Ray Christison (M&G NSW Chair); Marea Buist (President, Port of Yamba Historical Society / Yamba Museum) The Hon. Don Harwin MLC (Minister for the Arts)
Ray Christison (M&G NSW Chair); Marea Buist (President, Port of Yamba Historical Society / Yamba Museum) The Hon. Don Harwin MLC (Minister for the Arts)

Marea’s museum master stroke

MAREA Buist maintains that she fell into museums involvement by accident 20 years ago.

However, she said that anything she does, she does at 110 per cent, and a love affair with history and museums was born.

Ms Buist has been recognised by the IMAGinE awards which promote and strengthen the NSW museum and gallery sector as winner of Individual Achievement award.

"It's the second time I won this award," she said.

"The first time was in 2008, which was the first time they gave out the award so I was a bit surprised I got it again."

After 20 years with the Port of Yamba Historical Society, 10 years as president and a life member Ms Buist has retired from the position to take a little time for her and her husband.

The citation for the award states that she has played an active role in the development of the Yamba Museum and has shared her passion for lifelong learning through organising an extensive number of workshops and mentorships.

She has responsible for leading, recruiting and developing a band of dedicated volunteers which has seen the Museum grow into the award-winning organisation it is today.

Ms Buist has also been responsible for securing a large number of grants, including for a new museum building and, more recently, $250,000 to build a function room and Yaegl Interpretation Garden.

As well as involvement locally, Ms Buist was recognised for her regional leadership and co-ordination of the Far North Coast Chapter of the Australian Museums and Galleries Association (AMaGA), and had also played an active role in advocating for the sector at a local, state and national level and it is through her persistent representation to local government that the region has been supported.

Not bad for someone who admits they didn't know much about museums at first.

"I find it fascinating the different areas where the museums get into," she said.

"There's much more to the research, collection management and exhibitions, and it was a big learning curve.

"But now I found my niche and I've loved every minute. I've seen and done wonderful things, met wonderful people and I never could've imagined what it's done."

Despite her retirement, Ms Buist said she'd still be found occasionally at the rooms, and championing the cause of all museums.

"I've given a lot, but it's given me a lot back," she said.



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