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The Coffs Harbour Regional Museum in Harbour Drive closed its doors at the end of February as Council prepares  for the opening of a vibrant museum in Yarrila Place, the new Council and Civic space in the heart of the CBD.

Visitors stepping across the threshold into the city’s new Museum and Gallery – Yarrila Arts & Museum (YAM) will be immersed in stimulating and interactive permanent exhibitions telling the stories of the Gumbaynggirr people and broader community using a quality range of contemporary audio, visual and digital displays, as well as fascinating artefacts.

‘Stories of Coffs’ and ‘Welcome to Country’ Gumbaynggirr exhibitions are planned to be the centrepiece of the new Museum and Gallery, designed by Council staff together with specialist museum design consultants to wrap around and grab the attention of visitors from the very first moment.

The ‘Welcome to Country’ is being created in partnership with the Gumbaynggirr community and designed specifically for the space. ‘Stories of Coffs’ will present the social history of the Coffs Coast, showcasing much more than has previously been able to be shown of the Museum’s existing, significant collections of textiles, furniture, transport, domestic items, work and domestic tools, photographs and other resources.

The exhibitions are being designed to be in place for eight to 10 years with sections that can periodically be changed or updated. Entry to the permanent exhibitions will be free.

“Today’s museums focus on the visitor experience and visitors these days expect a lot more than simply to look at ‘old things’”, said Jo Besley, Council’s Gallery and Museum Curator. “They want them brought to life and made interactive in exciting and thought-provoking ways.

“Museums are now about education, lifelong learning and pleasure. We all want to see our identity and history told in an exciting and inclusive way.

 “Across the world, visiting museums and galleries is the most popular form of cultural tourism and here in Coffs Harbour we will have the newest and most significant museum/gallery between Newcastle and the Gold Coast,” she added.

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Arts Mid North Coast acknowledge the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the First Australians and Traditional Custodians.

We live and work across the traditional lands of the Gumbaynggirr, Dunghutti/Thunghutti and Biripi Nations on the Mid North Coast of NSW.

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