Regional engagement

Debbie Sommers, Port Macquarie Historical Society, and Lindie Ward, Powerhouse Museum, preparing the 'Delphos' evening dress, designed by Mariano Fortuny in Italy, 1910-1920, for photography in the Powerhouse Museum photographic studio in 2005. A10225

The Australian Dress Register (ADR) is a collaboration involving the Powerhouse Museum, collecting institutions with dress collections, private collectors, and industry and sector specialists who have provided, and continue to provide, advice and guidance. (See governance.)

The Register has proved to be a resource-effective model for providing the skills and knowledge necessary for dress collectors to research, document and care for their collections according to best practice.

The Register encourages a rich and detailed level of documentation. It unearths people's personal stories through the garment they wore, and links objects, collections and places involved in these stories. Museum workers and volunteers from the community where the garments belong can provide a context for the objects in their collections. By enhancing their practical knowledge of care and documentation, community history will be available for all to share.

Workshops and presentations

To support the development of these relationships, and ensure regional engagement with the Register, Powerhouse Museum staff, with assistance from regional volunteer coordinators, have delivered the following ADR workshops, seminars, presentations and meetings:


  • 2012 Museums and Galleries National Award for Sustainability – Level 3 (MAGNA)
  • 2011 Inspiring Museums and Galleries in Excellence for Collection Management ( NSW IMAGinE Award)


  • Regional Conference presentation, Keeping it Real 2013, Albury
  • Workshop, Murrurundi Museum, Murrurundi
  • Site visit Scone Museum, Scone
  • Site visit Merriwa Museum, Merriwa
  • Workshop, Parkes & District Historical Society, Parkes
  • Site visit, Western Plains Cultural Centre, Dubbo
  • Presentation, Jane Austen Society, Canberra
  • Site visit, Calala Cottage Museum, Tamworth
  • Site visit, Temora Historical Society, Temora
  • Annual Meeting, Australian Dress Register Advisory Committee, Canberra
  • Internship, Qantas Founders Museum, Powerhouse Museum


  • Workshop - Australian Dress Register, Broken Hill
  • Annual meeting Australian Dress Register Advisory Committee Ultimo
  • Workshop - NSW History Week Teachers Professional Development
  • Workshop - NSW History Week Secondary Textile Students
  • Site visit Newcastle Museum


  • Workshop, Glen Innes and District Historical Society
  • Workshop, Grenfell Historical Society
  • Presentation, Museums Australia Symposium, Macquarie University
  • Presentation for the Committee of Australian Museum Directors, Canberra
  • Presentation South coast and Illawarra Chapter Museums Australia
  • Site visit, Camden Historical Society and The Oaks Historical Society
  • Annual meeting Australian Dress Register Advisory Committee, Ultimo
  • Launch of the Australian Dress Register, Museum of the Riverina, Wagga Wagga


  • Roundtable meeting, Powerhouse Museum
  • Workshop, Museum of the Riverina, Wagga Wagga
  • Workshop, Baulkham Hills Shire Council, Castle Hill
  • Workshop, Far North Coast Museums Australia Chapter, Evans Head
  • Workshop, Orange City Council, Orange


  • Seminar, 'Stitching up the past; progressing the Australian Dress Register', Powerhouse Museum
  • Workshop, Armidale and District Historical Society
  • Presentation, South Coast and Illawarra Chapter, Museums Australia
  • Workshop, 'How to photograph dresses in situ' workshop, Illawarra Historical Society
  • Workshop, Port Macquarie Historical Society Inc.
  • Presentation, Western Plains Cultural Centre
  • Workshop, 'Care and interpretation of dress collections', Museums Australia National Conference, Newcastle Remote and Regional Program
  • Paper, 'The Australian Dress Register project', Museums Australia National Conference, Newcastle
  • ADR Regional Coordinators Training, Powerhouse Museum
  • Workshop, 'Presenting dress', Encore Historical Costume Group
  • Roundtable meeting, Powerhouse Museum


  • Bathurst wedding dress exhibition meeting, Bathurst and District Historical Society Inc.
  • Costume workshop, Bathurst and District Historical Society Inc.
  • Costume collection workshop, Port Stephens Council
  • Lace and linen collections conservation workshop, Cessnock District Historical and Family History Society Inc.


  • Costume workshop, Goulburn Mulwaree Council


2013 Workshops for Tenterfield, Parkes, Maitland and Upper Hunter Valley
For further information contact the ADR team dressregister [AT]