Ahoy there! History buffs and maritime mavens urged to visit Queensland Maritime Museum this weekend.

Queensland Maritime Museum is encouraging visitors on Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 January, as the organisation announces a trial re-opening.

QMM has been closed since November 1, 2020 due to the devastating impacts of Covid-19.

The museum makes the bulk of its income from visitor ticket fees, and had been closed from March to September.

A re-opening on weekends in September and October saw lower visitor numbers and increased financial pressures due to Covid Safe requirements such as cleaning and recruiting new volunteers to take the place of at-risk older members.

CEO Emma Di Muzio said queries from the general public during closure showed there was still interest in QMM.

“We are still operating under a Covid Safe Plan, and hope this weekend’s trial re-opening will give us an indication of community support and visitor numbers going forward.”

QMM has also reached more than 10,000 signatures on its change.org petition, set up to gauge the support for QMM becoming a campus of the Queensland Museum Network.

The petition is still available online:

change.org/p/queensland-government-secure-the-future-of-queensland-maritime-museum

Ms Di Muzio said while much work was being done behind the scenes, there was still no guaranteed funding or investment opportunities.

“Without these, QMM faces an uncertain future,” she said.

The first few weeks in 2021 will be key to financial sustainability and meetings are already penciled in with various current and potential stakeholders.”

Despite only having a skeleton crew of volunteers allowed onsite during the November/December closure, maintenance work has continued on key exhibits, including the Steam Tug Forceful which is being prepared for the slipway.

The Museum is also marking ten years since the Brisbane floods inundated the South Brisbane Dry Dock, capsized the light boat Carpentaria and threatened HMAS Diamantina.

“This time a decade ago QMM was facing tremendous uncertainty, but our site and exhibits survived the watery onslaught,” Ms Di Muzio said.

“There may not be a flood this time, but as the custodians of this wonderful collection, we are still fighting hard to save it for Queenslanders to enjoy for years to come.”

You can read more about QMM’s 2020 at this link: maritimemuseum.com.au/2020-at-qmm/