Community museums, galleries and historical societies across regional Australia are receiving an important boost under the Morrison Government’s $3 million Culture, Heritage and Arts Regional Tourism (CHART) program, with the first batch of successful applicants announced.

Federal Member for Barker Tony Pasin said the Millicent National Trust Museum received $2,649 for their project ‘Women on Horseback’.

“The funding from the CHART program will assist Millicent National Trust Museum to develop an exhibition showcasing side saddles, Victorian riding habits and various accoutrements that relate to the history of women on horseback.” Mr Pasin said.

“With the Morrison Government’s support, we are helping rebuild our local economy through the development of collections or exhibits, improved facilities for visitors, and the digitisation of local heritage collections for future generations to enjoy,” Mr Pasin said.

“I encourage community-run arts, cultural and heritage organisations in Barker to apply for a CHART program grant today – this will assist us to continue offering appealing cultural tourism experiences in our regional communities.” Mr Pasin said.

Millicent National Trust Museum Secretary Chris Parmenter said “Our Museum relies on three things for survival our dedicated volunteers, paying visitors through the door and our annual fund-raising event.”

“All of this has been severely cut back because of the pandemic. However, we haven’t given up and are still planning ahead to tell the stories of our town, our area, our state and the experience of being Australian.” Mr Parmenter said.

“This CHART grant will enable us not only to get on the road to financial recovery, but it helps fund the unique and powerful story of women on horseback in the State. From Jillaroos stepping up during the War, to pioneer women (like Daisy Bates) driving their cattle to remote properties. From ladies elegantly riding side saddle to the women who follow the rodeo circuit. This will be a chance to see never before exhibited saddles, clothing, photographs and paraphernalia associated with the women who ride proudly through our history.” Mr Parmenter said.

“On behalf of the Millicent National Trust Museum, we are grateful for any support that helps us keep doing what we do well, and bring history into the present for the future.” Mr Parmenter said.

Mr Pasin said more than $135,000 in grants would flow to 50 organisations across the country to support activities that encourage cultural tourism in regional, rural and remote Australia.

“These grants will support the reactivation and ongoing sustainability of these successful applicants, with each playing an integral role in telling the stories of their local communities and preserving Australia’s cultural heritage,” Mr Pasin said.

“This first batch of grants marks an important milestone in the benefits that CHART will provide to regional communities, including the promotion of regional arts tourism across Australia, which in turn will enhance arts access and increase local expenditure,” Mr Pasin said.

Applications are open until 29 April 2022, or until allocated funding is expended.