Heading Into the New Year With Our CEO

Happy New Year and welcome to this, my first CEO blog of 2022!

I feel like I’m becoming a broken record when I say this, but the year did not get off to the start we expected (as it didn’t last year either)! With COVID-19 cases rising, the Museum faced the same difficulties as most of the state including staff shortages and a decline in visitation as more people elected to stay home or were in isolation.

Due to the situation we elected to postpone the awards ceremony for the Museum’s Art Competition, and it will now take place in the next school holidays when we look forward to welcoming all of our young, shortlisted artists and dignitaries into the Museum to celebrate the works of these children.

The theme of this year’s competition was resilience, and it seems the topic remains all too relevant as we look at the prospect of another COVID-19 impacted year. The shortlisted works on display in the Museum’s gallery show the hope of our next generation which should give all the adults out there the confidence that, at least in the eyes of our youth, there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and we will recover from the impacts of these last few years.

Our judging panel met before Christmas to assess the works and FRNSW Commissioner Paul Baxter made his selection for the FRNSW Commissioner’s Choice Award. Only myself and one other member of our team know who our winners are and our lips are sealed until April! We cannot wait to be able to finally share the winners when the awards ceremony is held. Voting in the People’s Choice has been extended to the end of January so make sure you get your vote in!


Last year’s awards ceremony was now a year ago and I’m still incredibly proud of what our team achieved with the launch of this new program and exhibition, but I am also still blown away by the calibre of work produced by our primary school children. Many visitors have commented on this as well, especially on the display featuring the works that have been added to our permanent collection. This remains on show in the Museum as will the 2021 exhibit until later this year – keep an eye on our social media for updates on when the exhibition closes.

The awards ceremony for the 2020 Museum of Fire art competition (January 2021)

One thing that we have been able to offer this month is our much-anticipated Junior Caretaker’s Day! Back in mid-2020 the Museum received a donation from Roots and Shoots NSW to enable our team to host a special environment focused day for children. During this day children were invited to help plant Australian natives in special garden beds, and they got to plant some into pots to take home. The day was all about how we impact the environment and what we can do to help regenerate new life. This is particularly important at the Museum given the sudden growth of high-rise apartments around our grounds that have seen many of the natural habitats and plants be removed.

It was great to get our hands dirty with the kids and see them engaging with what we were trying to achieve. We look forward to welcoming the kids back over the coming years so they can tend to their gardens. In the meantime, our volunteers will keep a watchful eye on their development!