Earlier this week we sat down with Dr Collette Brownlee to hear more about the upcoming Lisburn Museum Veterans Engagement Programme. Collette is the Education Services Officer at the Irish Linen Centre & Lisburn Museum, and will lead the project over the next 12 months.
The project received funding from the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trusts’ Force for Change grant, and will bring together a group of Veterans and serving personnel from the local community to explore a topic of their choice along with a team from the museum.
“Veterans’ groups are very much a part of our community, and the museum reflects that, but this project is a wee bit different,” Colette told us.
Hearing the community’s voice is central to the concept of this programme, and it will adapt to suit the needs of the group as they come together to explore themes and ideas. “We don’t have a one size fits all. This programme will work with up to 30 people from different groups, and it will evolve with the members,” Collette said.
The Lisburn Museum has always incorporated real people and real objects into its exhibitions and archives. This project is very much an extension of that, and Collette will encourage participants to contribute items from their own past to help shape the programme.
“This is not a single identity project, but will bring out multiple voices. We want to encourage people to look at their objects, and give people a platform for discussion,” Collette explained. “Things can also be brought into our archives for future generations, and items can be embargoed - they don’t have to be shared now.”
It is hoped the group will choose a topic to research over 12 months, producing an exhibition, an online exhibition or a publication. Throughout the year, guest speakers will be invited to inspire and share experiences with the group.
If you live in the Lisburn & Castlereagh City council area and would like to hear more about the project, or want to get involved, you can contact: 028 9266 3377