Exhibition marks a decade since ‘temporary’ opening

Nicola KalmarBroome Advertiser

Staff and volunteers at the Sisters of St John of God Heritage Centre will celebrate an important milestone this year when they mark the 10th anniversary of the Relationships Exhibition.

The exhibition initially opened as a temporary display on June 6, 2007, to coincide with the centenary of the Kimberley sisters’ arrival from Beagle Bay in Broome in 1908.

It is now a permanent exhibition, open six days a week from February-November and closes annually for three months for maintenance and restoration to be carried out on the heritage-listed convent, as well as extensive re-curation of the photographs and stories on display.

Featuring a searchable, digitised 55,000-strong photographic collection, the Relationships Exhibition tells the story of 100 years of the sisters in the Kimberley, the various ministries they were involved in, and their relationships with local people.

It also includes a variety of multi-media including film, computer touchscreens, enlarged photographs, storyboards and heritage items.

As well as giving visitors a fascinating insight into the pioneering life and history of the sisters in the Kimberley, the exhibition has also enabled indigenous people to find out more about their family history.

Sister Pat Rhatigan said the exhibition had developed into a major must-see place to visit in Broome for both North West residents and national and international visitors.

Since its opening, nearly 5000 people have poured through the doors.

To celebrate the start of the 2017 season, staff and volunteers are inviting the community to the twilight opening of the Relationships Exhibition this Friday.

Sister Rhatigan said the Sisters of of St John of God would mark the 10th anniversary with the opening of a special exhibition, Stories and Paintings: A Shared Kimberley History, on June 15.

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