereabouts of the
collection is unknown.10

Queensland
Queensland Telecommunications Museum, Brisbane
The Postal Telecommunications Historical Society of Queensland was formed in 1952
to protect objects and memorabilia for future generations to learn about the history of
telecommunications in Queensland. Opened on Wednesday 9am-2pm. Excellent
website and photograph display.11

New South Wales
Communication Museum, Bankstown
The NSW special interest group of the Australian Computer Society has an affiliated
Historical Society which is dedicated to the preservation of historical artefacts and
heritage items. The purpose of this group is to nurture, maintain and preserve the
historical material of telecommunications generally, and specifically to collect and
preserve historical telecommunications industry photographs, artefacts and
memorabilia. The group undertakes a curatorial role and manages the NSW part of
Telstra's historical collection, which comprises material from both Telstra and OTC
Australia collections..12



7
  http://www.whyalla.com/site/page.cfm?u=94 accessed 19 September 2011
8
  Personal Communication Phil Fisher Caretaker Mt Laura Homestead Museum 20 September 2011
9
  http://www.planetware.com/adelaide/telecommunications-museum-aus-sa-atm.htm accessed 19
September
10
   Personal Communication with David Byrne President of the South Australian Aviation Museum 17
October 2011
11
   http://www.telemuseum.org/index-2.html accessed 19 September 2011
12
   Accessed 19 September 2011
http://www.acs.org.au/nsw/index.cfm?action=search&temID=NSWSEAWEB&criteria=2010&pageno=1&s
earch=1&but_search.x=32&but_search.y=8
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Brian Miller general manager supplied information about the Communication Museum
which is open two days a week and features in the collection: a rare Mark II speaking
clock, a full range of antique phones from 1878, working telephone exchanges, flying
doctor pedal generator, offers a nostalgic trip through history and Morse code
demonstrations. There is no military communication equipment or interpretation of the
space communication story.

Tasmania
The Telecommunications and Post Office Museum
This museum occupies a government building dating from 1838. It has on display an
exhibition on the history of postal services and a collection of old telephone apparatus.13

The Tasmania Museum and Art Gallery, Hobart
The main museum of Tasmania has a significant Postal and Telecommunications
photograph collection from the 1850s to the 1970s.14

Northern Territory
No telecommunication museums found

Telecommunication Collections in the World
Major museums can be found in
Frankfurt, Germany
London, UK
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Reykjavik, Iceland
Scotland, UK

People contacted in the course of comparative analysis studies:
Mal McGragh                                   Telstra Museum, NSW 02 9790 76
National Trust of Australia (SA)              8202 9200
South Australia Tourist Bureau                1300 764 227
Sue Horton Collection Co-ordinator            P&O Co-operative Storage Museum
Albany Visitors Centre                        9841 9290
Jennifer Cane                                 Tasmanian Museum 6211 4190
Phil Fisher                                   Mt Laura Homestead Museum Whyalla

Conclusion of Comparative Analysis
Postal and Telecommunication Museums in Australia can be found in nearly every state
of Australia. Telstra museum collections remain actively visited and cared for in
Queensland, Victoria and New South Wales. South Australia’s Telecommunication
Museum used to be housed in the heritage listed Electra House in Adelaide but is now
closed. Some of Western Australia’s Telstra collection was given to Wireless Hill
Museum when it closed in the 1980s but the majority is thought to have been shipped to
Melbourne.

13
   http://www.planetware.com/hobart/telecommunications-and-post-office-museum-aus-tas-htpom.htm
Accessed 19 September 2011
14
   Accessed 19 September 2011
http://www.tmag.tas.gov.au/collections_and_research/photographic_collection/key_photographic_collecti
ons
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World-wide there are also many telecommunications museums tackling the task of
interpreting the themes of Morse code and the development of the telephone system.
Themes not strongly explored in the other Australian state museums are the
contribution of Australia to communication in the US space program and in the
development of military telecommunication. These are two themes with that could be
explored further by Wireless Hill temporary exhibitions.




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Statement of Significance: Wireless Hill Telecommunications Museum
Collection
The Wireless Hill Telecommunications Collection has various levels of aesthetic,
historic, social and scientific significance. Owing to the technical nature of the collection
aesthetic significance has been assessed based on the design elements of the
artefacts. Those of high aesthetic significance include the early Western Australia built
radios, the equipment of the 1960s space program and some of the military
wireless/transmitters that were developed for World War Two which were notable for
their design innovation.

The Wireless Hill Collection has mostly moderate historic significance. The collection
represents the development of different areas of telecommunications but owing to the
lack of provenance or strong technical details of many of the artefacts historical
interpretation has been limited. However, there are some individual items of particular
note; the story of Australia’s communication role in the early space programs of the
1960s; some of the military radio transmitters have high historic significance and the
early television cameras reflect the history of the fledgling television industry in WA in
the mid-20th century.

The social significance of the Wireless Hill collection has been assessed as moderate.
Few of the items in the collection are valued highly by people beyond the small bands of
enthusiasts that support the telecommunications sector. However, it is recognised that
certain items in the collection hold a place of great value within the different specialist
groups which include subjects such as vintage radio, television and broadcasting,
military communication, VHF radio receiving and transmission and the significant
contribution to telecommunications by Morse code.

The collection has low scientific value as the artefacts make little to no contribution to
current scientific research and have little potential for future scientific investigations.

The interpretative potential of the collection is low to moderate. Most of the equipment
does not work and makes little contribution to the understanding of point to point
communication. Added to this many of the items in the collection are not well
documented so the creation, place of origin and chain of ownership are unknown or the
provenance is unreliable, making interpretation difficult. Contrary to this is the Morse
code collection which is in working order and can, and has been, used to show how the
development of Morse code and its related equipment changed world-wide
communication.

The condition of the collection ranges from poor to excellent though storage
environments are mostly very good. Some of the items are not intact but have been
kept with the intention of restoration or using for spare parts.

Telecommunication collections are held in every state in Australia therefore much of
what is held at Wireless Hill is not rare and can be replaced on the open market owing
to being valuable to collectors (such as the domestic radios). However, as this is the
only major collection of telecommunications in Western Australia, that is publicly
accessible, some of the items have been classified as rare. This includes most of the
artefacts used in space exploration communication and some of the military radios. A

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number of the Western Australian developed and built radios are also highly significant
owing to their rarity.

An item that has good provenance (though not strongly representative of the theme of
telecommunications) is the PDP6 computer has been designated very rare and has
been sought by an overseas collection institution.

Items assessed as having National significance:
Equipment from the Space program

Items assessed as having State significance:
    Morse Key Collection
    Two Channel Morse Undulator
    Hoyts Theatre Three Phase Mercury Rectifier
    PDP6 Computer
    Japanese Portable Military Radio
    Wireless Set 108
    RAAF ATR4 Coast Watch Transmitter/Receiver
    C11 Transmitter and R210 Receiver with User Handbook
    AR7/8 Receivers
    Zephyr 300am Transmitter and Base Operator’s Console
    Royal Flying Doctor Items on Display (more research needed)
    Domestic Radio Collection
    Domestic Radio Collection Made in Western Australia
    Console Radios Made in Western Australia
    Mulgaphone
    6KY and 6ML Microphones
    Channel 7 Television Tape Recorder (RCA-TRT-1B)
    Marconi Monochrome Camera
    Channel 7 Monochrome Camera
    The Space Exploration Collection including the recording of 1962 City of Light
      recording
    QSL Cards

WARNING: There is remnant mercury in the mercury arc rectifier which is a fragile glass
artefact. Move with care.




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Part Two
Individual Key items: Wireless Hill Telecommunications 1912-1967




                                                                          Cable



                                  Glass Insulators




      Aerial Coil

Name:         Remnants of the Wireless Hill Station
Category:     Wireless Hill
Location:     Museum/Storage/City of Melville Archives

Historical Notes
Very few items actually associated with Wireless Hill telecommunications site from
1912-1967 have been kept. These items are the few in the collection with proven
provenance.

Aerial Coil
The frame was originally wound with copper wire and was used as an aerial loading coil
for the antenna for long wave transmission to shipping. It was not completely replaced
until the advent of high frequency transmitters prior to World War II. This was the only
piece of equipment in the building when it was acquired by the City of Melville in 1969.
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Glass Insulators
The broken glass insulators were found on the site of Wireless Hill in what appeared to
be a dumping ground of the Station. The insulators carried the full weight of the tower,
in sets of three, each being separated with a flat plate. The purpose of the insulator was
to prevent interference from static electricity although on occasion they were damaged
by lightning strike and thus the shattered remains were thrown onto waste ground. Part
of the original glass insulators were accidentally recovered by first Curator Mr J. Sullivan
during the process of excavations onsite. The undamaged insulator, found locally in
Alfred Cove, was held at the museum as an example of what the broken ones would
have looked like before shattered.

Cable Samples
Along with the remnant cable from the actual site (shown above) there is also a
presentation case of submarine cable samples in the museum collection which
commemorated the completion of the telegraph line connecting Broome and Java in
1888. The current was carried by a cluster of copper wires in the centre of each cable,
while the larger steel rods gave the cables strength. The slimmer cables were used in
the quiet deep ocean, and the thicker cables were used near the shore, where
turbulence is greater and there was more chance of damage.

Oral History
There is one oral history (OH100/1A-C) that related specifically to the Wireless Hill
Collection from Mr Ellis Henry Smellie, who was a Warrant Telegraphist at the
Applecross Wireless Station from 1921. He also lists all other staff employed at the
time and other stories and snippets about the staff and their families. He also worked at
Geraldton and knew staff located at various other locations. His monologue also
includes early life in the Palmyra area (mainly the Groves Family), Applecross and
Canning Bridge locales.


Significance
Assessment and Comparative Criteria High                                          Low
Aesthetic Significance                      1         2       3    4         5
Historic Significance                       1         2       3    4         5
Social/ Spiritual Significance              1         2       3    4         5
Science/Research                            1         2       3    4         5
Rarity value                                1         2      3     4         5
Condition                                   1         2       3     4        5
Representativeness                          1         2       3    4         5
Interpretative Potential                    1         2       3    4         5
National Significance X              State Significance X       Local Significance 




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Statement of Significance – Wireless Hill Telecommunications
The collection of items directly attributed to the Wireless Hill Station have moderate to
low aesthetic, historic, social and scientific significance. The items are small in number,
mostly in poor condition and collectively are unable to contribute to the story of the
important telecommunications development in 1912 or the operations up until it closed
in 1967. The single criterion under which these items are assessed as high is rarity as
these are the only items that exist to represent the history of the Station. Of particular
note however, is the one Oral History interview and transcript that exists which may
provide material for further subjects for research.




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Individual Key items: Morse Code Equipment

Morse Telegraphy
Morse telegraphy was invented in 1838 by Samuel Morse, a portrait painter and amateur
scientist from Massachusetts in the USA. Prior to Morse’s invention, most systems of
telecommunication were based on a “line of sight” principle (such as semaphore flags), but
these were prone to failure, labour intensive and only practical over very short distances.
Morse based his invention on the fact electricity travels down a wire quickly. Morse
reasoned if the electricity could be generated in a coded series of pulses then those pulses
could represent a language and be deciphered a great distance away, almost
instantaneously.

At first, reception to Morse’s invention was lukewarm. It was not until 1844 that the first
telegraph line was installed, running between Washington and Baltimore. The railways
found the system useful for communicating between stations, and helped popularise the
new scheme. By 1850, an undersea cable linked England and France, and by the time of
Morse’s death in 1872, telegraph lines crossed the North American continent and linked the
United States with Europe. Australia became part of the global telegraph network with a
cable between Darwin and Java in 1872. All telecommunications were performed with
Morse code (including the radio signal broadcast from Wireless Hill) up until the 1920s when
sound transmission was developed. In 1920 Spark Gap Transmitters were replaced with
Valve Transmitters, but Wireless Telegraphy (WT) and Morse code still remained the
primary long distance method of communication until the Station closed in 1968. Radio
Telephony (RT) that is, voice communication, was still in its experimental stage and WT was
far superior because of recognisability in situations of high interference and low power.
When operations were transferred to the OTC at Gnangara, Morse code continued to be
used, albeit on a declining basis, until 31st January 1999.

The following items are part of a collection of items held at the museum associated with the
history of Morse code which was the mode of communication used on Wireless Hill from
1912 until OTC changed the system after World War Two. In 2011 a table with Morse keys,
sounders and other related equipment needed for demonstrating the active use of Morse
code was held at the Museum but was owned by the Western Australian Morsecodian
Fraternity to display the effectiveness of this historical form of telecommunications.

The Keys, Sounders, Line Relays, Galvanometers and the Typewriter (possibly the
telephone) would all have been in existence when the Wireless Station was operating.
A landline connected the Station to the Chief Telegraph Office (until 1923 in the Old
Treasury Building, then new GPO in Forrest Place) via the Applecross Post Office,
Similarly the Esperance Wireless Station (VIE) was connected to Esperance Post
Office, Geraldton (VIN) to Geraldton PO, Broome (VIO) to Broome Post Office and
Wyndham (VIW) to Wyndham Post Office.

The telegraph equipment has been used on numerous occasions for active displays
during visits from school children, Probus clubs, engineering students and aged groups.
It has also been used for re-enactments of historical and centenary events associated
with Morse communication. On at least two occasions, interstate connections have
been made and messages exchanged with Adelaide and the Eden (NSW) museum.


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                       The Morsecodian Fraternity Display Table

Whilst most of the Morse collection was on display, during the course of this project one
of the members of the Morsecodian Fraternity, Barrie Field, helped identify the Morse
related items in the storage room.

The Morse collection includes

 1. Dave Couch Morse Key Collection           On Display
 2. Three Polarised Relays                    Store Room
 3. Three artificial line resistors           Store Room
 4. A Practice Morse Code Set                 Store Room
 5. A Variable Artificial Line Resistor       Store Room
 6. Two Channel Morse Undulator               On Display
 7. Perforated Tape reader                    On Display
 8. BPO Pattern Polarised Relay               On Display
 9. Varley Galvanometer                       On Display
 10. Typewriter                               On Display




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Name:               Morse Keys
Category:           Wireless Hill Telecommunications
Location:           Museum Storage




                       Selection of Keys from Dave Couch Collection



Photographs - Morse Keys- Top Line
No.1 Make –Eddystone Semi-Automatic (UK) - Circa 1948 - It is unlikely that any of
these keys were used at Wireless Hill.

No.2 Make – Simplex Auto Semi-Automatic (Aust) – Circa 1920 – It is highly probable
that this type was used at Wireless Hill.

No.3 Make – Marconi Straight Key (UK) – circa Early 1900s – It is not likely that this
make of key was used at Wireless Hill – The German company Telefunken won the
contract to build the station and would no doubt have installed their equipment.

Morse Keys – Bottom Line
No 1 Robley and Tough Semi-Automatic (Aust) – circa 1920 approx. – It is possible that
this type was used at Wireless Hill.

No.2 Make – Vibroplex Semi-Automatic(USA) – Circa 1904 onwards – These were
manufactured in their thousands and were very popular worldwide – This particular
model appears to be a late model but it is very likely that an earlier model of this type
would have been used at Wireless Hill, especially as production commenced at a time
when    Wireless      Telegraphy   was        in     its    infancy     and    booming.
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Historical Notes
Morse code was first displayed in the world in 1844 and arrived in WA in1869. For such
a big continent it was a breakthrough in communication. It was used in WA on land up
to mid-1960s. Last world ship to shore use of Morse code was on 31 January 1999.
Barrie Field has recordings of these transmissions. Amateur radio buffs have become
the last bastion of Morse as it no longer officially used in Australia or in most world
communication but is still used in some countries for ship to shore communication such
as fishing fleets.

The Dave Couch Collection of Morse keys is part of a larger collection he had but on his
death the collection was divided amongst different groups. The collection gifted to the
Wireless Hill Museum has 35 keys. One of these, the Robeley and Tough key, is
considered rare.

J Robeley and F Tough formed a partnership in 1920 after resigning from the Western
Australian PMG Department. They started manufacturing the Robeley and Tough
Semi-Automatic keyer. The keyer was unusual in that the pendulum was fixed at the
back of the machine and pointed towards the operator. Their first factory was in the
back of the Horseshoe Café in Pier St, Perth, hence the name Piergraph which is
marked on the key. Robeley later sold out his share of the business to Tough for 150
pounds.

Significance
Assessment and Comparative Criteria High                                        Low
Aesthetic Significance                    1         2     3        4         5
Historic Significance                     1         2     3        4         5
Social/ Spiritual Significance            1         2      3       4         5
Science/Research                          1         2      3        4        5
Rarity value                              1         2      3       4         5
Condition                                 1         2     3        4         5
Representativeness                        1         2     3        4         5
Interpretative Potential                  1         2      3       4         5
National Significance X            State Significance          Local Significance 




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Name:                Perforated Tape Reader
Category:            Morse Code
Location:            On Display




Historical Notes
There were various types of Perforated Tape Readers used from the late 1800s up until
the 1980s. With early types the tape was hand punched with punches similar to leather
punches, a round one for dots and an elongated one for dashes - the tape was then fed
through a transmitter (the reader). At the receiving end it was received on an Inker.
Later types used a reperforator, with which the operator used a keyboard to type the
message and the reperforator punched holes in the tape. This was known as the
'Baudot Tape'. It used combinations of up to five holes across the tape to represent
different letters.

The machine in the image above, read information from pre punched paper tape, then
automatically transmitted that information in Morse via electrical impulses on a cable.
This technology was convenient for transmitting commonly repeated messages. Also,
because the tapes could be double checked prior to transmission, messages were far
less likely to go out with spelling mistakes or other errors. This type of technology was
not used at Wireless Hill Station.
The lack of provenance on this artefact impacts on the assessment of historic
significance.
Significance
Assessment and Comparative Criteria High                                       Low
Aesthetic Significance                     1         2     3     4         5
Historic Significance                      1         2      3    4         5
Social/ Spiritual Significance             1         2      3     4        5
Science/Research                           1         2      3    4         5
Rarity value                               1         2      3    4         5
Condition                                  1         2     3     4         5
Representativeness                         1         2     3     4         5
Interpretative Potential                   1         2      3    4         5
National Significance X             State Significance X      Local Significance 
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Name:                Two Channel Morse Undulator
Category:            Morse Code
Location:            On Display




Historical Notes
Morse signals received from undersea cables were inscribed onto paper tape by syphon
pens driven by the galvanometer. An undulating or wavy line was drawn onto the paper
tape as it was pulled under the pens. The height and length of these undulations could
be decoded by an operator into script. Operators had to be careful however, as they
were penalised for mistakes. The beauty of this machine was that it could take incoming
messages while the station was unattended, and there was always a “hard copy” if the
operator botched the translation.

Although the Two Channel Morse Undulator is very rare, it was only used at Cable
Stations, that is. the old cable station in Curtin Ave Cottesloe and perhaps Broome. It
would not have been relevant to Wireless Station. The technology dates back to the
early days of submarine cables (circa 1870s).

Significance
Assessment and Comparative Criteria High                                      Low
Aesthetic Significance                    1         2    3       4         5
Historic Significance                     1         2    3       4         5
Social/ Spiritual Significance            1         2     3      4         5
Science/Research                          1         2     3      4         5
Rarity value                              1        2     3       4         5
Condition                                 1         2    3       4         5
Representativeness                        1         2    3       4         5
Interpretative Potential                  1         2    3       4         5
National Significance X            State Significance         Local Significance 



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Name:        Telegraph Pole
Category:    Morse Code Display
Location:    Main Display Room




Historical Notes
This Siemens cast iron telegraph pole was part of the Roebourne Derby telegraph line,
completed in 1889. This line was the final section of a telegraph service linking Perth
and London, and was Australia’s third international telegraph link. Each telegraph pole
was strengthened by a tension cable and supported up to four insulators. In the very
early years the service was sometimes interrupted as local Aborigines discovered that
the glass insulators made good spearheads. Although the telegraph line was totally
obsolete by the 1950s, many of the poles still stand in isolated areas. This particular
pole came from Nita Downs station in the Kimberley, and was acquired by the museum
via the Royal Western Australian Historical Society.

The Roebourne-Derby telegraph line was part of the Perth-Wyndham line which
travelled via Newcastle (now Toodyay), Mullewa, Champion Bay (now Geraldton) and
then followed the coast to Broome where it diverted inland to Derby, Fitzroy Crossing,
Halls Creek, Turkey Creek (now Warnum) and terminated at Wyndham. The first
section of the line to Toodyay was opened for traffic in 1872 and towns were
progressively connected as the line extended northwards. To Geraldton 1874,
Carnarvon 1884, Roebourne 1885, Derby 1887 and Wyndham 1893. The main
interruptions to the line were caused by cyclones and sea mists which sometimes put
the line out of action for days on end. In 1889 a submarine cable was laid from Java to
Cable Beach, Broome. This was to provide an alternative circuit in the event of the
Java-Darwin cable (1872) or the Overland Telegraph Line Darwin – Port Augusta failing.
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A further cable was brought ashore in 1901 at Cottesloe WA where the former cable
station building still stands. This cable was from South Africa via Mauritius to Cocos
Island where it was joined with a cable from Ceylon and then continued on to Cottesloe.
It must be noted that there was no direct connection between the submarine cables, the
wireless stations or the PMG landline network. They were all separate systems but very
complementary to each other.

Information supplied by Richie Bright, Morsecodian Fraternity of WA.



Significance
Assessment and Comparative Criteria High                                     Low
Aesthetic Significance                    1         2      3    4         5
Historic Significance                     1        2      3     4         5
Social/ Spiritual Significance            1         2      3     4        5
Science/Research                          1         2      3     4        5
Rarity value                              1         2      3    4         5
Condition                                 1         2      3    4         5
Representativeness                        1         2     3     4         5
Interpretative Potential                  1         2      3     4        5
National Significance X            State Significance X      Local Significance 




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Statement of Significance – Morse Code Equipment
The Morse code equipment held at the Wireless Hill Museum has moderate aesthetic,
historic and scientific significance. The development of Morse code is an important
historical theme for telecommunications and the interpretive potential of these artifacts
combine to be able to tell this story. However, except for the Morse code keys little
information is available of where the equipment comes from or where it was used. Most
of the equipment is not rare. Exceptions to this include the Robeley and Tough key
which is of a distinctive design as well as being developed and made in Western
Australia.




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Individual Key items: Electronics
Name:         Valves
Category:     Electronics
Location:     Main Display Room




Historical Notes
Vacuum tubes were critical to the development of electronic technology which drove the
expansion and commercialisation of radio communication and broadcasting, television,
radar, sound production, large telephone networks, analogue and digital computers and
industrial process control. The historical collection of valves at the Wireless Hill
Museum ranges from 1883 to the 1920s. In the storeroom are many more boxes of
valves reflecting different ages, usages, condition and provenance.

Significance
Assessment and Comparative Criteria High                                    Low
Aesthetic Significance                   1         2     3     4         5
Historic Significance                    1         2      3    4         5
Social/ Spiritual Significance           1         2      3     4        5
Science/Research                         1         2      3    4         5
Rarity value                             1         2      3    4         5
Condition                                1         2      3    4         5
Representativeness                       1         2     3     4         5
Interpretative Potential                 1         2      3     4        5
National Significance X           State Significance X      Local Significance 




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Name:         Three Phase Mercury Arc Rectifier
Category:     Electronics
Location:     Main Display Room




Historical Notes
In the late 1920s this particular valve was installed in the Hoyts Ambassadors Theatre
in Perth to supply direct current (DC) for the projector lamps. Similar types of rectifiers
supplied high voltages for valve transmitters used in radio communications work.
These were very efficient, low impedance rectifiers where impedance was not related
to output current.

Donated by Mr G. Sturke

WARNING there is mercury still held in the base of the rectifier. This is a dangerous
substance and if this item is to be moved it should be done with absolute care and
attention.


Significance
Assessment and Comparative Criteria High                                          Low
Aesthetic Significance                      1        2       3       4         5
Historic Significance                       1         2      3       4         5
Social/ Spiritual Significance              1         2       3       4        5
Science/Research                            1         2       3      4         5
Rarity value                                1         2       3      4         5
Condition                                   1         2      3       4         5
Representativeness                          1         2      3       4         5
Interpretative Potential                    1         2       3      4         5
National Significance X              State Significance           Local Significance 



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Name:         Janus Controller Board
Category:     Electronics
Location:     Main Display Room




Historical Notes
Controller Board has integrated circuits and a microprocessor handling eight sets of
input and eight outputs as part of the Deltec Janus telemetry system. The micro-
Processor is four times more powerful and considerably faster, although several
thousand times smaller, than the first computer installed in Western Australia. The first
computer cost about one hundred times more than this microprocessor.

Donated by Deltect Pacific

Significance
Assessment and Comparative Criteria High                                        Low
Aesthetic Significance                     1         2       3    4         5
Historic Significance                      1         2       3    4         5
Social/ Spiritual Significance             1         2       3     4        5
Science/Research                           1         2      3     4         5
Rarity value                               1         2      3     4         5
Condition                                  1         2       3     4        5
Representativeness                         1         2       3    4         5
Interpretative Potential                   1         2       3     4         5
National Significance X             State Significance X       Local Significance 




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Name:         PDP6 computer
Category:     Electronics
Location:     Main Display Room

                                    Historical Notes
                                    This computer was manufactured by Digital
                                    Equipment Corporation (DEC) of Boston, USA, and
                                    bought by The University of Western Australia in
                                    May 1965, at a cost (then) of $351,000. It was a
                                    revolutionary computer at the time, being the first
                                    commercial time-shared computer, one that was
                                    able to operate on many tasks seemingly at the
                                    same time (actually switching rapidly between
                                    several tasks). It was also revolutionary in that the
                                    several tasks it performed were submitted and
                                    controlled by users sited at terminals (keyboards
                                    and printers or displays) at remote locations and
                                    connected to the PDP6 by telecommunications
                                    lines.

                                     In 1965, these data telecommunications lines
                                     operated at 110 and 300 bits/second. Terminals in
the 21st century connect with remote computers at speeds 10,000 and 1,000,000 times
faster. In its heyday (around 1970) there were over 50 terminals or devices/experiments
connected to the PDP6, mostly scattered around the Crawley campus of the University
of Western Australia, but some located at remote government laboratories around
Perth.

The fact that this computer could be used by many people at the same time, and
located remotely from the computer itself in their normal place of work, led in 1972 to a
unique collaborative venture between the Perth universities, the CSIRO, various state
government departments, and health and other education institutions. This was the
Western Australian Regional Computing Centre, run by The University of Western
Australia to serve the scientific, engineering and education needs across Perth,
including also many engineering and mining companies.

Written by Professorial Fellow Alex Reid from the University of Western Australia for the
Wireless Hill Telecommunications Museum in 2009.

Significance
Assessment and Comparative Criteria High                                         Low
Aesthetic Significance                     1        2      3        4         5
Historic Significance                      1         2     3        4         5
Social/ Spiritual Significance             1         2      3        4        5
Science/Research                           1         2      3       4         5
Rarity value                               1        2      3        4         5
Condition                                  1         2      3        4        5
Representativeness                         1        2      3        4         5
Interpretative Potential                   1         2      3        4         5
National Significance X             State Significance          Local Significance 

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Statement of Significance - Electronics
The electronics collection has moderate to low aesthetic, historic and scientific
significance to the Wireless Hill Telecommunications Museum. The two computer
related items, the Janus and the PDP6, while of interest historically and rare are not part
of the historical telecommunications story. None of the artefacts in this display are
directly associated with the former Wireless Hill Station and many do not have any
provenance to contribute to the interpretive value of the artefacts. Other than the two
computer examples, a further exception to this is the mercury arc rectifier from Hoyts
theatre. Though again not directly part of the telecommunications theme, this fragile
glass artefact has high aesthetic value owing to its complex design and is a good
example of this class of rectifiers that supplied high voltages for valve transmitters used
in radio communications work.


WARNING there is mercury still held in the base of the rectifier. This is a dangerous
substance and if this item is to be moved it should be done with absolute care and
attention.




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Individual Key items: Military Communication
The following is an inventory prepared by Frank Beardmore a volunteer
Communications specialist from the Army Museum of WA with the help of fellow
volunteer from the museum and Heritage TODAY intern, Shaun Lee. They spent two
days compiling the inventory that indicates usage by the RAN and RAAF as well. Frank
said that a number of the items are rare or in good condition compared to those held in
other comparable collections. He nominated the more distinctive items for individual
significance assessment and supplied information regarding their use though the
individual provenance of the items mostly remains unknown.

1. Wireless set No. 101                        Receiver/transmitter Morse voice HF
                                               Frequency General use WWII
2. Wireless set No. 101                        Receiver/transmitter Morse voice HF
                                               Frequency General use WWII
3. Wireless set No.101                         Receiver/transmitter Morse voice HF
                                               Frequency General use WWII
4. Wireless set No.101 Power Supply            Receiver/transmitter Morse voice HF
                                               Frequency General use WWII with
                                               101 set
5. Wireless set No.101 Power Supply            Receiver/transmitter Morse voice HF
                                               Frequency General use WWII with
                                               101 set
6. Day Night boxed signalling lamp             WWII
7. Rotatable loop unit antenna                 WWI vehicles and tanks
8. Wireless set No.108                         Receiver/transmitter man pack WWII
9. Wireless set CRFI/CPRC-28                   Receiver/transmitter man pack WWII
10. Oscillator test unit VHF No.1              Testing Transmitters
11. Power supply No.19 set                     For 19 set in vehicles and tanks
                                               WWII
12. Wireless set A510 in box                   Manpack Rec/Trans post WWII
13. Spare valves box for W.S. 101
14. Wireless set AN-PRC9A                      Manpack Rec/Trans VHF post WWII
15. Wireless set AN-PRC10                      Manpack Rec/Trans VHF post WWII
16. Power supply C11 set                       X2
17. Receiver R210, junction boxes              X2 Box of earphones microphones
17b box earphones, microphones                 and junction boxes. For c11 set. For
                                               c11/12210 TRANS/REC
18. Wireless set C11                           HF receiver for w/s C11 Transmitter
19. Wireless set C11 aerial tuning unit        HF receiver for w/s C11 Transmitter
20. Wireless set C11 No11                      HF receiver for w/s C11 Transmitter/
                                               receiver WWII
21. Box spare valves wireless set No.11        WWII
22. Low power supply for W/S No.11             WWII
23. High power supply for W/S No.11            WWII
24. Wireless set (w/s) No.11                   (incomplete) Microphones-
                                               earphones cables Transmitter/
                                               receiver WWII
25. Low power supply for No11 set              Vehicle tank general use WWII

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26. High power supply for No11 set              Vehicle tank general use WWII
27. Radio receiver BC-312M                      Post WWII
28. Wireless set No.19                          X2 Tank and general use WWII
                                                (Incomplete)
29. Radio receiver BC-312M                      Navy
30. Radio receiver AR3132                       Navy
31. Teletype mod14-110v AC                      Used for cutting trans tapes
32. Antenna box model 2B2                       Navy
33. Test set BA27 (Navy 19014)                  Navy
34. Wireless set B47                            Receiver/transmitter 1960’s
35. Teletype writer AN/PGC-1                    WWII to 1950’s
36. Frequency meter BC221-N                     Radio test equipment
37. Calibrator crystal N010                     For wireless set No.62
38. Frequency meter BC-221-N                    Radio test equipment
39. Power supply for W/S 101
40. Wireless set No.11                          Rec/trans-vehicle tank general WWII
41. Wireless set No.19                          Rec/trans-vehicle tank general WWII
42. Wireless set No.22 Has Aerial tuning unit   Has Aerial tuning unit
                                                Rec/trans-vehicle tank general WWII
43. Wireless set No19 power supply MK2          X2
44. Receiver type R1082                         Navy
45. Wireless type ATR4                          RAAF used WWII by coast watchers
46. Amplifier RF No.2 Mk 2 (Aust)
47. Box spare valves
48. Reception set R209                          Receiver No 11
49. Wireless remote control unit A              For remote operation of W/S WWII
50. Wireless set No11                           X2
51. Wireless set No.11 low power supply         X2
52. Wireless set No.11 High power supply
53. Wireless set No.11                          X2 Rec/trans-vehicle tank general
                                                WWII
54. Wireless set No.62                           Transmitter /receiver post WWII
55. Wireless set No.19                          Rec/trans-vehicle tank general WWII
56. Wireless set No.101                         Receiver/transmitter Morse voice HF
                                                Frequency General use WWII
57. Test set type A74A                          RAN/RAAF test set
58. Power supply PP109AGR                       Power supply for above
59. Field telephone cy-1277b/TT                 X2 USA
60. Wireless set BC-611-B rec/Tran              X2 USA “Walkie talkie” WWII
61. Japanese Morse key                          WWII
62. Wireless remote control unit A              See 49
63. W/S No19 Aerial variometer MK3/1            Aerial tuning unit for W/S No19
64. Wireless set No11                           Includes High power supply unit
                                                Rec/trans-vehicle tank general WWII
65. Tuning coils for AR7 (7 of)
66. Wavemeter classic No1-LP. No1
67. Wireless set 101 (modified)                 Transmitter/ Receiver

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68. Wireless set 101                             Receiver/transmitter Morse voice HF
                                                 Frequency General use WWII
69. Accessory Bag An-PRC25 set
70. AR7 receiver                                 AR7 receiver WWII
71. Lorenz transmitter                           WWII U boat
72. AR8 receiver                                 Receiver WWII
73. AMT150 transmitter                           RAAF
74. BC611F Rec/Trans                             “Walkie talkie”
There is no Number 75, 76 or 77
78. Japanese portable telegraph transmitter      WWII display
79. AR8 receiver                                 On Display
80. Rotatable loop unit antenna                  Display

Name:         Japanese Portable Radio
Category:     Military Communication
Location:     On Display

                                              Historical Notes
                                              This is a Japanese Field or Patrol radio
                                              thought to have been captured from the
                                              Japanese in World War Two. There is no
                                              provenance, donor information or technical
                                              information supporting this radio. However,
                                              it is known that the Japanese had
                                              developed this lighter, very portable radio
                                              set whilst the allied forces still had to carry
                                              much larger and more cumbersome
                                              communications equipment.




Significance
Assessment and Comparative Criteria High                                           Low
Aesthetic Significance                    1       2          3      4        5
Historic Significance                     1        2         3      4        5
Social/ Spiritual Significance            1        2          3      4       5
Science/Research                          1        2          3     4        5
Rarity value                              1       2          3      4        5
Condition                                 1        2          3     4        5
Representativeness                        1       2          3      4        5
Interpretative Potential                  1        2         3      4        5
National Significance X           State Significance           Local Significance 



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Name:         Wireless Set 108
Category:     Military Communication
Location:     On loan to Western Australian Museum




Historical Notes
This radio transmitter was developed as a man pack field radio in 1941 for use by the
Australian Army during World War Two. It was used in Timor, and East Borneo by the
2/2nd independent Australian commando squadron (2/2nd IACS). Their tasks were to
infiltrate in small patrols behind the Japanese lines and together with the recruited
indigenous locals, disrupt and harass Japanese operations. Another task of the 2/2 nd
IACS was to operate the coast watch radio net in conjunction with the RAAF and report
on Japanese air and shipping movements in their patrol areas.


Significance
Assessment and Comparative Criteria High                                      Low
Aesthetic Significance                   1         2     3       4         5
Historic Significance                    1        2     3        4         5
Social/ Spiritual Significance           1         2     3        4        5
Science/Research                         1         2     3        4        5
Rarity value                             1        2     3        4         5
Condition                                1         2    3        4         5
Representativeness                       1        2     3        4         5
Interpretative Potential                 1         2     3       4         5
National Significance X           State Significance         Local Significance 




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Name:         Japanese Morse Key
Category:     Military Communication
Location:     Storage Room Wireless Hill Museum




Historical Notes
This is said to have been captured from the Japanese in World War II.


Significance
Assessment and Comparative Criteria High                                    Low
Aesthetic Significance                    1         2     3    4         5
Historic Significance                     1         2    3     4         5
Social/ Spiritual Significance            1         2     3     4        5
Science/Research                          1         2     3     4        5
Rarity value                              1        2     3     4         5
Condition                                 1         2    3     4         5
Representativeness                        1        2     3     4         5
Interpretative Potential                  1         2    3     4         5
National Significance X            State Significance X     Local Significance 




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Name:         BC611F Walkie Talkie
Category:     Military Communication
Location:     Storage Room Wireless Hill Museum




Historical Notes
A hand held High Frequency radio transmitter- receiver widely used by the American
Army and other allied forces including the Australian army for short range
communications. It was used in all WWII theatres of combat and logistics.


Significance
Assessment and Comparative Criteria High                                   Low
Aesthetic Significance                   1         2     3    4         5
Historic Significance                    1         2    3     4         5
Social/ Spiritual Significance           1         2     3     4        5
Science/Research                         1         2     3     4         5
Rarity value                             1         2     3    4         5
Condition                                1         2     3     4        5
Representativeness                       1        2     3     4         5
Interpretative Potential                 1         2     3    4         5
National Significance X           State Significance X     Local Significance 




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Name:          RAAF ATR 4 Coast Watch Transmitter/Receiver
Category:      Military Communication
Location:      Storeroom Wireless Hill Museum




Historical Notes
These radio sets first saw operations with the coast watchers on operations on New
Ireland in circa October 1943. This unit replaced a very heavy radio which required a
team of 13 to carry. In its first use a contact was made from a hillside on New Ireland to
Coast Watchers Headquarters in Northern Australia. New Ireland is an island off the
north east side of Papua New Guinea and was a strategic place of the Japanese –
Australian war campaign. During World War Two New Ireland was occupied by
Japanese Forces War 23rd January 1942. About 13,000 Japanese troops were still on
New Ireland in September 1945 when the HMAS Swan arrived to accept their
surrender.15



Significance
Assessment and Comparative Criteria High                                        Low
 Aesthetic Significance                    1        2       3     4        5
 Historic Significance                     1       2       3      4        5
 Social/ Spiritual Significance            1        2       3      4       5
 Science/Research                          1        2       3      4       5
 Rarity value                              1        2      3      4        5
 Condition                                 1        2      3      4        5
 Representativeness                        1       2       3      4        5
 Interpretative Potential                  1        2       3     4        5
 National Significance X           State Significance        Local Significance 


15
  http://www.newirelandtourism.org.pg/history.htm accessed 5 November 2011
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Name:          Navy Radio Receiver R3132
Category:      Military Communication
Location:      Store Room Wireless Hill Museum




Historical Notes
There is no provenance, donor, or use information of this radio receiver. Research has
shown the R3132 was also used by the Air Force in World War Two.16


Significance
Assessment and Comparative Criteria High                                     Low
 Aesthetic Significance                  1         2      3    4         5
 Historic Significance                   1         2      3    4         5
 Social/ Spiritual Significance          1         2      3     4        5
 Science/Research                        1         2      3     4        5
 Rarity value                            1         2      3    4         5
 Condition                               1         2      3    4         5
 Representativeness                      1         2      3    4         5
 Interpretative Potential                1         2      3     4        5
 National Significance X          State Significance X      Local Significance 




16
  http://home.btconnect.com/gmb/airequip.htm#R3132 Accessed 5 November 2011
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Name:                Wireless Set 11
Category:            Military Communication
Location:            Store Room Wireless Hill Museum




Historical Notes
This High Frequency transmitter-receiver wireless set was developed in 1939 in
Britain for military use in vehicles, armoured vehicles and base stations (such as
company, battalion, divisional and regimental headquarters). It was adopted by the
Australian Army and built under licence in Australia by AWA for use in World War
Two. Although rather heavy it was man packed in some operations, such as the
Kokoda Trail in New Guinea.




Significance
Assessment and Comparative Criteria High                                     Low
Aesthetic Significance                    1        2     3      4         5
Historic Significance                     1       2     3       4         5
Social/ Spiritual Significance            1        2     3       4        5
Science/Research                          1        2     3       4        5
Rarity value                              1        2     3       4        5
Condition                                 1        2    3       4         5
Representativeness                        1       2     3       4         5
Interpretative Potential                  1        2     3      4         5
National Significance X          State Significance X         Local Significance 




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Name:         C11 Transmitter and R210 Receiver with User Handbook
Category:     Military Communication Equipment
Location:     Storage Room Wireless Hill Museum




Historical Notes
This transmitter-receiver was introduced in 1959 and used in Vietnam. Six were sent
from an Eastern States Army Unit for use during the Empire Games 1968. At the time
these units were very advanced technology and the Army Signal Units based in Perth
requested the units not be sent back after the Games so they could use them in training.
These units were used extensively by the army until the mid-1970s.




Significance
Assessment and Comparative Criteria High                                       Low
Aesthetic Significance                    1         2     3       4         5
Historic Significance                     1        2      3       4         5
Social/ Spiritual Significance            1         2     3       4         5
Science/Research                          1         2     3       4         5
Rarity value                              1         2     3       4         5
Condition                                 1        2      3       4         5
Representativeness                        1        2      3       4         5
Interpretative Potential                  1         2     3       4         5
National Significance X            State Significance         Local Significance 




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Name:        AR7/8 Receivers
Category:    Military Communication
Location:    On Display




Historical Notes
AR7 Communications Receiver
General Description
The AR7 was produced during WWII by Kingsley Radio of Melbourne for the RAAF.
These receivers were used in ground stations for long range communication over fixed
circuits as well as for receiving signals from aircraft. The AR7 was based largely on the
National (USA) HRO model, a fact that did not go unnoticed by National. This was the
subject of litigation during the war years. Over 3000 of these receivers were produced
and for their time, produced excellent performance.

These sets were very popular with radio amateurs after the war and unfortunately
subject to many modifications. The Wireless Institute of Australia station, VK2WI at
Dural New South Wales was equipped with modified AR7's for many years. An
unmodified AR7 is rare. The Department of Civil Aviation used these sets for many
years in a highly modified form, requiring a new front panel. Refinements included
squelch and crystal locked coil boxes.

Technical Data
The set features two RF stages, a 6K8 mixer oscillator; 21F stages, an audio and output
stage and a 6C8 double triode as a BFO and S meter amplifier. The set was supplied
with 5 plug in coil boxes, enabling the range I25kc to 25mc/s to be covered. There is a
crystal filter and a multi-tapped output transformer. There is provision for two sets of
headphones as well as 600 and 1750 ohm outputs. The set was supplied with a
separate power supply, capable of 240 volt ac and 12 vdc operation. This was
comparatively large and bulky - but it was very stable. There was a tendency for
experimenters to build physically compact domestic receiver type power supplies to run
the sets - unfortunately this made the receiver much less stable. Detailed information
on the receiver was hard to find after the war. A version of the AR7 manual was
produced, copied from the original Kingsley handbook. A proper manual was produced
by the RAAF towards the end of the war, but these are quite rare.

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The AR7 went through many modifications in service, some may be found with a
cathode follower for RTTY added - there was also a modification to fit a panoramic
adaptor. A diversity reception adaptor was also produced utilizing a multi-channel
crystal locked oscillator. The AR7 even in the early 21st century would form the basis of
a good short wave listener's receiver. 17

A report from the Sunday Territorian stated when the world was in the grip of World War
Two and the Northern Territory was at the frontline of Australia’s defence, Coomalie
Creek became the setting for crucial war operation. From 1942 to 1945, a group of
officers based at the site known as the Section 51 Australian Special Wireless Group,
was at work intercepting radio signals from the Japanese army, navy and air force 18
using AR8 receivers. There were also other combined WRAAF and WRAAC signals
intelligence listening stations in Queensland and in Wharf St Queens Park WA,
reporting to the intelligence organization.



Significance
Assessment and Comparative Criteria High                                         Low
 Aesthetic Significance                    1         2      3       4         5
 Historic Significance                     1        2      3        4         5
 Social/ Spiritual Significance            1         2      3       4         5
 Science/Research                          1         2      3        4        5
 Rarity value                              1         2      3       4         5
 Condition                                 1        2      3        4         5
 Representativeness                        1        2      3        4         5
 Interpretative Potential                  1         2      3       4         5
 National Significance X            State Significance          Local Significance 




17
  http://www.vk2bv.org/museum/index.htm
18
  Sunday Territorian August 20 2000 SUNDAY MAGAZINE p.20
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Statement of Significance – Military Communication
The military communications equipment in the Wireless Hill collection has moderate
aesthetic significance. Design breakthroughs can be seen in the smaller items that
were important owing to their portability. The collection has little to no social or scientific
significance.

The criterion in which the military communication equipment rates higher is that of
historic significance. The history of communication during World War Two is reflected
strongly in the collection with many different radios and transmitters to show the
development of new technology. A lack of provenance and donor information, as well
as only moderate to poor condition of the artefacts, seriously impacts on the interpretive
potential of the military collection.

The focus of the collection is on World War Two though there are a few items from
World War One and the Korean and Vietnamese wars. Some of the items are rare but
the value of this collection is that it complements the theme of telecommunications well.
Most telecommunication museums in Australia focus on domestic or commercial
themes whilst the military equipment in this collection provides a good picture of the
items used in the field of war.




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Individual Key items: Transmitters/Receivers
Name:                Bureau of Meteorology Receiver
Category:            Transmitters/Receivers
Location:            Main Display Room




Historical Notes
This equipment is used to collect data from remote observation equipment including
conjunction with weather balloons launched at fixed times daily.

Significance
Assessment and Comparative Criteria High                                     Low
Aesthetic Significance                    1         2     3    4         5
Historic Significance                     1         2     3    4         5
Social/ Spiritual Significance            1         2     3    4         5
Science/Research                          1         2     3    4         5
Rarity value                              1         2     3    4         5
Condition                                 1         2    3     4         5
Representativeness                        1         2    3     4         5
Interpretative Potential                  1         2     3     4        5
National Significance X            State Significance X     Local Significance 




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Name:                Diversity Receiver Rack
Category:            Transmitters/ Receivers
Location:            Main Display Room

                                 Historical Notes
                                 This equipment is a type which came into use in the late
                                 1930s. It consists of two identical receiver units tuned to
                                 the same frequency but fed from differently placed aerials.
                                 At any instant the stronger of the two signals being
                                 received was fed to the common output. In this was the
                                 fading of signals was minimised and communications
                                 made more reliable. These receivers were used for point
                                 to point operation handling commercial traffic between
                                 distant permanent stations.       Over the years such
                                 communications links existed between Wireless Hill and
                                 Johannesburg, Nairobi, Singapore, Colombo and Various
                                 Other places. However, these receivers were never
                                 operated at Wireless Hill.

                                 Despite seeking information about this device through a
                                 number of agencies the rarity value could not be
                                 determined.




Significance
Assessment and Comparative Criteria High                                          Low
Aesthetic Significance                        1         2      3    4         5
Historic Significance                         1         2      3     4        5
Social/ Spiritual Significance                1         2      3     4        5
Science/Research                              1         2      3     4        5
Rarity value                                  1         2      3     4         5
Condition                                     1         2      3    4         5
Representativeness                            1         2     3     4         5
Interpretative Potential                      1         2      3     4        5
National Significance X                State Significance X      Local Significance ?



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Name:                AWA Automatic Distress Transmitter and Receiver 250 Watts
Category:            Transmitters/Receivers
Location:            Main Display Room



                            Historical Notes
                            This is a ships emergency transmitter from the 1920s. Apart
                            from providing normal transmission and reception for ships at
                            sea, this equipment could send out distress signals
                            automatically in an emergency: in this way no person needed
                            to remain on board to operate. It may well have been used to
                            communicate directly with Wireless Hill in its role as a
                            Coastal Radio Station which would certainly have been
                            monitoring the ‘distress frequencies’.

                            The small projections on the rotating discs (behind the
                            perspex cover) operate contact points which generate Morse
                            characters. The top disc has the ship’s call sign and
                            emergency signals permanently fixed and adjustable
                            character can be set to give the ships position. The lower
                            disc transmits the “all clear” to inform potential rescuers that
                            assistance is no longer required.


Despite seeking information about this device through a number of agencies the rarity
value could not be determined.


Significance
Assessment and Comparative Criteria High                                          Low
Aesthetic Significance                      1         2       3    4         5
Historic Significance                       1         2       3    4         5
Social/ Spiritual Significance              1         2       3     4        5
Science/Research                            1         2       3     4        5
Rarity value                                1         2       3     4         5
Condition                                   1         2       3    4         5
Representativeness                          1         2      3     4         5
Interpretative Potential                    1         2       3     4        5
National Significance X              State Significance X       Local Significance 




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Name:                Zephyr 300AM Transmitter and Base Operator’s Console
Category:            Transmitters/ Receivers
Location:            Main Display Room




Historical Notes
Zephr Transmitter
This transmitter is an example of those used at Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS)
bases throughout Australia between 1964 and 1973. These transmitters, developed by
Zephyr Products Melbourne, replaced the various World War II equipment in use at the
time. The Zephyr transmitters were amplitude modulated (AM) with an output power of
300 watts, the maximum power allowed by the licensing authorities. The transmitters
were replaced in 1973 by a single sideband system designed by Electronics Instrument
& lighting Co Pty Ltd (EILCO).
Base Operators Console and Control Rack
Used with the Zephyr transmitter. The rack was made locally by the RFDS and the
console by Crammond of Brisbane. These were installed at each base and gave
operators full control of transmitting and receiving equipment.
Donated by The Royal Flying Doctor Service
Significance
Assessment and Comparative Criteria High                                      Low
Aesthetic Significance                   1         2    3        4         5
Historic Significance                    1         2    3        4         5
Social/ Spiritual Significance           1         2    3        4         5
Science/Research                         1         2     3        4        5
Rarity value                             1         2     3       4         5
Condition                                1         2     3       4         5
Representativeness                       1         2    3        4         5
Interpretative Potential                 1         2     3       4         5
National Significance X           State Significance         Local Significance 


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Name:         Collins ART 13 Transmitter
Category:     Transmitters/ Receivers
Location:     Main Display Room




Historical Notes
The Collins ART 13 Transmitter was used at Royal Flying Doctor Service bases in Port
Hedland, Carnarvon and Meekatharra between 1956 and 1965. Transmitters of this
type were used in Allied bombers during World War II and then by some commercial
airlines. They were made available to the West Australian section of the RFDS. Through
the Department of Civil Aviation who also constructed the accompanying power supply
unit at a nominal cost. No suitable standard transmitters had been available after the
war and military surplus equipment, of this and other types, gave good service until
1965. Donated by the Royal Flying Doctor Service and Brigadier GP Hunt, CBE

Despite seeking information about this device through a number of agencies the rarity
value could not be determined. More investigation is needed to determine whether it
may be significant to the state. This item is designated to be kept in the refined
telecommunications collection of the City of Melville unless a more appropriate place,
such as an RFDS base, is found.

Significance
Assessment and Comparative Criteria High                                     Low
Aesthetic Significance                   1         2     3     4         5
Historic Significance                    1         2     3     4         5
Social/ Spiritual Significance           1         2     3     4         5
Science/Research                         1         2      3     4        5
Rarity value                             1         2      3     4         5
Condition                                1         2      3    4         5
Representativeness                       1         2     3     4         5
Interpretative Potential                 1         2      3    4         5
National Significance X           State Significance ?      Local Significance 


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Name:         Royal Flying Doctor Service display
Category:     Transmitters/ Receivers
Location:     Main Display Room




Historical Notes
The Homestead Radio Room display at the Wireless Hill Museum represented the
1940s era. The display is a reconstruction showing how the pedal set was an integral
part of outback life. The pedal powered transceiver, developed by Alfred Traeger in the
late 1920s made the Flying Doctor Service possible. The Flying Doctor concept could
only work if people in remote areas were able to call for help when needed. This meant
a radio set in every home capable of transmitting up to 500km. The problem was to
provide enough power at reasonable cost. The solution was to use the energy stored in
the human body. The pedal driven generator was the means of converting muscle
power into electrical power to operate the transceiver.
The Type 36 transceiver was produced in late 1935. This was the first Traeger
transceiver generally available. An earlier model of this set was the first to be used in
Western Australia. It was installed at Warranwagine Station in 1935. The transceiver
on display, Type 40A6 was produced in late 1939. This was the last model Traeger
transceiver to use a pedal driven generator to provide power for the transmitter. The
receiver operated from dry batteries. Voice communication with the base and other
outpost stations was possible over a distance exceeding 500km.

From 1940 Traeger transceivers came equipped with a vibrator power supply for both
transmitter and receiver operating from a six to seven volt car battery. Later models
were fully transistorised. Added to the importance of the radio was a full medical kit with
each item numbered for easy retrieval.

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Also part of the RFDS collection is a Coxon radio. Walter (Wally) Coxon was Chief
Radio Engineer for 6WF and also a licensed HAM radio operator. He designed and
manufactured many radio receivers to meet the specific needs of Western Australia.

Doctors could give advice over the radio about what to do to treat the patient and the
isolated people could respond with very little individual medical knowledge. The full
medical kit on display is from 1964.

There is an oral history recording by Fred Hull regarding the establishment of the RFDS
base at Port Hedland. The interview tapes are held in the City of Melville Archive.

Donated by The Royal Flying Doctor Service and Mr F Hull.

Despite seeking information about these items through a number of agencies the rarity
value could not be determined. More investigation is needed to determine whether it
may be significant to the state. Comparative research has shown a number of RFDS
historical collections and museums in other states and areas of WA. These artefacts
are designated to be kept in the refined telecommunications collection of the City of
Melville if a more appropriate place, such as a RFDS base, is not found.


Significance
Assessment and Comparative Criteria High                                        Low
Aesthetic Significance                    1         2      3       4         5
Historic Significance                     1         2      3       4         5
Social/ Spiritual Significance            1         2      3       4         5
Science/Research                          1         2       3       4        5
Rarity value                              1         2       3       4         5
Condition                                 1         2       3       4        5
Representativeness                        1        2       3       4         5
Interpretative Potential                  1         2      3       4         5
National Significance X            State Significance ?         Local Significance 




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Name:         Aeradio Transmitter J2876
Category:     Transmitters/ Receivers
Location:     Main Display Room




Historical Notes
Transmitters of this type were used for communications with aircraft. This example was
supplied by AWA in the original contract in 1938 and was used on the Perth-Adelaide
route. Later it was reconditioned in Perth and installed at Meekatharra when it was in
use between 1956 and 1973. The 1938 order contract for this piece of equipment
called for “Broadcast Quality Equipment” and because of the impending war also stated
that the equipment be of “Australian Manufacture”. Owing to these stipulations it is
thought the some of the features were unusual and out dated even at the time of
installation. The original paint colour was dark battleship grey.

The whereabouts of the 1938 AWA contract mentioned in the information panel is not
known. Despite seeking information about this device through a number of agencies
the rarity value could not be determined.


Significance
Assessment and Comparative Criteria High                                     Low
Aesthetic Significance                   1         2      3    4         5
Historic Significance                    1         2     3     4         5
Social/ Spiritual Significance           1         2      3     4        5
Science/Research                         1         2      3     4        5
Rarity value                             1         2      3     4         5
Condition                                1         2      3    4         5
Representativeness                       1         2     3     4         5
Interpretative Potential                 1         2      3     4        5
National Significance X           State Significance X      Local Significance 

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Statement of Significance – Transmitters/ Receivers
The transmitters and receivers in the Wireless Hill Collection that did not fit in the
themes of military or space equipment have moderate historical significance.
Assessment within the scope of this project proved difficult owing to a lack of
provenance. Much of this equipment appears to be in the museum because it was old
and information regarding its original usage is not available, combined this situation
impacts strongly on the interpretive potential.

In contrast to this is the Royal Flying Doctor Service equipment with a strong human
interest story that intrinsically portrays the Australian outback, hardship and medical and
education services to remote regions. Whilst this equipment is of interest to a
telecommunication museum collection, given the development of Visitors Centres at the
RFDS Bases throughout Australia since the turn of the 21 st century, it may be prudent to
repatriate the equipment to the centres where it could support the history of this
Australian institution.. Western Australia has five RFDS bases with two Visitors Centres
situated at Port Hedland and Kalgoorlie.




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Individual Key items: Domestic Radio Receivers and Speakers

The radios on display at the Wireless Hill Museum are listed below. The list was formed
with help from volunteer radio enthusiasts. Some are in the main display while others
are in the Open Storage Area without any interpretation. There are over 200 more
domestic radios in the store room of the museum and a small collection of portable and
console radios at the Hickey Street storage. A number of the radios are in poor
condition or have just been kept for spare parts or as decorative cases. Included in the
storeroom is an assortment of radio valves unlabelled and with unknown condition.

                   Radio and Speaker Type                        Location
1     Crystal set early 1920s                            On display
2     Home Made Crystal set 1920s                        On display
3     Mulgaphone 1923                                    On display
4     Pilot Super Wasp Battery Receiver                  On display
5     Igranic Receiver                                   On display
6     Telefunken Receiver                                On display
7     Portable Receiver 1924                             On display
8     Attwater Kent Receiver 1928                        On display
9     Console Radio                                      On display
10    Astor Mantle Radio 1934                            On display
11    Howard Dual Wave Console Radio 1934-45             On display
12    Raycophone Mantle Radio                            On display
13    Raycophone Pee-Wee Mantle Radio 1923-33            On display
14    Briton Mantle Radio 1935                           On display
15    Breville Mantle Radio 1941                         On display
16    General Electric (GE) Mantle Radio 1933            On display
17    AWA Radiolette Mantle Radio 1936                   On display
18    HMV Dual Wave Console Radio 1939                   On display
19    AWA Radiolette Mantle Radio 1938                   On display
20    Astor Aladdin Mantle Radio                         On display
21    Healing Golden Voice Mantle Radio                  On display
22    Kriesler Mantle Radio 1939                         On display
23    Astor Mickey Mantle Radio 1939-40                  On display
24    AWA Mantle Radio 1941                              On display
25    STC Mantle Radio                                   On display
26    Phillips Portable Radio                            On display
27    HMV Portable Radio 1953                            On display
28    Airzone Portable Radio 1940                        On display
29    Peter Pan Adventure Portable Radio 1947            On display
30    AWA Portable Radio 1953                            On display
31    Hot Point Portable Radio 1953                      On display
32    HMV Little Nipper Mantel Radio                     On display
33    An English Portable Radio Early 1950s              On display
34    STC Tymatic Alarm Clock Radio                      On display
35    Astor Mantel Radio 1950                            On display
36    HMV Table Radio 1949                               On display



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37    Astor Mantel Radio 2958                          On display
38    Stromberg Carlson Radiogram 1961                 On display
39    Admiral Mantel Radio 1959                        On display
40    Phillips All Transistor Radio 1961               On display
41    HMV Consort Portable Radio 1965                  On display
42    National Pandora 1963                            On display
43    Sharp 2 Band 10 Transformer Radio 1960           On display
44    Sanyo 3 Band Portable Radio 1970                 On display
45    National Transistor Portable Radio 1970          On display
46    Sony Solid State Transistor Radio 1979           On display
47    Beer Can Transistor Radio 1979                   On display
48    Sony Hi-Fi Stereo Receiver 1979                  On display
49    Sony Solid State FM/AM Portable Radio 1979       On display
50    Silver Escargot Portable Radio 1979              On display
51    Blue PYE Radio                                   Open Storage
52    A.G.E. Pandora                                   Open Storage
53    AWA Radiola                                      Open storage
54    Amateur Built Radio                              Open storage
55    RCA 103 Speaker                                  Open storage
56    Phillips Speaker                                 Open storage
57    AWA Speaker                                      Open storage
58    Brown Speaker                                    Open storage
59    Phillips Radio Player                            Open storage
60    Aerial Rotation Control Panel                    Open storage
61    Airzone Console Radio                            Open storage
62    Master Tone Console Radio                        Open storage
63    Unidentified Console Radio Brown central         Open storage
      circular dial
64    Unidentified Console Radio Large Wooden          Open storage
      Frame
65    Batyphone Console Radio                          Open storage
66    Saba Console Radio                               Open storage
67    Unidentified Speaker Round Brown                 Open storage
68    Unidentified Console Radio                       Open storage




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Name:                Domestic Radio Collection
Category:            Domestic Radio Receivers and Speakers
Location:            Main Display


                                                   Historical Notes
                                                   The domestic radio collection in
                                                   the museum is quite large. There
                                                   is a historical display of items
                                                   starting from early and basic
                                                   crystal sets up until the early
                                                   1980s on display. An assessment
                                                   by a member of the Vintage
                                                   Wireless and Radiogram Group
                                                   indicates there are not many items
                                                   of individual rarity as most things
                                                   could be replaced in the open
                                                   market      (except      for    the
                                                   mulgaphone).




Significance
Assessment and Comparative Criteria High                                     Low
Aesthetic Significance                   1       2      3       4         5
Historic Significance                    1        2     3       4         5
Social/ Spiritual Significance           1        2     3       4         5
Science/Research                         1        2      3       4        5
Rarity value                             1        2     3       4         5
Condition                                1        2     3       4         5
Representativeness                       1        2     3       4         5
Interpretative Potential                 1        2      3       4         5
National Significance x          State Significance         Local Significance 




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Name:                 Domestic Radio Collection made in Western Australia
Category:             Domestic Radio Receivers and Speakers
Location:             Main Display




1. Vox Adeon Mantle Radio                            2.. Batyphone Portable Radio
.




3. Craig Radio                                4. Broadcast Reception Corporation
                                                     Coin Slot Radio




5. Mastertone Junior 1938


                                                     6. Mastertone console




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Historical Notes
1. Vox Adeon mantle radio. Vox Adeon started making radios in WA in about 1931. This
one is from the late 1930s.

2. Batyphone portable, made in WA by C S Baty & Co in about 1947. Batyphones were
made up to 1960s.

3. Craig Radio This is a very rare Craig radio made by Craig and Co in Perth, about
1926.

4. A very rare coin in the slot radio made in WA by the Broadcast Reception
Corporation. It was used in hospitals and hotels in about 1950.

5. Mastertone Junior portable radio from 1938 made in Perth by Burnells.

6. Mastertone console radio from Burnells. From the early 1930s.
Made in WA and it is in fair condition.



Significance
Assessment and Comparative Criteria High                                     Low
Aesthetic Significance                    1       2      3       4        5
Historic Significance                     1        2     3       4        5
Social/ Spiritual Significance            1        2     3       4        5
Science/Research                          1        2      3       4       5
Rarity value                              1        2     3       4        5
Condition                                 1       2      3       4        5
Representativeness                        1       2      3       4        5
Interpretative Potential                  1        2      3      4        5
National Significance            State Significance        Local Significance 




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Name:                Domestic Amateur Crystal Radio Sets
Category:            Domestic Radios and Speakers
Location:            Main Display




Historical Notes
Crystal Set Early 1920s
Manufactured by the Electrical Import Company of New York.

Donated by The Overseas Telecommunications Commission.

A Home Made Crystal Set Early 1920s
In the early days of broadcasting the crystal set was very popular as the only costly
item was the pair of headphones (about 25 shillings), the remainder could be built for a
few shillings by the hobbyist. Many easy to follow designs appeared in magazines of
the day and the emphasis was on craftsmanship rather than technology. The problem
with crystal sets was that they could not amplify the received signal, therefore their
range was restricted. The valve receivers had a much greater range but were far
more costly and required expensive battery systems to operate them.
Donated by the Overseas Telecommunications Commission
Significance
Assessment and Comparative Criteria High                                        Low
Aesthetic Significance                     1         2      3    4         5
Historic Significance                      1         2      3    4         5
Social/ Spiritual Significance             1         2     3     4         5
Science/Research                           1         2      3    4         5
Rarity value                               1         2      3    4         5
Condition                                  1         2     3     4         5
Representativeness                         1         2     3     4         5
Interpretative Potential                   1         2      3    4         5
National Significance X             State Significance X      Local Significance 

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Name:               Console Radios
Category:           Domestic Radio Receivers and Speakers
Location:           On Display/ Open Storage




Historical Notes
Console radios were a very important part of a family social life from 1930 to 1960 in the
period preceding the television. The above three examples were from three different
decades: centre: typical of the late 1930s (Eastern States designed and made), left:
circa 1940s (Eastern States designed and made), right: circa 1950 (Western Australian
designed and made Batyphone).

The history of the Batyphone is an extract from an unpublished book - 'The
Encyclopedia of Western Australian Wirelesses and Gramophones' by Richard Rennie.

Batyphone Radios - The 1920s
Batyphone radios were manufactured by CS Baty &Co, Perth. The proprietor of the
company was Charles Stanley Baty. In 1924, with the opening by Westralian Farmers
Ltd. of 6WF as an information and entertainment service to the farming community, Baty
saw the opportunity to manufacture and sell radio receivers. With his own farming
background, and his established sales network, he was in a unique position to
understand the needs of the rural market.

In 1925, MacKenzie, who ran CS Baty and Co. in Queen Street, approached John
Wishaw of the Wireless Supplies Company, and arranged for them to make radio sets
to be branded Batyphones. Baty was also the agent for a company in the eastern
states called United Distributors Ltd from whom he could obtain transformers, valve
sockets, rheostats, ebonite and bakelite front panels, and many other electronic
components. This enabled the Batyphones to have a “professional look”.
Wireless Supplies Co. was now kept very busy making “a tremendous number of sets
for Baty”. With advances in technology and with more broadcasting stations with
greater power coming on air, farmers were becoming increasingly interested in
purchasing radios in order to gain information about the markets, weather reports; and
entertainment. Mostly they bought five valve sets.
In about 1927 Baty decided to enlarge his workshop and to manufacture the Batyphone
sets himself. Ray Devitt from Wireless Supplies Co. was offered a job with CS Baty &
Co, making and installing their sets.

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Batyphones now became the mainstay of CS Baty & Co’s large sales network. C.S.
Baty & Co shifted to Hay Street (near Mortlocks) at this time.

The 1930s
By the 1930s, external horn wirelesses were being replaced by radios with built-in
cardboard cone loud speakers. In 1932, a 4-valve screen grid Batyphone console
model, completely equipped, with Lissen speaker and 2 volt accumulator, cost £23.10.0.
Installation within 200 miles of Perth cost £2.10.0 extra but the set would be packed and
sent by rail from Perth free of charge. Model 231 was the most advertised model at this
stage.

In 1934 the Model 211 was introduced. The Model 211 was a four valve set designed
for country reception, and was priced at £23/10/0 in April 1934. It was “Built in W.A.
Specially for Local and COUNTRY Reception!” Model 231 and 211 had basically the
same cabinet. The difference was in the electronics. From 1936 on, Dual and Triple
Wave Batyphones were made. The cabinets for the console and mantel models were
made initially by Turvey Bros. of East Perth, and then later by Modern Furnishings of
Brown Street East Perth.

It is said only a small number of country agents for Batyphones existed pre-war (pre
1939). For example in 1932, J.P. Myers was the agent for Batyphones in Narrogin.
Mostly CS Baty and Co used traveling salesmen who usually had “spotters” in their
allotted areas of operation. Approximately six salesmen were traversing the countryside
at any given time, selling directly to households on a commission plus expenses basis
plus a small retainer. They were supplied with a car, “such as a Chev, Chrysler or Buick
with side curtains”. Three or four console radios in thick covers, as well as batteries,
aerial and earth systems could be carried in the car. The gravel roads and corrugated
roads of the period made life difficult and unpleasant for the salesmen. The salesmen
installed the radios and fitted the aerial wire to poles, and a three foot x 3 foot (one
metre square) sheet of galvanized iron was placed underground. This was kept moist
for the earthing of the sets. Clarrie Duncan indicated that when a bad season or the
occasional drought occurred, salesmen would often return, having not sold a set.
However, when a purchaser had no cash for a deposit, stock such as grain or potatoes
would be accepted instead, and this would be onsold in the markets.

The War Years
The war years decimated CS Baty & Co’s staff with 90% joining the armed services.
Three were killed in action. In 1941 “There was about four or five people working at CS
Baty & Co. making approximately half a dozen sets a week. There was a big store room
with all the wireless gear in it, but no storeman in charge of it.” In about 1940 portable
battery sets were introduced.is said that before the war a dual range portable had been
manufactured. It was of a larger size than the later portables. During and after the war
years, country salesmen disappeared and agents were appointed in some country
towns. Sales were still being made at CS Baty’s premises in Perth.

After 1946, when components became available, production began again; but not on a
scale comparable to the pre-war years. Also price control was in force for several years
and regular checks by inspectors occurred.




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Portables and a new range of all types of radios were now being made using the latest
types of valves. A lot of new valves came on to the market after the war. These were
handy for the AC-DC sets particularly for those country towns such as Geraldton that
were still on DC power.

Brian Peachey joined Baty in early 1947 and was there until June 1949. “We made all
the chassis ourselves at Baty out of sheet aluminium. Baty had a bender and a hole
punch. The chasses were dipped in caustic soda to ‘frost’ them for appearance.”

After 1950, with increasing competition from eastern states manufacturers, it became
uneconomic to produce sets in Western Australia. CS Baty & Co ceased its operation in
the early 1950s, and sold out to Carlyle & Co who used the premises for a subsidiary
business, Leeds Auto Supplies. When Carl Cohen of Carlyle & Co died, Baty became
Chairman of Directors until retiring after a stroke.

Significance
Assessment and Comparative Criteria High                                      Low
Aesthetic Significance                   1         2    3        4         5
Historic Significance                    1        2     3        4         5
Social/ Spiritual Significance           1         2    3        4         5
Science/Research                         1         2     3        4        5
Rarity value                             1        2     3        4         5
Condition                                1         2     3       4         5
Representativeness                       1         2    3        4         5
Interpretative Potential                 1         2     3       4         5
National Significance X           State Significance         Local Significance 




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Name:               Mulgaphone
Category:           Domestic radio
Location:           Main Display




      Mulgaphone on display                    Mulgaphone in storage

Historical Notes
The history of the Mulgaphone is an extract from an unpublished book - 'The
Encyclopedia of Western Australian Wirelesses and Gramophones' by Richard
Rennie.

The mulgaphone is rare and historically important. The Wireless Hill Collection has
two of only six left out of a total made in WA of 1200 from 1924-29. Pictured are two
Mulgaphones including number 910 (type RRDAA) from about 1927. The Mulgaphone
is a uniquely Western Australian designed and made radio. They were manufactured
for and sold by Westralian Farmers Ltd. from mid-1924 until mid-1929, by which time
at least 1200 had been sold.

There was a competition to name the wireless to be manufactured by Westralian
Farmers Ltd. A 25 pound reward was received by the winner, Mr Walter Albert Ashton
who worked for Westralian Farmers Limited in the merchandising section. He was
originally a farmer at Katanning who came to Perth, and after being in the army. In
1920 he joined Westralian Farmers. The word Mulgahone was coined because people
out in the bush were referred to as being “out in the mulga”. Also an expression used by
country people was that “gossip was spread by the mulgaphone”.

According to the Western Wireless magazine of March26, 1924, the first public
demonstration of a Mulgaphone was carried out by Wally Coxon in March 1924, in the
presence of 200 interested employees and guests of Westralian Farmers. The
transmissions were carried out by Mrs Coxon from Wally Coxon’s station 6AG in Bulwer
Street Perth. The first item was the operatic air “Traumeria” from a gramophone record.
This was followed by waltz, jazz and foxtrots. ‘Dancing was indulged in to all the
selections received.’

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The transmissions were on 440 m wavelength. The receiver was a four valve
Mulgaphone, including the two stage amplifier, a Magnavox loud speaker and a frame
aerial. At one stage the volume was increased so that the music could be heard some
distance from the building.

In the Mulgaphone catalogue of July 1926, a model sold for £52-0-0. It was designed for
long distance reception on headphones or loud speaker. It was claimed that Eastern
States stations could be received using the loud speaker.

In the Wireless Hill Telecommunications Museum is an example of Type “RRDAA”.
Mulgaphones were available from May 1924. It appears numbers 910 and 973 were
constructed using a new batch of front panels. There are no signs of any holes drilled in
the front panel for securing the original internally mounted tuning coils. Nor are there
any signs of the three-position tuning switches found on some previous models.

Demise of the Mulgaphone
By the time the ABC took over 6WF, all the obsolete/outdated stock of Mulgaphones
had been transferred from Westralian Farmers Ltd. to Craig & Co. An advertisement in
the West Australian newspaper on February 9, 1929 lists “Bargains in Mulgaphone
Receivers and Loud Speakers”. It describes the Mulgaphone in oak cabinet, usually £59
complete, to clear at £11/1/.



Significance
Assessment and Comparative Criteria High                                       Low
Aesthetic Significance                    1        2      3        4        5
Historic Significance                     1         2     3        4        5
Social/ Spiritual Significance            1         2     3        4        5
Science/Research                          1         2      3        4       5
Rarity value                              1        2      3        4        5
Condition                                 1         2     3        4        5
Representativeness                        1        2      3        4        5
Interpretative Potential                  1         2     3        4        5
National Significance X            State Significance         Local Significance 




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Name:                Speakers
Category:            Domestic Radio
Location:            Open Storage




Historical Notes
The box speaker is from the 1920s and contains a horn. This is an authentic item that
disappeared from use by the end of the 1920s and replaced by cardboard. Despite
seeking information about this device through a number of agencies the rarity value
could not be determined.

Significance
Assessment and Comparative Criteria High                                     Low
Aesthetic Significance                   1        2     3       4         5
Historic Significance                    1         2     3      4         5
Social/ Spiritual Significance           1         2     3      4         5
Science/Research                         1         2     3       4        5
Rarity value                             1         2     3       4         5
Condition                                1         2    3       4         5
Representativeness                       1         2    3       4         5
Interpretative Potential                 1         2     3      4         5
National Significance X           State Significance X        Local Significance 




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Statement of Significance – Domestic Radio Receivers and Speakers
The radios on display in the collection, plus the mulgaphone in storage, represent the
largest collection of Western Australian manufactured wireless radios available for
public exhibition. The collection of radios at Wireless Hill is also one of the most
cohesive parts of the Wireless Hill collection as it has the ability to reflect the
development of domestic radio technology from its inception up until 1980 when the
collection became static. The radios have high aesthetic, historic and social
significance. Radio collections of this type contribute to a strong sense of nostalgia for
people who remember when radios were the central point of entertainment in the
home prior to the advent of television. Broadcasting and radio artefacts together are
an extension of the radio broadcasting connection to Wireless Hill Station.




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Individual Key items: Broadcasting

Name:         Broadcasting Transmitter
Category:     Transmitters/ Receivers
Location:     Main Display Room




Historical Notes
This broadcasting transmitter was designed to operate at medium frequency band of
550 to 1600 kilohertz commonly known as the broadcast band. It was used by 6WN
Perth 1954-63 and 6DL Dalwallinu 1963-1972.

Significance
Assessment and Comparative Criteria High                                   Low
Aesthetic Significance                   1         2     3    4         5
Historic Significance                    1         2     3    4         5
Social/ Spiritual Significance           1         2     3     4        5
Science/Research                         1         2     3     4        5
Rarity value                             1        2     3     4         5
Condition                                1         2     3    4         5
Representativeness                       1         2    3     4         5
Interpretative Potential                 1         2     3     4        5
National Significance X           State Significance X     Local Significance 




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Name:         Rondex Disc Lathe and Turntable
Category:     Broadcasting
Location:     Main Display Room




      Lathe                                   Turntable

Historical Notes
This type of lathe was used for record production from the late 1930s to the early
1970s. It recorded audio signals on a blank disc for broadcast reproduction. The use
of disc lathes for broadcasting declined rapidly with the perfection of magnetic tape
recorders as tapes were more convenient for editing storage and interchange of
programme material.

The transcription turntable was used for the broadcasting of recorded audio
programmes. This rim driven turntable was manufactured by Byer Industries of
Melbourne.

Despite consultation with various enthusiasts groups in television and radio
broadcasting the rarity value of the turntables was unknown.

Significance
Assessment and Comparative Criteria High                                     Low
Aesthetic Significance                   1         2      3    4         5
Historic Significance                    1         2      3    4         5
Social/ Spiritual Significance           1         2      3    4         5
Science/Research                         1         2      3    4         5
Rarity value                             1         2      3     4         5
Condition                                1         2     3     4         5
Representativeness                       1         2     3     4         5
Interpretative Potential                 1         2      3    4         5
National Significance X           State Significance X      Local Significance 




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Name:         Broadcasting Microphones
Category:     Broadcasting
Location:     Main Display Room




Historical Notes
Broadcasting microphones are not rare and many are held in collections around the
world, particularly by private enthusiasts. The microphones held in the Wireless Hill
Collection are good examples of the type of condenser and ribbon microphones
historically used. Particularly significant to this sector of the Wireless Hill collection are
the 6ML and 6KY microphones used in early Western Australia radio broadcasts.
Unfortunately there is little information on these microphones to indicate who used
them.

Significance
Assessment and Comparative Criteria High                                            Low
Aesthetic Significance                       1         2      3     4         5
Historic Significance                        1         2       3    4         5
Social/ Spiritual Significance               1         2      3     4         5
Science/Research                             1         2       3     4        5
Rarity value                                 1         2       3    4         5
Condition                                    1         2       3    4         5
Representativeness                           1         2      3     4         5
Interpretative Potential                     1         2       3    4         5
National Significance X               State Significance X       Local Significance 


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Statement of Significance - Broadcasting
The broadcasting equipment of the Wireless Hill Collection has moderate to low
aesthetic, historic and social significance. The collection only represents a microcosm
of the radio broadcasting theme and with little provenance known the interpretative
potential is compromised. Though the two microphones indicate connection to radio
stations 6KY and 6ML little is known about the microphones and research is required to
extend the history of radio broadcasting in Western Australia.




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Individual Key items: Telephones

Name:               Telephone Display
Category:           Telephones
Location:           Main Display Room




Historical Notes
Over the years the style and usage of telephones has changed dramatically. Early
telephone callers, in the late 1800s, used large telephones to speak to people often only
a short distance away in the next town. Telephones decreased in size and increased in
distance over which they could be used for communication.

Many early telephones were expensive large wooden boxes containing a generator
which rang the bell or switch at the telephone exchange. The call would be placed
through a person at the telephone exchange who would manually connect the call. The
exchange operator would be able to listen in, if she wished, to the private conversation.
Later telephone calls could be connected automatically in less than a second. Calls
could be made not just from one town to another but all over the world, owing to cables
laid on the sea bed. A cable linking Asia to WA arrived on land at Cottesloe. Early
telephone did not need a dial as just picking up the handset connected the caller to the
telephone exchange. A Touchphone 10 (1978) was the first telephone without a dial
available in Australia. This was two years after Europe produced one and it still look
nearly was long as using a dial to connect the numbers.

Telephone history in the Wireless Hill museum stops at technology that was available
when the museum opened in 1979.


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Significance
Assessment and Comparative Criteria High                                          Low
Aesthetic Significance                      1         2      3     4         5
Historic Significance                       1         2       3    4         5
Social/ Spiritual Significance              1         2       3    4         5
Science/Research                            1         2       3     4        5
Rarity value                                1         2       3     4        5
Condition                                   1         2       3    4         5
Representativeness                          1         2      3     4         5
Interpretative Potential                    1         2       3    4         5
National Significance X              State Significance X       Local Significance 


Statement of Significance – Telephones
The telephone collection at Wireless Hill has moderate to low aesthetic, historic, social
significance. Throughout Australia telephone collections have been maintained and
collected with a dedication to truly reflect the development of this vital instrument. Since
1980 this collection has remained static. The items are not rare, have no individual
provenance and little interpretation potential unless displayed differently with a
deliberate objective to appeal to nostalgia, entertain or educate.




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Individual Key items: Television
This list was prepared with help from Darryl Binning and Ross MacDonald of the
Australian Museum of Motion Pictures, Technology and Television it includes items from
the display, open storage and closed storeroom. Added to this are items that are in
storage at Hickey St.

1. Telecine Projector Module 16mm Bell and Howell                   Storeroom
2. Umatic VCR Toshiba                                               Storeroom
3. VCR Akai VHS                                                     Storeroom
4. TV set Mong 21” AWA                                              Storeroom
5. Projector 16mm Film Bell and Howell                              Storeroom
6. Box for RCA 2” Recorder Head                                     Storeroom
7. Video Tapes 2”                                                   Storeroom
8. Microwave Link Remote Pan and Tilt Head                          Storeroom
8a Dish for item 8 - pan and tilt head
9. TV Type unknown                                                  Storeroom
10. TV Camera Cables                                                Storeroom
11. TV type unknown                                                 Storeroom
12. TV Camera Pye TVW 3” image Black and White                      Storeroom
13. TV Camera Pye Channel 9 4 ½ “ Black and White                   Storeroom
14. TV Camera Spares                                                Storeroom
15. Television in cabinet                                           Open Storage
16. TV Radiola Australian Made 1958                                 Storeroom
17. Channel 7 Video Recorder 1960s                                  On Display
18. Television WA made                                              On Display
19. Channel 9 Camera early colour model                             On Display
20. ABC Marconi Black and White Camera and Console                  On Display
21. Microwave Dish Channel 9                                        On Display

Name:        Television
Category:    Television
Location:    Main Display Room/ Open Storage Room




Historical Notes
In the store room of the Museum are another four or five televisions of various ages and
condition. Provenance unknown.


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Significance
Assessment and Comparative Criteria High                                   Low
Aesthetic Significance                   1         2     3    4         5
Historic Significance                    1         2     3    4         5
Social/ Spiritual Significance           1         2     3    4         5
Science/Research                         1         2     3     4        5
Rarity value                             1         2     3    4         5
Condition                                1         2    3     4         5
Representativeness                       1         2    3     4         5
Interpretative Potential                 1         2     3    4         5
National Significance X           State Significance X     Local Significance 




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Name:                Portable Microwave Link PYE PTC M1000A
Category:            Television
Location:            Main Display Room




Historical Notes
This is a (PYE PTC M1000A) 7GHz Klystron transmitter with 4ft. parabolic antenna. It
was first used in the 1960s for point to point relay of video and audio signals from
outside broadcast units to Channel Nine TV studio. Use of the parabolic reflector
antenna focuses the microwave radio waves into a narrow beam similar to a spotlight
enabling transmission over 50kms, using only one watt of transmitted power.

Donated by STW Channel 9
Source: John R. Quicke, MIE(Aust), MIREE(Aust), Chartered Engineer (Aust) 1979.


Significance
Assessment and Comparative Criteria High                                   Low
Aesthetic Significance                   1         2     3    4         5
Historic Significance                    1         2     3    4         5
Social/ Spiritual Significance           1         2     3    4         5
Science/Research                         1         2     3    4         5
Rarity value                             1         2     3     4         5
Condition                                1         2    3     4         5
Representativeness                       1         2    3     4         5
Interpretative Potential                 1         2     3    4         5
National Significance X           State Significance X     Local Significance 




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Name:                Channel 7 Television Tape Recorder (RCA-TRT-1B)
Category:            Television
Location:            On Display




Historical Notes
The RCA-TRT-1B video recorders was one of the first models ever produced and
enabled TVW Channel 7 to record the British Commonwealth and Empire Games in
1962 for distribution throughout Australia and overseas. Two of these black and white
low band machines were initially purchased, with many more RCA and Ampex
machines to follow over the years as the technology was refined. The vintage machine
on display here was also responsible for recording the major shows that TVW Seven
produced during the first decade of television in WA and replayed on Seven the
episodes of many popular programs recorded locally or interstate, such as Graham
Kennedy’s In Melbourne Tonight, Brian Henderson’s Bandstand and Johnny O’Keefe’s
Sing Sing Sing. It provided reliable service over many years during the pioneering era
of television in Western Australia. This machine is considered a rarity as one other is
known to exist in the World, and that is in the United States.

Source: Ken McKay
Source: John R. Quicke, MIE (Aust), MIREE (Aust), Chartered Engineer (Aust) 1979.

Significance
Assessment and Comparative Criteria High                                            Low
Aesthetic Significance                      1         2      3        4         5
Historic Significance                       1         2      3        4         5
Social/ Spiritual Significance              1         2       3       4         5
Science/Research                            1         2       3       4         5
Rarity value                                1        2       3        4         5
Condition                                   1         2      3        4         5
Representativeness                          1        2       3        4         5
Interpretative Potential                    1         2       3       4         5
National Significance X              State Significance           Local Significance 




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Name:                Monochrome Camera Marconi 1952 and Technical Director’s
                     Monitoring Console Marconi Mk IV 1959
Category:            Television
Location:            Main Display Room

                                                         Historical Notes
                                                         On the right is an early
                                                         example of a 3” image
                                                         orthicon    TV     broadcast
                                                         camera, the Marconi (1952).
                                                         With the perfection of the
                                                         image orthicon and cameras
                                                         of this type, live television
                                                         broadcasting came of age.
                                                         The introduction of zoom
                                                         lenses and miniaturisation
                                                         were mere refinements in
                                                         comparison to the advances
                                                         represented by this type of
                                                         tube and camera.

Donated by Mt Lawley Technical College

On the left is an early example of a black and white TV monitoring console. The
technical director is responsible for the correct operation of the camera and this
console is used to check camera adjustments and operation. The wave form monitor
(oscilloscope) shows the black and white levels from the TV camera, whilst the high
quality picture monitor shows the focus and general picture quality.

Donated by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
Source: John R. Quicke, MIE(Aust), MIREE(Aust), Chartered Engineer (Aust) 1979.

Significance
Assessment and Comparative Criteria High                                      Low
Aesthetic Significance                   1         2    3        4         5
Historic Significance                    1         2    3        4         5
Social/ Spiritual Significance           1         2     3       4         5
Science/Research                         1         2     3        4        5
Rarity value                             1         2    3        4         5
Condition                                1         2     3       4         5
Representativeness                       1         2    3        4         5
Interpretative Potential                 1         2     3       4         5
National Significance X           State Significance         Local Significance 




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Name:         Channel 7 Camera PYE MK4 Monochrome 3 inch Orthicon
Category:     Television
Location:     Storage Room




Historical Notes
The museum storage room also contains one of Channel Seven’s first studio cameras,
which they opened the station with in 1959. This is a Pye Mk4 monochrome 3 inch
Image Orthicon camera, (pictured above), which is currently in storage alongside
vintage radio studio equipment such as a Pye Mk 5 monochrome 4.5 inch Image
Orthicon camera (donated courtesy of STW Channel 9)

Camera pictured above donated by TVW Channel 7


Significance
Assessment and Comparative Criteria High                                     Low
Aesthetic Significance                   1        2      3      4         5
Historic Significance                    1        2     3       4         5
Social/ Spiritual Significance           1        2     3       4         5
Science/Research                         1        2      3       4        5
Rarity value                             1        2     3       4         5
Condition                                1        2      3      4         5
Representativeness                       1        2     3       4         5
Interpretative Potential                 1        2     3       4         5
National Significance X           State Significance         Local Significance 




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Name:         Channel 9 Colour Camera – Marconi MK VII
Category:     Television
Location:     Main Display Room




Historical Notes
This is a four tube photoconductive camera built in the mid-1960s by Marconi of
Chelmsford, England. Red, green and blue tubes provide the additive primary colours
for the colour system and the fourth tube was used to provide a high resolution
luminance signal. A high quality servo controlled zoom lens package replaced turret
mounted fixed focal length lenses that were used in black and white cameras.

This camera was brought to Perth by STW Channel 9 to provide staff with training and
experience, in addition to use in early colour programme production. It was eventually
replaced by lighter, more stable cameras.

Donated by TVW Channel 9
Source: John R. Quicke, MIE (Aust), MIREE(Aust), Chartered Engineer (Aust) 1979.

Significance
Assessment and Comparative Criteria High                                     Low
Aesthetic Significance                   1         2     3     4         5
Historic Significance                    1         2     3     4         5
Social/ Spiritual Significance           1         2      3    4         5
Science/Research                         1         2      3    4         5
Rarity value                             1         2      3    4         5
Condition                                1         2      3    4         5
Representativeness                       1         2     3     4         5
Interpretative Potential                 1         2      3    4         5
National Significance X           State Significance X      Local Significance 


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Statement of Significance – Television
The collection of artefacts for the television theme is slightly more coherent than some
of the other themes represented in the Wireless Hill Collection. The Collection has
moderate to high aesthetic historic and social significance. The cameras with the
provenance reflecting connections to the early television industry of Western Australia
are shown to be good representatives of their class and are relatively rare.




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Individual Key items: Space
The Wireless Hill Station played a role in the US space programmes of the 1960s as
part of the air/sea rescue programme for Mercury missions. The log periodic antenna
on Wireless Hill was in communication with a US rescue aircraft which flew continually
over the Indian Ocean while a mission was in progress.

A number of the objects in the museum were obtained owing to the link between the
history of the item and the connection with the US space story in Western Australia.
Tracking stations on board the ship the Coastal Sentry and at a station at Muchea were
important cogs in the tracking and communication with US astronaut John Glenn, during
his earth orbit flight in February 1962. Perth people had been urged to turn on their
lights for the orbit (the first for a US astronaut) and John Glenn commented “the lights
show up very well and thank everybody for turning them on”. Perth became known from
that space mission as the ‘City Of Light’.


Name:               Ship System Monitor, CAPCOM and Medical Recorder
Category:           Space
Location:           Main Display Room




      AEROMED                    SYSTEMS                    CAPCOM




Historical Notes
The Indian Ocean ship Coastal Sentry and Muchea were part of a world-wide system
spanning three continents and three oceans. The CAPCOM at each station spoke
directly to the astronaut by high frequency (HF) and Ultra High Frequency (UHF) radio
links. Muchea Tracking Station had a full complement of systems, including telemetry,
radar tracking and command. It was the only station, other than on American territory,
that had command capability to initiate ‘retro sequence’ which could automatically
bring the capsule back to Earth in an emergency.

The flight controller’s console was used on the Coastal Sentry during the John Glenn’s
Friendship 7 flight. The CAPCOM was in command and sat in the middle; on his left
was a doctor (AEROMED), who monitored the astronaut’s physical condition, and an
engineer (SYSTEMS) on the right who was responsible for monitoring all systems in
the capsule.




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John Glenn, America’s first Astronaut to orbit the Earth, could see Perth clearly from
an altitude of approximately 189km during his three orbit flight on 20 th February 1962
but only to some intervention by WA press.. Astronaut Gordon Cooper was the
capsule communicator (CAPCOM) of Muchea. When he pointed out at a press
conference that John Glenn would pass over at night and so not see Australia,
journalist Bill King of the West Australian asked if it would be helpful for the city’s lights
to be left on. King’s story “ PORCH LIGHTS MAY AID ORBIT” was greeted with
enthusiasm and the idea was backed by government officials and the citizens of Perth.
The gesture was praised and publicised around the world and Perth became to be
known as “THE CITY OF LIGHT”. A recording of John Glenn’s transmission from
space was obtained by the museum and used for interpretation in the space display.

The AEROMED was a National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) trained
doctor who recorded the astronaut’s physical condition during flight on a 12 channel
hot wire paper chart recorder, this included respiration, breathing, pulse, blood
pressure and temperature, the heartbeat was monitored on the screen.

The SYSTEMS monitor was a person responsible for measuring and assessing the
capsule systems such as oxygen supply, electrical capacity, temperature in the cabin
and systems, fuel, water and coolant supply.

CAPCOM was the communications commander who spoke to the astronaut.
Conversation ranged from routine checks on all systems to discussions about
weightlessness and the view from space. The capsule’s controls were very simple
with single buttons triggering a complex sequence of pre-programmed operations.

It should be noted however, that although these items were used during the John
Glenn space mission, they have no association with Wireless Hill Station. The lack of
portability and bulkiness of the communication equipment plus their static displays
makes these items very difficult to use in dynamic, temporary exhibitions. This
compromises their interpretive potential.

Significance
Assessment and Comparative Criteria High                                             Low
Aesthetic Significance                       1         2       3     4         5
Historic Significance                        1         2       3     4         5
Social/ Spiritual Significance               1         2        3    4         5
Science/Research                             1         2        3    4         5
Rarity value                                 1        2        3     4         5
Condition                                    1         2        3    4         5
Representativeness                           1        2        3     4         5
Interpretative Potential                     1         2        3     4        5
National Significance ?               State Significance         Local Significance 




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Name:                General Transmitter from the Coastal Sentry
Category:            Space
Location:            Main Display Room




Historical Notes
The transmitter on display in the museum was used on board the Indian Ocean ship
Coastal Sentry during John Glenn’s Friendship 7 flight in 1962. It was part of the
communication network which linked the ship to the mission controllers at the Goddard
Space Centre Maryland USA. The 10 kilowatt transmitter had the frequency ranges
and power to communicate worldwide 24 hours a day.

Significance
Assessment and Comparative Criteria High                                     Low
Aesthetic Significance                    1        2     3      4        5
Historic Significance                     1        2     3      4        5
Social/ Spiritual Significance            1        2      3     4        5
Science/Research                          1        2      3      4       5
Rarity value                              1       2      3      4        5
Condition                                 1        2     3      4        5
Representativeness                        1       2      3      4        5
Interpretative Potential                  1        2      3      4       5
National Significance ?           State Significance       Local Significance 




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Name:         Digital clocks
Category:     Space
Location:     Main Display Room




Historical Notes
This rack of digital clocks was used at Carnarvon Tracking Station for Gemini and
early Apollo manned flights. The clocks were controlled by a master timing oscillator
to display HOR - horizon time, GET - Ground Elapse time, GMT - Greenwich Mean
Time, HORII - Second horizon time and GET II - Second ground elapse time

Significance
Assessment and Comparative Criteria High                                        Low
Aesthetic Significance                     1        2      3        4        5
Historic Significance                      1       2       3        4        5
Social/ Spiritual Significance             1        2       3       4        5
Science/Research                           1        2      3        4        5
Rarity value                               1       2       3        4        5
Condition                                  1        2      3        4        5
Representativeness                         1       2       3        4        5
Interpretative Potential                   1        2      3        4        5
National Significance              State Significance          Local Significance 

Statement of Significance – Space
The communication artifacts from the NASA space program, originally in Muchea and
Carnarvon, have high to exceptional aesthetic and historic significance. The items are
rare and have the potential to contribute to the important story of how Western Australia
was a central to the communications during various NASA space flights in the 1960s
and 1970s.


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Individual Key items: Amateur Radio
Name:               QSL (Query Station Location) Radio Postcards
Category:           Amateur Radio
Location:           Archives City of Melville




Historical Notes
Historical Notes prepared by Don Graham VK6HK and Bob Lockley VK6KW.
QSL cards have been (and still are) exchanged between operators confirming the
completion of a two way contact: even from the earliest experiments by Marconi and
others: for two main reasons. One is to confirm and add detail to the station log book
entry of the contact, and the other is to qualify for certain international awards. QSL
card collecting by amateurs attracts awards such as "DXCC" for 100 countries
confirmed. In 2011 there are more than 300 countries or "entities" that offer a unique
contact (some of which have passed into the pages of history such as the USSR).


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QSL is one of the Q codes used in radio communication and radio broadcasting. A Q
code message can stand for a statement or a question (when the code is followed by a
question mark). In this case, QSL? means "do you confirm receipt of my transmission?"
while QSL means "I confirm receipt of your transmission". Some also take it to mean
"Query Station Location". A QSL card is a written confirmation.

The sample cards illustrate the variety of overseas stations contacted by amateurs in
Perth, with particular reference to the dates. They are a measure of the social
penetration of the hobby worldwide, pre-empting the internet and social networking of
the 21st Century. In many cases Philately was or became a companion hobby.

The "call signs" printed in large type on the cards is that of the station sending the card.
Every country in the world was, and is, assigned a unique prefix by International Treaty.
Australia is allocated a range of letters including VK with a numeral depending on the
state, in WA an example is VK6.

BTW the card for VK6KW (the late Ron Hugo) is not his card, but one received from a
South African contact Philip ZS1AJ, confirming their two way contact in February 1947,
it includes the time, band, signal report, and equipment used. There is a seat near the
Museum bearing a memorial plaque commemorating the life of Ron Hugo so this card
has very particular significance to Wireless Hill. There are hundreds of cards in the
collection.

Significance
Assessment and Comparative Criteria High                                           Low
Aesthetic Significance                      1        2       3        4         5
Historic Significance                       1         2      3        4         5
Social/ Spiritual Significance              1         2      3        4         5
Science/Research                            1         2       3        4        5
Rarity value                                1         2       3       4         5
Condition                                   1         2      3        4         5
Representativeness                          1         2      3        4         5
Interpretative Potential                    1         2      3        4         5
National Significance X              State Significance           Local Significance 


Statement of Significance – Amateur Radio
The QSL cards have exceptional aesthetic significance and high historic and social
significance. The designs on the cards reflect a high degree of individuality and flair
during the decades well before graphic design and personal printers. Historically the
cards represent the long term and world-wide attraction of amateur radio with people
transcending difficulties by communicating across language, cultural and political
barriers.




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Instructions on use of the National Standards of Australian Museums and Galleries
                                    Version 1.0

                            Adapted by Heritage TODAY for
                   Significance Assessment of Museum Collections
Introduction
The National Standards of Australian Museums and Galleries (Version One September 2008)
have been produced as a collaborative effort of each Australian State and Territory peak
museum body. State, Regional, Municipal and small museums have all been encouraged to
embrace these standards to help in the operation of the museums to a national high criterion.
A     full version     of   the     National    Standards can    be    downloaded       from
http://www.collectionsaustralia.net/sector_info_item/107
Though some of the small museums may find the standards daunting the benchmarks with
tips are clearly achievable and in fact most museums will have already met many of these
benchmarks. Heritage TODAY has taken the principles, standards and benchmarks without
any change in the wording (as required by the National Standards instructions) and
developed a word document for use by museums during the course of the Significance
Assessment of the Museum’s Collection.
Objective of this exercise
The Significance Assessment project is one of strong partnership building between the
Museum community and the consultant. The completion of this exercise about the museum’s
current operating policies and procedures is part of that collaboration. It is the intention of
Heritage TODAY to include this completed document as part of the Significance Assessment
report. Along with the significance assessment of the key objects of the museum collection it
will indicate to National Libraries of Australia, (who administer the Community Heritage
Grants) the priorities of the Museum and their attempts to understand and meet the National
Standards for Museums which have been only very recently developed and released to
Australian Museums.

Instructions for use
To aid the consultant in looking at the museum’s operations (a part of the Significance
Assessment Requirements developed in the CAN guidelines) the Museum Director/ Historical
Society Executive Committee or committee member such as the President/ Secretary is/are
invited to read through the Principles, Standards and Benchmarks document and
   1.      tick in the box for those benchmarks that are already met by the policies and
          operation procedures of the museum
   2.     ½ partly done
   3.     ? question mark the box of those benchmarks that are unknown
   4.     X cross those that are definitely not met by the current policies and operation
          procedures and
   5.     X highlight those benchmarks that are definitely not met but the museum executive
          would like to work on as a priority.
THOUGH THERE ARE 136 BENCHMARKS TO BE CONSIDERED THIS IS NOT MEANT TO BE
AN ONEROUS TASK. FURTHER EVALUATION WILL BE MADE BY Heritage TODAY DURING
THE COURSE OF THE SIGNIFICANCE ASSESSMENT.

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NATIONAL STANDARDS FOR AUSTRALIAN MUSEUMS AND GALLERIES –
                        Version 1.0
Part A: Managing the museum

PRINCIPLE A1 The museum has a sound legal and management framework that
follows recognised museum ethics and protocols

STANDARD A1.1 The museum is properly constituted.


BENCHMARK A1.1.1 The museum operates within an appropriate legal framework.

TIPS
To be considered properly constituted, a museum needs to:
• have its own constitution or
• be part of a properly constituted body, such as an incorporated association, a company or a
government agency (which may provide terms of reference for a museum committee) or
• be constituted by an Act of Parliament.


BENCHMARK A1.1.2 The body responsible for the governance of the museum is a legally
constituted entity.

TIPS
For example, an incorporated body. Incorporation Acts exist in each state and territory. The
entity is normally the legal owner of the museum’s collection.

X
BENCHMARK A1.1.3 There is a ‘wind-up clause’ outlining procedures should the museum
be ‘wound up’ or dissolved.

TIPS
The ‘wind-up clause’ may be in the museum’s:
• constitution
• terms of reference
• collection policy.
Museums registered as deductible gift recipients (DGRs) must include specific wording to
define their ‘wind-up’ procedures in their constitution.

n/a
BENCHMARK A1.1.4 The ‘wind-up clause’ states that the collection would be disposed of
according to recognised museum ethics.

STANDARD A1.2 The museum has a governing or managing body that takes overall
responsibility for the museum.

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½
BENCHMARK A1.2.1 The museum’s guiding document defines the roles of the governing
body and its office-bearers.
TIPS
Appropriate guiding documents include:
• a constitution or other organisational framework
• terms of reference
• an Act of Parliament.

½
BENCHMARK A1.2.2 The governing body ensures that the roles and responsibilities
associated with running the museum are clearly defined and allocated.

TIPS
An induction process helps new members of the governing body to learn about their
responsibilities.

It may be appropriate for the governing body to have an audit committee to oversee external
and internal audit processes.

½
BENCHMARK A1.2.3 The governing body meets regularly, works to a formal agenda, and
records minutes of its meetings.

STANDARD A1.3 The museum maintains contact with relevant peak bodies and networks.


BENCHMARK A1.3.1 The museum subscribes to, or keeps in touch with, relevant
professional associations and networks.

TIPS
Relevant associations and networks include:
National peak bodies:

STANDARD A1.4 T he museum operates in accordance with a recognised code of museum
ethics.

½
BENCHMARK A1.4.1 The governing body formally adopts for the museum either the
Museums Australia or the ICOM code of museum ethics.


BENCHMARK A1.4.2 The code of ethics is referred to and followed by the governing body
and by all museum workers.

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
BENCHMARK A1.4.3 The governing body and all workers have easy access to the code of
ethics, which is also included in workers’ induction and training materials.

STANDARD A1.5 The museum abides by international, national and state/territory protocols
relating to museum practice, moveable heritage, and heritage places and fabric.



BENCHMARK A1.5.1 All museum policies, procedures and programs are developed and
carried out with reference to relevant, current protocols.

TIPS
There are protocols relating to:
• museum practice
• moveable heritage
• heritage places and fabric
• Indigenous arts and cultures
• the return of cultural objects.



BENCHMARK A1.5.2 Workers are given appropriate information to assist them in
understanding, and working with regard for, protocols relevant to Indigenous arts and
cultures, and other relevant protocols.

STANDARD A1.6 The museum complies with Australian federal, state/territory and local
laws, by-laws and regulations.



BENCHMARK A1.6.1 The museum’s policies and procedures show an awareness of the
laws and regulations that apply to its collection, site, management and programs.

TIPS
Laws and regulations vary from state to state, while different by-laws may apply in different
local government jurisdictions. In the museum context, areas of activity that have legal
implications include:
• advertising and publishing (in addition to copyright, legal issues could include moral rights,
or defamation)
• building works
• classification of content of exhibitions and other programs
• financial management
• handling/working with dangerous goods, hazardous materials, or firearms
• insurance
• managing heritage buildings and fabric
• managing staff
• managing volunteers
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• market research
• occupational health and safety (OH&S)
• operation of steam boilers and pressure vessels
• operation of vehicles, including forklifts
• protection of built and moveable cultural heritage
• records management
• sales and/or service of food and/or liquor
• urban planning
• working with children.

Laws and legal principles in the following areas can also have relevance
for museums:
• equal opportunity
• freedom of information
• intellectual property
• privacy
• public liability
• racial vilification
• sedition
• universal access.




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PRINCIPLE A2 The museum is effectively managed, sustainable and publicly
accountable

STANDARD A2.1 The museum has a written Statement of Purpose.


BENCHMARK A2.1.1 The Statement of Purpose outlines the museum’s:

TIPS
• focus, scope or speciality
• underlying philosophy
• core functions
• physical area
• communities
• audiences.

The Statement of Purpose is guided by the concepts embodied in the Museums Australia
definition of a museum

STANDARD A2.2 The museum works to formal, written policies and procedures that cover
its management, responsibilities, programs and services, and reflect its Statement of
Purpose.


BENCHMARK A2.2.1 The museum’s governing body adopts relevant written policies and
procedures for the museum.

TIPS
Essential documents:
• Statement of Purpose (see Standard A2.1)
• vision statement
• forward plan (see Standard A2.3)
• code of ethics (see Standard A1.4)
• collection policy, including deaccession policy (see Standard C1.1).

Core collection-related policies and procedures:
• conservation policy
• preventive conservation policy
• interpretation policy.

Other useful documents and policies (relevance will depend on the nature of the museum):
• access policy
• artistic commissions policy
• children’s activities policy or working with children policy
• commercial activities policy
• conflict of interest policy
• contractors and artists policy
• disaster preparedness and response plan (see Standard C2.5)
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• education and lifelong learning policy
• exhibition policy and schedule
• fraud policy
• fundraising and sponsorship policy
• information management policy, including recordkeeping and records management policies
• occupational health and safety (OH&S) policy
• privacy policy
• research policy
• succession plan
• sustainability policy
• visitor services policy
• volunteer policy (see Standard A3.2)
• whistleblower policy.


BENCHMARK A2.2.2 The governing body and museum workers have copies of relevant
current policies and procedures.


 BENCHMARK A2.2.3 Relevant museum policies and procedures are made public.


BENCHMARK A2.2.4 Policies and procedures are reviewed regularly, and updated as
required.

TIPS
It may be appropriate to consult relevant stakeholders when policies or procedures are
reviewed.

STANDARD A2.3 The museum has a viable, current forward plan that covers all aspects of
museum operations.


BENCHMARK A2.3.1 The forward plan reflects the museum’s Statement of Purpose.

TIPS
A forward plan can take several forms, including:
• strategic plan
• business plan
• corporate plan.




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
BENCHMARK A2.3.2 The forward plan is informed by the relevant policies and strategies of
government and of other organisations.

TIPS
Examples include:
• a state/territory government forward plan or arts strategy
• a local government cultural development plan.


BENCHMARK A2.3.3 The forward plan sets realistic time frames and identifies how and
where the resources needed to achieve each goal will be obtained.

?
BENCHMARK A2.3.4 Museum activities clearly reflect the goals outlined in the forward plan.


BENCHMARK A2.3.5 The forward plan is reviewed regularly, and is revised if the museum’s
priorities and needs change.

STANDARD A2.4 The museum uses an effective information and records management
system.

½
BENCHMARK A2.4.1 Legal and operational records are kept of the museum’s programs,
activities and workers.

TIPS
Records can be physical (paper) and/or electronic or digital.
Operational records to keep might include:
• annual reports
• financial records
• evidence of key decisions affecting policies and ongoing operations (e.g. meeting minutes,
and resolutions of the governing body)
• key administrative files
• personnel files.

Museums affiliated with government may have recordkeeping responsibilities under relevant
local, state/territory and/or national legislation.

Material that documents a museum’s own history is also worthwhile retaining.
For instance:
• documents
• photographs
• audio and video recordings
• media coverage
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• other evidence of museum events and community participation
• brochures
• catalogues and other exhibition support materials
• invitations
• merchandise samples.

1/2
BENCHMARK A2.4.2 An effective system is in place to manage, and retrieve information
from, the museum’s records.

TIPS
Records should be:
• appropriately organised and clearly labelled
• duplicated / backed up, as appropriate
• kept in accordance with operational policies and guidelines
• kept up to date
• stored at a central location
• kept secure.


(NB 6 monthly Museums & Local History Advisory Committee report and City of
Melville Annual Report)

BENCHMARK A2.4.3 An annual report is produced and made available to the public.

TIPS
The annual report of a museum that is part of a larger organisation may be included in that of
the parent body or organisation.

STANDARD A2.5 The museum uses sound financial management and reporting practices
and procedures, and is financially viable.


BENCHMARK A2.5.1 An annual financial plan or budget covers all aspects of the museum’s
operations and programs and reflects priorities in the forward plan.

TIPS
Longer-term financial planning is also encouraged.


BENCHMARK A2.5.2 Records are kept of all income and expenditure.

TIPS
Records might include:
• bank statements
• details of grants received and acquitted
• tax invoices
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• till and other receipts.




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
BENCHMARK A2.5.3 All mandatory financial requirements are fulfilled.

TIPS
For example, by:
• meeting the mandatory requirements and regulations of the Australian
Taxation Office
• acquitting grants on time.


BENCHMARK A2.5.4 Financial controls are in place to prevent error and fraud.
TIPS
Useful controls include having:
• financial records prepared and verified annually by a suitably qualified person
• procedures and training for workers, to help ensure that sales and other financial
transactions are handled appropriately
• a fraud policy.


BENCHMARK A2.5.5 Income is generated by the museum’s operations.

TIPS
Income sources might include:
• admission fees
• fundraising
• merchandise sales
• research fees
• venue hire.

Funding might include:
• grants
• government, local government, or other financial support towards
wages or operational costs
• sponsorship.

In-kind support might include:
• work carried out by volunteers
• donated materials or resources
• donated services.

STANDARD A2.6 The museum identifies and assesses risks and has strategies in place to
manage them.




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
BENCHMARK A2.6.1 Risk management is part of the museum’s strategic and financial
planning, through up-to-date policies, procedures and strategies.

TIPS
Risks can affect a museum’s:
• brand
• buildings
• business
• collection
• finances
• governing body
• legal status
• performance
• reputation
• resources
• site
• viability
• visitors
• workers.

A fraud policy and relevant financial training for staff may be useful.

Annual budgets should include provision for the ‘excess’ component in insurance policies.



BENCHMARK A2.6.2 Occupational health and safety (OH&S) obligations are fulfilled.

TIPS
It is essential that museums have up-to-date OH&S policies and procedures in place.
O H&S legislation is specific to each state and territory, so regional variations may apply.

Strategies for ensuring that OH&S obligations are met could include the following (please
note that some of these strategies are compulsory under state/territory legislation):
• take all necessary steps to ensure that working conditions for museum workers are not
unsafe, hazardous or inadequate
• ensure that safety precautions are signed off by relevant workers
• appoint an OH&S officer or committee
• provide workers with relevant information on, and training in, OH&S policies and procedures
(including how to manage and report issues of concern, OH&S-related incidents, or
accidents)
• consult directly with workers on matters relating to their health and safety, and advise
workers that they can refuse to undertake work they consider unsafe
• use risk assessment forms
• use action sheets

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• use report forms, or another formal process, for reporting issues of concern, incidents, or
accidents
• conduct regular drills on emergency evacuation procedures
• provide adequate training and supervision for workers operating objects or exhibits that are
‘activated’ or demonstrated as part of the museum’s programs (e.g. a steam engine)
• have in place formal procedures whereby the museum responds to any reports by workers
about the need for additional safety precautions in relation to activated objects or exhibits
• keep all required safety accreditation and maintenance records in relation to activated
objects or exhibits (including safe operating procedures documentation, and maintenance
logbooks).

?
BENCHMARK A2.6.3 Adequate and appropriate insurance cover is maintained for the site,
buildings, workers, visitors, the governing body, and the collection.
TIPS
Insurance to cover the museum’s governing body is sometimes necessary, and in some
circumstances it is appropriate to insure the museum’s collection, or specific items within it.
For insurance and recovery purposes, it is useful to identify, value and photograph:
• significant collection items
• key items of equipment
• other infrastructure.


BENCHMARK A2.6.4 All required certificates and licences have been obtained and are kept
current.
TIPS
Certificates and licences may be needed for:
• electrical wiring
• firearms
• food and alcohol sales and service
• forklifts
• hazardous materials
• machinery
• rail safety
• steam boilers and pressure vessels
• vehicle registration.




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PRINCIPLE A3 The museum manages its workers to make the best use of their skills
and knowledge, and to achieve the museum’s purpose

STANDARD A3.1 The museum defines its key roles and tasks, and recruits and appoints
suitable people for specific roles.


BENCHMARK A3.1.1 The governing body includes an appropriate mix of skills and
experience.


BENCHMARK A3.1.2 An organisational chart outlines all reporting and supervisory
structures.


BENCHMARK A3.1.3 There are position descriptions or task sheets defining key roles and
tasks of all workers.

X
BENCHMARK A3.1.4 Efforts are made to ensure that the museum will have suitably skilled
workers to meet its future needs.

TIPS
Questions to consider include:
• What is the length of time that specific individuals are likely to stay in management,
governance or other specialised roles?
• Are there current museum workers, or individuals outside the organisation, who have the
skills and knowledge appropriate to these roles?
• Are there current workers who could be trained up, or mentored, so as to gain the skills and
knowledge required of these roles?

A museum may find it useful to develop a succession plan.

n/a
BENCHMARK A3.1.5 New workers are actively recruited for specific roles, tasks and
projects, using appropriate selection processes and criteria.

TIPS
Relevant points include:
• experience
• skills
• qualifications
• interests.




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
BENCHMARK A3.1.6 Appointment procedures are fair, transparent, and consistent with legal
requirements.

TIPS
Australian employers are required by law to adhere to the principle of equal opportunity.
State/territory-based equal opportunity legislation offers museums scope to actively recruit for
diversity in the workplace.


BENCHMARK A3.1.7 Additional workers are called on for special projects, as required.

TIPS
A museum might engage external experts as:
• commissioned artists
• consultants
• contractors
• volunteers.

These experts might include:
• accountants
• actors
• artisans
• artists
• auditors
• conservators
• editors
• graphic designers
• performers
• presenters
• printers
• researchers
• speakers
• taxidermists
• tradespeople
• writers.


X
BENCHMARK A3.1.8 There are enough workers to meet day-to-day management and
program requirements.

STANDARD A3.2 The museum defines and communicates the duties, rights and
responsibilities of the museum and its workers.



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BENCHMARK A3.2.1 Written statements define the duties, conditions of engagement, rights
and responsibilities of the museum, paid workers and volunteer workers.

TIPS
Paid workers should be provided with a written Conditions of Employment document and this
should reflect federal and state requirements.

The responsibilities and rights of volunteers may be detailed in a volunteer policy or a
volunteer agreement, both of which should acknowledge the efforts of volunteers and explain
how the museum counts volunteer hours.
A volunteer policy might also cover:
• information about who volunteers report to
• information about insurance for volunteers
• induction procedures and training opportunities.
All of this information could be brought together in a human resources manual, with other
relevant resources.


BENCHMARK A3.2.2 New workers receive an induction on their specific roles and tasks, and
on the organisation.

TIPS
A museum may partly meet the induction needs of new workers by providing them with a
comprehensive and user-friendly induction kit or manual that contains all of the museum’s
relevant current policies, and the code of ethics under which the museum operates.

New workers should sign a statement declaring that they have read and understood the
museum’s policies and procedures, and the code of ethics that the museum follows.

STANDARD A3.3 The museum acknowledges that museum work involves special skills, and
gives workers opportunities to acquire or enhance these skills.


BENCHMARK A3.3.1 The museum considers the skills required for its current and future
activities, identifies gaps, and plans training for current workers.

TIPS
A suitable technique for this may be a skills audit.
Performance evaluations, both for workers and for members of a museum’s governing body,
can provide helpful information on their skills.




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
BENCHMARK A3.3.2 Appropriate training is provided for workers, and its costs are
subsidised by the museum where possible.

TIPS
Training can take many forms, including:
• providing access to industry journals, websites and other information sources
• formal inductions
• mentoring
• supporting workers to attend refresher courses, seminars and workshops presented by peak
bodies, and conferences.

Keep in mind the training needs not only of paid museum workers but also of members of the
museum’s governing body, and of volunteers (those who work ‘front of house’, as well as
those who work behind the scenes). Peak bodies, professional associations, and networks,
support excellence in the museum sector by providing many opportunities for workers and
others to exchange ideas and to access training.


BENCHMARK A3.3.3 Up-to-date records are kept of training programs attended by museum
workers.


BENCHMARK A3.3.4 Manuals, and other resources on museum practice, are available for
workers as reference material.


BENCHMARK A3.3.5 Experienced workers are encouraged to act as mentors.
The work of mentors can complement or follow on from formal training.




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PRINCIPLE A4 The museum is a secure, well-managed facility that presents a positive
public image

STANDARD A4.1 The museum has security of tenure for its premises.


BENCHMARK A4.1.1 The museum has a current lease, or a land title, for its site, or
correspondence confirming its right to the ongoing use of the site for a reasonable period into
the future.

STANDARD A4.2 The museum dedicates appropriate spaces to all activities.

X
BENCHMARK A4.2.1 Efforts are made to have visitor orientation, displays, storage and
loading, collection management, administration, meetings, and food preparation take place in
appropriate spaces. Shops, public research areas, laboratories and workshops also have
suitable, defined areas wherever possible.

TIPS
A museum also needs to ensure that hazardous materials are properly stored.

In some museums, it may be appropriate to set aside space for cultural requirements (e.g.
storing and processing collection items), or for ceremonial use.


BENCHMARK A4.2.2 Efforts are made to have the museum physically accessible to people
of all ages and levels of ability, wherever possible.

STANDARD A4.3 The museum conserves, maintains, protects and documents its assets.

½
BENCHMARK A4.3.1 The museum premises provide a suitable and safe environment for all
of the museum’s operations, including the storage and display of the collection.

TIPS
Buildings should be:
• solid and stable
• dry
• well ventilated
• insect- and vermin-proof.

Museums that host, or plan to host, touring exhibitions should consider developing a current
description of their buildings, site and facilities, using the Australian and New Zealand
Facilities Report template when it becomes available..


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
BENCHMARK A4.3.2 Regular maintenance and building inspections ensure that the
museum’s site, grounds, garden, buildings and equipment are kept tidy, clear of rubbish and
in good repair.

TIPS
Useful strategies include:
• having maintenance schedules for buildings, grounds, gardens and equipment
• having a designated maintenance person or team.


BENCHMARK A4.3.3 The museum draws on appropriate advice about its sites, gardens,
buildings, fixtures and in situ collections of heritage significance, and develops and maintains
these places according to conservation principles.


BENCHMARK A4.3.4 The museum meets fire safety standards.

TIPS
Fire safety measures should include:
• emergency procedures
• fire drills
• fire-extinguishers
• ‘No Smoking’ signs and/or designated smoking areas
• regular maintenance of fire safety equipment
• smoke alarms.


BENCHMARK A4.3.5 The museum uses appropriate security measures.

TIPS
For example:
• alarms
• exit procedures
• fences
• gates
• locks
• movement sensors
• security patrols
• systems for issuing, copying and returning keys.




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
BENCHMARK A4.3.6 Facilities are managed with consideration for the sustainability of
natural resources.

TIPS
Strategies to consider:
• conserve water in gardens and kitchens
• conserve energy by switching off appliances and power points when not in use
• provide recycling bins (or access to off-site recycling facilities)
• dispose appropriately of hazardous waste (e.g. paint)
• adopt passive energy design for new building works or site maintenance programs (e.g.
insulation, external blinds, or replacing trees).

A sustainability policy may help to define and guide the museum’s approach to these issues.

½
BENCHMARK A4.3.7 Up-to-date registers are kept, listing all museum assets and
equipment.

TIPS
Assets and equipment might include:
• buildings
• cameras
• computers
• furniture and fittings
• heating–air conditioning plant
• telephones, fax machines and photocopiers
• tools and maintenance equipment.

n/a
BENCHMARK A4.3.8 There is a written policy on the commercial use of the museum’s
assets.

TIPS
Commercial uses might include:
• commercial filming or photography on, or of, the premises
• the lease of buildings on the premises
• the selling of merchandise.




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                        Version 1.0

Part B: Involving people

PRINCIPLE B1 The museum is used, supported and valued by diverse communities as
a worthwhile place where people can express, share and discover significant stories,
ideas and objects

STANDARD B1.1 The museum includes a range of people in its operations and programs.

X
BENCHMARK B1.1.1 Efforts are made to represent the diversity of the museum’s community
in the governing body, management and workforce of the museum.

TIPS
Museums can gain a sense of the diversity in the wider community by researching statistics
on age, cultural background, disability, education, employment status, gender, income and
special interests.

Keep in mind that there are a whole range of barriers to people getting involved, including
cultural background, working hours, and concerns about feeling welcome.

Consider targeting those who are not already represented in the museum’s audiences. You
might look at this from a range of viewpoints: for example, in terms of the benefits to the
museum of involving people with different skills, life experiences, and networks. Diversity,
social inclusion and equity are other factors to take into account.

½
BENCHMARK B1.1.2 Community members are involved in a diversity of roles and activities.

TIPS
Potential roles include:
• advisers
• donors
• Friends
• hosts for special events
• interpreters
• interviewees for oral history
• members of the governing body
• museum members
• partners
• researchers
• speakers
• special guests
• sponsors and supporters
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• tour guides
• volunteers.

Suggested strategies for approaching community members include:
• flyers
• media appeals
• newsletters
• public notices
• visits to new residents.

It can also be useful to create and maintain lists of community contacts, for invitations, future
reference, and activities.


BENCHMARK B1.1.3 Representatives and members of local and/or specialist organizations
and communities are invited to contribute their knowledge, insights and expertise to museum
planning, collection development, and programs.

TIPS
Organisations and communities might include:
• government departments or agencies (e.g. economic, tourism, and marketing boards); local
council representatives; education bodies; Indigenous and cultural/linguistic groups
• service groups; access advocacy organisations; child-care and youth groups; clubs; aged
care and disability facilities; businesses; arts and environmental groups
• individuals, including artists, scientists, historians, educators, parents
and caregivers.

Contributions might involve:
• being members of advisory committees, or of event or exhibition teams
• contributing their own displays and activities
• identifying significant material held in the collection
• providing advice and information relevant to their history and culture.

Depending on the organisation or community, it may be useful to work together to create a
formal memorandum of understanding. A practical way to gain input is through informal
meetings. Consider meeting times that respect participants’ other commitments.

½
BENCHMARK B1.1.4 Efforts are made to address the interests and needs of different
audiences,age groups, and levels of ability, in museum activities.

TIPS
Grouping the audience into meaningful segments will allow you to design efficient and
effective strategies for reaching them. Some audience segments will be more likely to
respond to your efforts. Research on marketing efficiency suggests that it is most useful to
focus on reaching and influencing those audience segments first.


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STANDARD B1.2 The museum carries out its activities as part of a broader community and
contributes to community events.


(NB 2012 Centenary )
BENCHMARK B1.2.1 The museum participates in community events.

TIPS
Community events can include:
• celebrations
• commemorations
• festivals
• regular calendar events (e.g. an annual show, or market days)
• special events.
Consider these occasions when planning the museum’s annual program
of activities.




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PRINCIPLE B2 The museum presents its most significant collection items, stories and
themes through engaging exhibitions and programs

STANDARD B2.1 The museum selects significant collection areas, stories or themes to
highlight, based on what is most relevant to its purpose and audiences.

½
BENCHMARK B2.1.1 The museum’s significant collection areas, themes or stories are
outlined in a written policy or plan.

TIPS
This process can be informed by research into the museum’s collection and buildings, as well
as by the museum’s Statement of Purpose, key themes and/or chapters in regional history.

Useful documents to develop might include:
• an exhibition policy and schedule
• an interpretation plan or strategy.

Some museums may find it useful to draw on:
• a statement of cultural heritage significance
• a regional history
• regional thematic studies.

x
BENCHMARK B2.1.2 Exhibitions, displays and activities are changed to attract and interest
new audiences and repeat visitors, using a variety of collection items, themes and stories.

TIPS
Plans for changing displays and activities should be outlined in
documents such as:
• exhibition proposals
• exhibition or display plans
• exhibition or display schedules
• programs or schedules of other activities and events.

X
BENCHMARK B2.1.3 A variety of methods are used to present stories, exhibition themes,
and the collection, to museum audiences.

TIPS
Possible methods include:
• demonstrations
• education kits
• exhibitions (on-site or off-site)
• multimedia
• oral histories
• performances
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• publications
• special activities
• talks
• tours
• websites
• workshops.

½
BENCHMARK B2.1.4 The significance of the museum’s objects, buildings and site is
explained to the public.

X
BENCHMARK B2.1.5 Efforts are made to research and interpret significant stories, themes
and collection areas, from the past up to the present day, and from a range of perspectives.

STANDARD B2.2 T he museum’s exhibitions, activities and events are based on sound
research and current museological practices.

n/a
BENCHMARK B2.2.1 Research and scholarship are shared with the wider community
through publications or other means.


BENCHMARK B2.2.2 All information and interpretation is well researched and sources are
appropriately acknowledged.

TIPS
This includes acknowledgement of rights such as copyright and the right to privacy.

X
BENCHMARK B2.2.3 Museum interpretation acknowledges differing points of view and any
uncertainty about facts.

TIPS
Doubt can be acknowledged with qualifying phrases such as ‘It is believed that’, or by the use
of circa with dates.

X
BENCHMARK B2.2.4 It is made clear to visitors that replicas, reproductions and props are
not original objects.

TIPS
Replicas, props and reproductions can be identified as different from original objects by
various means, including display techniques and explanatory labels.

Replicas, props or reproductions can be useful in some museum settings:
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• when it is not safe to display originals
• if originals no longer exist
• as part of hands-on activities or other approaches to interpretation.

STANDARD B2.3 The museum’s exhibitions, activities and events actively encourage
lifelong learning.


BENCHMARK B2.3.1 Information developed for visitors is accessible and clear.

TIPS
There are many options for presenting information, including:
• audio tours / downloads
• displays
• DVDs
• guided tours
• publications
• websites.


BENCHMARK B2.3.2 Objects on display are arranged to convey significant collection areas,
themes, stories and ideas.

TIPS
Objects can be grouped or arranged to convey their significance, or to:
• help provide context for each other (e.g. a photo of a room might accompany a specific
piece of furniture)
• support or contradict other historical evidence (e.g. an original building plan and a
description of the building)
• convey ideas presented in exhibition text, a brochure or other interpretive materials (e.g. by
demonstrating how an object was used).

A museum can keep creating new points of interest and meaning by changing the ways in
which objects are grouped, so that they present different themes or stories.


BENCHMARK B2.3.3 Displays are well designed and text is clear, well organised and
concise.

X
BENCHMARK B2.3.4 Activities and events include learning experiences suited to people of
different ages, cultural backgrounds, and abilities.

TIPS
Consider the types of learning experiences offered to visitors and workers.

Experiences might include learning that is:
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• informal
• formal
• curriculum-based
• tailored to different learning styles.


BENCHMARK B2.3.5 Activities and events give visitors opportunities to respond and get
involved.

TIPS
Ways to actively involve visitors might include:
• blogs
• information brochures to assist people in caring for their own collections
• dress-ups
• family or group activities
• interactive exhibits
• making and doing
• opportunities for discussion
• opportunities to bring in their own collection items
• touch trolleys.

X
BENCHMARK B2.3.6 Evaluations of exhibitions, activities and events are used to improve
programs and inform future planning.




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PRINCIPLE B3 The museum is committed to its current and potential audiences, and
caters for their needs and interests through its communications, programs and
services

STANDARD B3.1 The museum knows who its current and potential audiences are and has
strategies to attract and retain them.


BENCHMARK B3.1.1 Records are kept of visitor numbers, and of types of visitors.

TIPS
Visitor tallies might be compiled on a daily, weekly, monthly and/or yearly basis.

Information about types of visitors can be based on tallies of numbers of:
• adults
• children
• people from specific Australian postcode areas
• international visitors
• booked groups and types of booked groups (e.g. schools and/or year levels, seniors and
tour groups)
• special needs groups.
Don’t forget to count online visitors.


BENCHMARK B3.1.2 Records of visitor numbers are evaluated to help the museum
understand visitation patterns and to assist in planning for the future.

TIPS
Understanding visitation patterns helps museums to meet visitors’ needs by providing enough
staff and activities to match typical demand at specific times, and by scheduling programs and
events when target audiences are most likely to attend.

½
BENCHMARK B3.1.3 Visitors are invited to give feedback about their museum experience,
and this information is evaluated and used in planning.

BENCHMARK B3.1.4 The forward plan includes strategies to attract existing audiences as
repeat visitors, and ideas for drawing in other potential audiences.
TIPS
Strategies might develop out of research to identify the types of activities and events likely to
attract particular audiences, based on factors such as:
• age
• cultural background
• education
• gender
• special interests.
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Why not draw on tourism data and the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS)? An awareness
of why some people do not come to the museum can be very useful too.

STANDARD B3.2 The museum promotes its collection, key attractions, programs and
services.


BENCHMARK B3.2.1 A range of promotional tools are used to make potential audiences
aware of the museum and to encourage them to visit.

TIPS
Promotional tools include:
• advertising
• brochures
• direct mail
• flyers
• information in tourism brochures
• media releases
• newspaper articles
• public talks
• radio and/or television interviews
• websites.

½
BENCHMARK B3.2.2 Promotional material is up to date.

STANDARD B3.3 The museum provides information to help visitors locate the museum
and find their way around while they are there.


BENCHMARK B3.3.1 The museum works with relevant authorities to have road signs
installed in the surrounding suburb, town or city, to help people find the museum.

TIPS
Explore your options through federal, state/territory and/or local government departments.


BENCHMARK B3.3.2 Information signs at the site include the museum’s name, opening
hours, entry fees and contact details, and information about access and facilities for people
with disabilities.




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X
BENCHMARK B3.3.3 There is orientation information to help visitors find their way around
the museum and understand what there is to see and do there.

TIPS
The term ‘orientation’ can refer to physical orientation (e.g. providing visitors with way-finding
aids, and directions to various areas of the museum). It also covers conceptual orientation in
relation to displays (e.g. introducing visitors to key concepts and messages).

Orientation methods include:
• audio guides
• brochures
• computers or touch screens
• maps
• signage
• tours.

STANDARD B3.4 The museum has regular opening hours.

n/a
BENCHMARK B3.4.1 A roster is in place to make sure enough workers are on duty to
maintain the museum’s regular opening hours and/or prearranged appointment times.

TIPS
Where a museum opens only by appointment, it needs to do so reasonably often, and at
times that suit both the visitor and the museum.


BENCHMARK B3.4.2 Contact details are publicised so that visitors can access the museum
by appointment if they wish to.

TIPS
You can use Collections Australia Network (CAN) and the Australian Tourism Data
Warehouse (ATD W) to promote your museum.

STANDARD B3.5 The museum offers visitors a welcoming experience, and its workers
espond appropriately to visitor enquiries and feedback.


BENCHMARK B3.5.1 Visitors are given an appropriate welcome.


BENCHMARK B3.5.2 Staff and volunteers have a customer focus and are well informed
about the museum’s purpose, key objectives, and activities.



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
BENCHMARK B3.5.3 All face-to-face, telephone and email enquiries and complaints are
managed efficiently and courteously.


BENCHMARK B3.5.4 Group and tour bookings are managed effectively.

½
BENCHMARK B3.5.5 Facilities for visitors are safe, comfortable and pleasant.

TIPS
Facilities might include:
• adequate lighting
• cloakroom
• eating areas
• lockers
• parents’ room
• seating
• toilet facilities or directions to the closest facilities
• well-planned public spaces.

STANDARD B3.6 The museum’s public programs are as accessible as possible to people of
ll ages and abilities.

n/a
BENCHMARK B3.6.1 There are regular evaluations to check the accessibility of the
museum’s public programs to people of all ages and abilities.

TIPS
Access is often thought about only in terms of physical accessibility, but it is also about:
• sensory accessibility
• intellectual access
• cultural access
• emotional and attitudinal access.


BENCHMARK B3.6.2 Informed, appropriate strategies are used to overcome any access
limitations for young children, older people, people with disabilities, and people with special
needs.




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                        Version 1.0

Part C: Developing a significant collection
PRINCIPLE C1 The museum’s collection represents the significant stories and
interests of its diverse and changing communities

STANDARD C1.1 The museum develops its collection to reflect its unique purpose and the
significant stories and interests of its diverse and changing communities.

x
BENCHMARK C1.1.1 Key collection areas are based on the museum’s Statement of
Purpose, key topics, themes and stories, and the communities it serves.

TIPS
An outline of the following benchmarks might appear in the preamble to the museum’s
collection policy, which might also refer to the histories and cultures of the diverse local
communities (including Indigenous and culturally and linguistically diverse communities)
represented within the collection.

Collections tend to develop at different rates. For instance, the nature of some bequests, sub-
collections and ‘closed collections’ (such as those of house museums) may mean that little or
no new material is ever added.

Other collection areas may require an active program to address gaps (e.g. under-
represented time periods, local groups, themes or stories).


BENCHMARK C1.1.2 The collection policy and procedures explain procedures and criteria
with regard to:
• access
• acquisitions
• cataloguing
• conservation
• copyright issues
• deaccessioning
• disposal
• documentation
• loans
• oral history
• resource, education or secondary collections
• storage.




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TIPS
Access in this context is about how people can access the collection and its records. You
might have a general museum access policy to refer to, and keep in mind that access is a
principle that applies to a range of issues.
It can be useful to cross-reference your access policy with policies and guiding documents
such as a preventive conservation policy and codes of ethics.

STANDARD C1.2 The museum knows the significance of its collection.


BENCHMARK C1.2.1 Decisions about acquisitions, deaccessioning and care of the collection
are informed by significance assessments.

TIPS
Remember to ask donors everything you can about items when you acquire them. A t the
point of acquisition, an object file is begun, to which you progressively add research on the
object. Where object files have not been established for the collection, research to inform
significance assessments of selected objects should be undertaken.

½
BENCHMARK C1.2.2 The significance of selected individual collection items is investigated
and documented.

TIPS
It is useful to date significance assessments, and to update them as new information
becomes available.

STANDARD C1.3 The museum aims to have unconditional legal ownership of its collection.

½
BENCHMARK C1.3.1 Records are kept of the transactions accompanying each acquisition.

TIPS
Unconditional ownership of the collection is important for:
• allocating resources
• planning long-term collection development
• planning displays
• prioritising collection-care activities
• ensuring long-term preservation.

A museum that owns its collection is able to make all decisions affecting that collection.




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
BENCHMARK C1.3.2 Donors must sign donation forms.


BENCHMARK C1.3.3 If the museum does not have unconditional ownership of a collection
item, it has a plan in place to gain title to it or an appropriate written agreement that is
reviewed regularly.

TIPS
Some objects may need to be co-managed by the museum and a community group.

STANDARD C1.4 The museum has an effective system to record and retrieve information
about its collection.


BENCHMARK C1.4.1 The paper, electronic or digital collection documentation system
includes:
• an accession register (including a unique numbering system)
• a catalogue (including a minimum dataset and an agreed nomenclature)
• object or artist files (research notes, newspaper clippings, significance assessments).

TIPS
A set of twenty data fields that is recognised by INTERPOL is Object ID.


BENCHMARK C1.4.2 Records of the collection are safely stored and backup copies are
made at regular intervals.

TIPS
It is useful to have a written procedure for this.

STANDARD C1.5 The museum makes its collection accessible in digital formats and in
online environments, as resources permit.

½
BENCHMARK C1.5.1 Digital collections are created and maintained using recognised
principles and standards.

TIPS
Digital collections may include materials that are either ‘born digital’ or, via the process of
digitisation, ‘made digital’.




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½
BENCHMARK C1.5.2 Digital collections are managed in keeping with the standards,
procedures, policies and records management systems used for the museum’s other
collections.

TIPS
Standards include those relating to:
• documentation
• cataloguing
• arrangement and description.

Policies include:
• collections policy
• conservation/preservation policy
• sustainability policy.

Digital materials need to be ‘future proofed’. This has implications for computer hardware and
software.


BENCHMARK C1.5.3 Legal requirements are addressed, along with ethical and other
protocols, before any digitisation process begins.

TIPS
Legal requirements include adhering to the laws of:
• privacy
• copyright
• intellectual property
• moral rights.

Protocols may relate to:
• ethics
• culture-specific sensitivities
• rights management.

X
BENCHMARK C1.5.4 Digital collections are managed with sufficient accompanying
information, in relevant formats, to allow for continuing access, future re-use and ongoing
preservation.

TIPS
The accompanying information may include:
• acknowledgements
• captioning
• metadata
• permissions and restrictions (associated with rights management).

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
BENCHMARK C1.5.5 Digitisation procedures are designed and managed so as to minimise
the risk of damage to collection items.

X
BENCHMARK C1.5.6 Digital collections are presented to the public in ways that meet
accessibility standards and are compatible with adaptive technologies.

TIPS
A ccessibility in the online environment is about making sure you present information in ways
that take into account people’s different abilities, requirements and technology access.
Access is often thought about only in terms of physical accessibility, but it is also about:
• sensory accessibility
• intellectual access
• cultural access
• emotional and attitudinal access.




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PRINCIPLE C2      The   museum      preserves    its   significant   collections   for   future
generations

STANDARD C2.1 T he museum makes decisions on preventive conservation based on
current conservation advice and practices.

½
BENCHMARK C2.1.1 Preventive conservation principles are reflected in the museum’s
policies and procedures.

TIPS
Conservation is considered as an integral part of all museum activities, policies and
procedures, for instance:
• building works
• exhibitions
• public programs.


BENCHMARK C2.1.2 A preventive conservation strategy is in place.

TIPS
This strategy is informed by an initial risk assessment and an understanding of significance,
and might include:
• definitions of conservation, restoration and preservation
• priorities
• measures to reduce light levels on light-sensitive collection items
• a cleaning regime and roster for display and storage areas
• regular inspections for damp and pests, dust and pollution
• shelter for significant outdoor exhibits, where appropriate
• an integrated pest management (IPM) program
• procedures for dealing with mould or pest infestations
• O H&S issues.

It makes sense to consider the broader museum setting and purpose too. For instance, if
reduced light levels are desirable for some objects, what strategies could be used to keep
exhibition text visible or accessible in that setting?


BENCHMARK C2.1.3 The preventive conservation strategy is based on reputable museum
conservation information and advice.

TIPS
The AICCM website provides a guide to ‘Finding Conservators’.




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
BENCHMARK C2.1.4 Preventive conservation guidelines and training are readily available to
all museum workers.

STANDARD C2.2 The museum actively strives to create and maintain an appropriate and
stable environment for its collection.

x
BENCHMARK C2.2.1 Approaches to storage and display show appropriate understanding of
the collection’s condition and the environmental requirements of individual items.

TIPS
Environmental considerations include:
• dust and other pollutants
• humidity
• light levels
• temperature levels and fluctuations.
Collections will include items composed of different materials (e.g. wood, paper, textiles and
metals), each having different conservation requirements and risks.

These issues are also essential considerations for touring exhibitions.

½
BENCHMARK C2.2.2 The collection storage and display areas are cleaned regularly and
kept tidy and free of rubbish.

TIPS
Having a regular maintenance schedule in place helps to keep exhibitions and displays free of
pests and other hazards, and looking good.


BENCHMARK C2.2.3 Appropriate equipment and training are available to ensure that the
collection is handled and moved in an appropriate manner.

TIPS
Appropriate equipment includes:
• boxes or crates
• gloves
• trolleys.


BENCHMARK C2.2.4 Conditions in exhibition and storage areas are regularly monitored,
recorded and assessed in light of the collection’s conservation requirements, and damage or
potential damage is reported and followed up.



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TIPS
I formation on issues affecting specific collection items (e.g. particular conservation needs, or
incidents such as pest infestation or water damage) can be recorded in object files and on
databases.

For future reference, it is important to document key events that have impacted on the
collection (e.g. a leak, cyclone or other disaster) and to add this information to records of the
museum’s history.         Although collecting and recording relevant information about
environmental conditions is vital, the key here is to ensure that improvements are made as a
result of this knowledge.

Two examples of follow-up are:
• making changes to display and storage areas
• seeking advice from a qualified conservator.

X
BENCHMARK C2.2.5 Storage and display environments are improved and upgraded as
resources become available, in light of ongoing assessments of the museum environment
and the collection’s needs.

STANDARD C2.3 The museum’s display, storage and handling methods minimise risks to
its collection.


BENCHMARK C2.3.1 Appropriate supports, display materials and techniques are used for
collection items on display.

½
BENCHMARK C2.3.2 Appropriate methods and materials are used for collection storage.

TIPS
Appropriate storage may include:
• boxes
• cabinets
• shelving.

Methods include:
• ensuring items are not stored directly on the floor
• using dust covers for larger items
• using supports for fragile items.


BENCHMARK C2.3.3 Archival-quality materials are used for storage and display where
appropriate and wherever possible.


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X
BENCHMARK C2.3.4 Collection items are rotated on and off display in accordance with their
conservation needs.

STANDARD C2.4 The museum makes decisions about conservation treatments based on
current conservation advice and practices.


BENCHMARK C2.4.1 Appropriate advice is sought from qualified conservators before any
conservation or restoration treatments are carried out, and any interventive conservation work
on collection items is performed by qualified conservators.


BENCHMARK C2.4.2 The condition of any collection item requiring conservation is recorded
and considered, and a treatment proposal prepared, before any interventive conservation
work is carried out.

n/a
BENCHMARK C2.4.3 Every item selected for conservation work has a statement of
significance to justify the cost of the work and to guide procedures.

n/a
BENCHMARK C2.4.4 Records are kept of all conservation treatments (or restoration
activities), including the materials used, who carried out the treatment, and any physical
changes to the object.

TIPS
Photographs and pencil sketches can be used to show the object before and after
conservation treatment.

½
BENCHMARK C2.4.5 Suitable storage and display environments are chosen for treated
collection items, with the aims of maintaining their stability, and long-term preservation.

TIPS
Returning a collection item to an inappropriate environment will undermine the benefits of any
conservation treatment that item has received.

STANDARD C2.5 The museum has identified, and is able to respond to, all potential threats
to its collection.

BENCHMARK C2.5.1 All current and potential threats to the collection are identified through
regular risk assessments.
TIPS
These might be conducted or reviewed on an annual or seasonal basis.
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
BENCHMARK C2.5.2 Potential threats to the collection are removed or reduced.


BENCHMARK C2.5.3 The disaster preparedness and response plan is informed by a current
risk assessment and is regularly reviewed.

TIPS
Be sure to consider all aspects of the museum in the disaster preparedness and response
plan, including:
• activities and special events
• buildings
• the collection
• exhibitions
• people.


BENCHMARK C2.5.4 The disaster preparedness and response plan includes an up-to-date
list of contacts for emergencies.

TIPS
Relevant contacts might include:
• individuals
• members of the museum’s governing body
• museum workers
• organisations
• service providers.


BENCHMARK C2.5.5 Workers have training in disaster preparedness and are familiar with
the museum’s disaster preparedness and response plan.

TIPS
Blue Shield Australia encourages museums to support its MayDay program by using the
month of May each year as the occasion for training in, and review of, disaster preparedness.




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