Improving how our town's history is told

 Dr Karen Schamberger at the Young Lambing Flat Folk Museum. Photo: Peter Guthrie
Dr Karen Schamberger at the Young Lambing Flat Folk Museum. Photo: Peter Guthrie

Museum curator and history professional Dr Karen Schamberger is volunteering at the Lambing Flat Folk Museum.

Volunteers are looking to secure grant funding to improve the museum and upgrade the interpretation surrounding the Roll-Up banner carried at the Lambing Flat riots in 1861.

Dr Karen Schamberger completed her PhD in 2017, with one of her case studies being the the Roll-Up banner.

She said she had huge help from Young Historical Society and is happy to now be volunteering at rural museum.

"I a museum curator and historian by profession. I've worked in National Museum of Australia [NMA] in Canberra, the Immigration Museum in Melbourne," Dr Karen Schamberger said.

"The volunteers would like to have the interpretation around the banner to be redone. The panels are falling off the wall, they're about 12 years old. So it's also an opportunity to rethink how to interpret the banner and the gold rush history of Young," she explained.

"I'm working through the collection by looking at what's around here with the guidance of the volunteers here. I'm thinking about how do you get a sense of place, how do you understand Burrangong goldfields as a whole, what materials are from that period, looking at many different things, trying to find some answers about what peoples living conditions were like.

"There's opportunity to talk about diversity of people on the goldfields. It's also a way of looking at the way the Lambing Flat gold rush led to the development of the town, the development of Young as an agricultural district, we can think about how the cherry industry developed, and the wine industry. That can give a bit of a historical background for council's tourism strategy. I know council's interested in getting tourists to go and try wines or go to cherry orchards so it's a way to tie that in. Reinterpreting the riots will also be so useful for an education audience.

"It'd also be good to talk to Aboriginal people here because there is the breastplate here. So we could work out how they would like their history told."

Dr Schamberger said she feels an affection for the roll-up banner, the museum and history of Young.

"One of things that interested me about this place and about the banner is because my background is Chinese-Australian. So in a way I have an affection for this place because I want to tell this story in a way that is fair an honest and enables the people of Young to come to terms with their history," she said.

The museum has reopened four days a week Friday to Monday from 10am-4pm.

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