City of Melbourne Collection site claims top Aussie gong

CoM Ron Robertson-Swann, Vault, 1980The City of Melbourne’s extensive digitised artefact collection has taken out a major design award at the National Conference of Museums and Galleries. The City Collection website was recognised with the top prize for Program Website design from Museums Australia at North Melbourne’s Meat Market on Tuesday evening.

Chair of the Arts, Culture and Heritage portfolio, Councillor Rohan Leppert, said the win was a significant recognition of the extensive work put into the website from across the organisation. “This website is a means through which all Melburnians, Australians and the wider world can understand and explore in exceptional detail some of the most important items in our city’s history,” said Cr Leppert.

“With more than 8,000 items in our collection, cataloguing, digitising and presenting them in an easy to use way via our new website was vital to ensuring the story of Melbourne could be told and enjoyed by current and future generations. The City of Melbourne is incredibly proud of the work put into this website and very honoured to receive this recognition from Museums Australia.”

Valued at $64 million, the City of Melbourne’s collection includes such historic pieces as the city’s first brick, a torch from the 1954 Melbourne Olympics, Aboriginal art and the Lord Mayoral robes and gold chain. The website was designed in collaboration between the City of Melbourne’s Technology Services, Arts branches, Corporate Affairs and Strategic Marketing and design agency Studio Binocular.

Museums Australia judges noted that “the simplicity of this site design supports a highly intuitive exploration of a vast collection”.

Chair of the Knowledge City portfolio, Councillor Dr Jackie Watts, said the site is split into nine categories: treasures, public art, Council and Town Hall, contemporary art, managing a city, events, Aboriginal Melbourne, photography and miscellaneous Melbourne.

“Easily accessing these images and objects reveals so much of the way our city has evolved into the Melbourne we know and love today,” said Dr Watts. “Jump online to browse, research and learn more about the way in which Melbourne’s rich past informs the present day.”

The City Collection website was created as part of the City of Melbourne’s 2016-17 Action Plan and can be viewed at:

Image: Ron Robertson-Swann, Vault, 1980. steel, paint 615 x 1184 x 1003 cm. Commissioned by the City of Melbourne, 1980 City of Melbourne Art and Heritage Collection