Exciting plans for new Australian Rally Museum
- 14th October 2011, 3:18pm
Plans for the new museum were unveiled at the recent World Rally Championship event on the NSW mid-north coast, with the wheels well in motion.
There has already been tremendous interest in the museum, with many pledges of memorabilia and cars already being made.
One of the founding members of the Australian Rally Museum Inc., Trevor Shelton, takes up the story.
“Australian Rally Museum Inc. was formed by five rally enthusiasts, all of which have been competitors, who felt that it is time to preserve the unique history of the sport of rallying within Australia.
Although there are other motorsport museums in Australia which might touch upon rallying, those that have been around rallying for a while realise that this form of motorsport is quite different to others, and does truly deserve its own dedicated tribute.
A passage of time has arrived whereby many of the older statesmen, and women of our sport, are passing away, or are at an age where they are looking to streamline their lifestyle. We have opened an opportunity to those, and of course to others, to pass their lifelong sporting treasures on to a place where those items will be appropriately cared for and where they will hopefully give the next generation of rally enthusiasts a sense of evolution, pride and aspiration in their chosen sport.
Our ultimate aim is to provide an appropriate permanent home for the rallying memorabilia that is donated, on loan, or bought by the museum. The executive team (Barry Habgood, Bob Carle, Pip Bennett, Robert Leonard and Trevor Shelton) would like to see a dynamic museum, as opposed to a static display, so that it will appeal to a younger generation, as well as to the general public, and not just rally enthusiasts.
We anticipate doing this with sound, vision, and motion simulation, in conjunction with the valued items from the contributors, which ultimately will create the "Rally Environment." We plan to exhibit anything from a Rally Romer to iconic rally cars, and everything in between that we deem significant to rallying.
Although it will always be a contentious issue as to where such a museum should be permanently located, we have chosen Coffs Harbour, NSW, for a number of reasons. Firstly, it is an established tourist destination and is central on the populous eastern seaboard of Australia. It has a long rally heritage with Southern Cross rallies, Esanda/2GO Internationals, ARC events, club rallies, and of course now, a WRC round, which we all hope will become a permanent fixture.
We launched Australian Rally Museum Inc. at the 2011 Coffs Coast Rally Australia with a marquee at the Super Special Stage over the three nights. Members of the executive team distributed membership forms, answered questions, and took details of many valuable collections that have been pledged to the museum.
Our next goal is to secure temporary premises so that we can begin to establish the collection itself. The co-ordinator of the Coffs Harbour Regional Museum, Terrie Beckhouse, has generously offered her time as our consultant on best practice cataloguing and archival procedures. The Coffs Harbour City Council Mayor has pledged his support to the museum, and will no doubt assist in securing these premises.
Australian Rally Museum Inc. has already made its first contribution as an "entity" when it was contacted by the Coffs Harbour Advocate to provide photographs and information for a "History of Rallying" feature that the newspaper ran over four days during Rally Australia. We duly obliged. We anticipate that the museum will become an important resource on many such future occasions, with enquiries from all over Australia.
Once our core collection has been established, the museum will participate in small "pop-up" exhibitions around the country in conjunction with relevant events, to showcase parts of our collection, whilst permanent premises are acquired and to promote membership. We will also engage in "fund raising" activities from time to time when we see an appropriate opportunity. We have already established a memorandum of understanding with the 2012 ARC Calder Park event to provide a 14 seat motion simulator as an awareness fund raiser.
When the executive team deems it appropriate, and when our membership is strong enough, we will then seek a permanent location in a prominent position in Coffs Harbour to showcase the collection.
Just like any other "not or profit" organisation of this kind, the museum's strength will ultimately be built upon voluntary membership. The rallying community of Australia is vast and we want to bring this community together, possibly like never before, into one "not for profit club" that pays tribute to the sport that we all love, that is, Australian Rally Museum Inc.
For $20.00 annually, anyone that is interested in rallying can be a part of it. We want to include the grass roots competitors at club level, State competitors, the ARC competitors, past competitors and those that now represent us on the international stage. We want control officials, road block officials, directors, clerk of the courses, zero car teams and all those thousands of people that volunteer countless hours to allow the lucky competitors to get out and do their thing.
We want cooks, mechanics, panel beaters, tyre merchants, service crews, media staff, photographers, and all those resourceful spectators that somehow find their way into the middle of stages, and their kids. We want those that haven't left the lounge room to watch a rally in the last 20 years, but still do. We want the next generation that aspire to be Sebastien Loeb, Chris Atkinson or more likely, Ken Block.
We even want those that spent their misguided youth (you could probably say that about any rally enthusiast) in fun parlors around Australia playing Sega Rally for two hours a day.
The success of the museum will depend upon members and anyone can become a member of Australian Rally Museum Inc. Being a member does not commit you to giving your time, nor donating in any way. Of course this is welcomed if you would like to do so.
Membership simply makes you part of a group of enthusiasts that believe in the preservation of your sport, and as a bonus, we will throw in a quarterly newsletter to keep you up to date on the progress of your organisation. As the museum progresses we hope to add to the benefits that we are able to offer to our members.”
Further details on the Australian Rally Museum are available from Trevor Shelton on 0413 091645, or by email: email@example.com
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