What would you do with a spare 700 memorabilia items?

The City of Ipswich is the owner of more than 700 memorabilia items, the bulk of which is believed to have been bought over the years with ratepayers’ money.

It includes some items which were not necessarily logged, but were likely received as gifts.

Now, council wants to know what you want to do with them.

“These items belong to the people of Ipswich,” Ipswich City Council interim administrator Greg Chemello said.

“So who better to discuss the best course of action for these things? People might want to put them on display somewhere, or give them away, or sell them. It’s a discussion which for now is best left up to those whose money was used to buy them.”


The items have been garnered from wall mounts, inside cupboards, floors and corners of multiple buildings currently owned, leased or managed by council.

Ultimately, newly-formed community reference groups – set up to guide council on public sentiment, contribute ideas, and discuss proposed council decisions – will be asked to make a recommendation about where the items end up.

Reference group meetings start taking place at the end of this month, and ideas from the public will be tabled at these meetings.

Record keeping of the items, how much they were bought for, and when they might have been bought is poor or non-existent.

Valuers are currently assessing the items.

Some of the items include:

  • Signed Muhammad Ali boxing gloves;
  • Cricket bats;
  • Football jerseys;
  • Signed photographs;
  • Giant chess pieces;
  • Flags;
  • Street signs;
  • Licence plates;
  • Garden gnomes;
  • Artwork.

“Due to the poor record keeping, at this stage we really don’t know how much was paid for these items, or necessarily where they were acquired,” Mr Chemello said.

“It is likely that quite a few of them were bought at charity auctions, but it’s possible others were bought or received in different circumstances, some as gifts.

“Given that the circumstances are vague, we don’t know whether the items were over-priced. But we do know it’s probably a good idea to do something with them that the people are happy with.”

Mr Chemello said governance policies and procedures had been tightened to prevent future councillors from bidding at auctions, or from buying memorabilia items with public funds.

Each of the items has been catalogued by council staff. 

It's a great way to have your say on council direction


  1. Dear Mr Chemello,
    Thank you for the transparency that your admin team is displaying. I feel that all items need to be disposed of, as any evidence of the abhorrent actions of the past need to be expunged.
    What is most critical is that the full letter of the law be applied to all that abused the trust of Ipswich ratepayers and processes put in place so that the greed, egos and excesses of the past will not be repeated

  2. I only see 2 options.
    Put them on show at the Ipswich Museum. So they can be shared with the people who paid for them.
    put them all up for auction. and use the return to put back into the community.
    Question. How much more is hidden away in the homes of the perpetrators ?

    1. I agree with your 2 options. But I think museum for all to enjoy is better for most items of historical value.

    2. Great options which I agree.with…the items celebrate sporting acheivements and it is good for youth to know of their history..
      Would love for these to be on show at the Railway Museum..

  3. I would suggest conducting raffles for them would be fair.

    That would mean that everyone could potentially obtain an item. If you were to auction them, only people with money would be able to win them.


  4. I think they should be on permanent display at the Art Gallery in a designated section of the gallery.

  5. We need to send all of these items to auction with all moneys raised to be used to help the homeless people in Ipswich. Also put in place measures to stop any future councillors or staff from procuring such items, if they want to purchase items like this then they can put their hand into their deep pockets which they rarely do and pay for it themselves.
    The ratepayers of Ipswich are sick of these things going on where is the ETHICS that seems to be missing.
    I urge all ratepayers to carefully look at all the candidates that will be nominating for the council election next year and ask them about their ethics and what their thoughts are about spending ratepayers money.
    We need to get back to a council that does what a council should be doing looking after it’s ratepayers and reducing our rates.

  6. In regards to the many items that have been found
    I would like to see them all desplayed in one of the many council owned buildings that we rate payers have paid for
    At least for several months just so we all get to see what our previeus councilors purchased then maybe some items of great value be displayed in our council head office with the remainder sold /auctioned off with proceeds being used to maintanin the remainder of items place on permanent display
    Let me add what a tremendous job this administrator is doing to uncover all the dishonest n underhanded things previous councilors have been doing well done sir well done

    1. Typically, when do we go to Council buildings? To pay a fine or rates or.enquire about a etc…an alternate venue is needed.

  7. Charity raffle – open only to the rate-payers (past and present – proof required) 1 price per ticket – 1 prize per ticket. Plus, let us all stop the incessant witch hunt, I am sick and tired of the bleating hearts all baying for blood and all waning to blame shift… The reality in all probability is that the items were obtained legitimately under the rules as they existed at the material time. We can argue to the “cows come home” as to whether those rules were just or not, but they were the rules at the time – end of discussion!

  8. Agree with most of the comments above but one stood out the most yes an Auction would be good to re-coop the money but for some of those personal with little money when the Auctions come about, hold a Raffle where the rate payers get 1 entry for each year of the rates they have paid but also the ability to purchase extra’s.
    But to have them all on display for a number of months prior for all to go visit and look would be a great idea before any of the above comes about.

  9. I hope the bought items were acquired with a view to having them displayed in a city museum (at least the items suitable for that purpose). There is (is there not?) a proposal to build a cultural centre, possibly at or near the railway museum site. The opportunity is there to incorporate a purpose built museum within that development. The items belong to the people and city of Ipswich and some from what I have seen are well-suited to such public display. To m mind such a destiny would be far better than trying to sell/re-sell the items, probably at a financial loss.

  10. Ipswich RSL Sub Branch have a Museum on the top floor of the Soldiers Memorial Hall. Any to do with military, we would be honoured to display the items with pride. Food for thought. Cheers

    1. I love the new war memorial at Central Station in Brisbane..something placed at Ipswich Station ideal as people could view it while waiting for the train…

  11. Hmmmm..
    Seeing as though the rate payers have paid for them…and probably all purchased at charity auctions at inflated prices, I think they should be auctioned and something useful done with the proceeds to benefit rate payers.

  12. I feel an auction would be the best way to go. Perhaps they could be put on display first so the public can appreciate what is on offer.

  13. I think if they were given as gifts and they were discarded at an auction or sold then the givers of the items would be greatly offended, I know I would be.
    They need to be displayed in council buildings, the art gallery or museum, that is what happens to state and federal government items like this.
    You cannot assume all the items were gained illegally besides some of these have historical value.

    1. But you also cannot assume some are not. Would you want to display items that were the result of fraud or corruption? I know I would not want it and I’m a ratepayer. Many people have spent years trying to convince people that council should be investigated and few people world listen but kept voting them in. As fear as I’m concerned I refuse to give then the benefit of the doubt. So auction then off and recuperate the money. If you want one or wish to donate out to a museum the bid on it at the auction.

      1. You need to check your spelling before you publish comments and I am a ratepayer too and am entitled to my thoughts.

  14. I think Bill Tottey has got it right. Put them all on display for six months and then split them into auction lots to benefit multiple organisations who can put the money to work for the people of Ipswich. For example, give the cricket memorabilia monies to cricket clubs for junior development and militaria for the maintenance of memorials etc.

    1. Thank you Mr. Chemello for your transparency it is very much appreciated and it is also very refreshing. I believe that most of the previous suggestions are all very credible. I believe that all these items of the people and council should be placed in a museum for all and sundry to view, for a few months. After that period they could be auctioned off and the proceeds used to help the homeless people of Ipswich.

  15. The items should be valued, and the valuation released to the public, and then put up for auction. Proceeds of that auction also be
    released to the public and then distributed to local not for profit organisations. The organisations and amounts also released to
    the public.

  16. I think they should be auctioned and whatever money is received, could be given back to the rate payers in the form of a discount on our next lot of rates.

  17. I agree with the majority of comments, these items need to be auctioned off and the monies received returned in some manor that benifits the community whose funds paid for these items.
    I also welcome the idea of putting them on display for several months for all whom are interested to see them, and get a better understanding of how our money was used unlawfully.

  18. I don’t think we should sell/auction them. I think we need to keep them put them on display museum/art gallery. I know I would love to see the cricket bat and a few other items.

  19. Anything with real historical value should go to a museum. The rest should be auctioned off and the money used to offset any increase in rates.

  20. This stuff all needs to be sold off at auction to the highest bidders, and the money go back into providing council services. The collection represents the gratuities, kickbacks and bribes used to gain special favours in the past, and we should get it out of council space as soon as possible. It has bad energy that needs to be cleared out to make way for the new culture.

  21. Dear Mr Chemello
    I would like most of the memorabilia items to be auctioned off, with some very special ones to go to the Museum.
    With the moneys raised I would love to see a couple of (coin operated) public showers to be installed at parks. This way the Homeless have somewhere to shower. Being homeless is one thing. But to have nowhere to clean up is a form of abuse. There is NO WHERE that homeless can have a shower. The only public shower is at the Information Centre. They don’t let homeless use the facilities.

  22. I feel the items should be on display in our museum with signage denoting how they were obtained.
    Selling them off would be of no benefit to the community as money can be spent very quickly with little gain. This is a piece of our history and needs to be recognized. When we dispose of our history it is equal to saying “didn’t happen and not important enough to recognize “. How they were obtained is now irrelevant. What we do with them moving forward is very significant. Thank you.

  23. If we know so little about these items such where,when how or who purchased them, then how do we know they weren’t purchased legitimately and or donated to these various organisations ?? I think we need to certain of everything before we just jump to conclusions and assume that a councilor (or other council member) has paid for these items using public money.
    Just something to think about.

  24. Sell them and then discount the rates for all rate payers…we essentially paid for them in the first place

  25. Like some of the other replies, with such little information, I think it would be presumptive to assume that all these items were obtained falsely. Rules have changed over the years, and some may have been gifts or otherwise acquired. I would suggest a display, where anyone interested can see the items. If an organisation can show they have a reasonable case, they can request specific items be allocated for them to display on behalf of the city, for example military items at the RSA. The city would still own them, but would not have the cost of displaying items which are significant to only a special group. Anything else could be auctioned or raffled, and the proceeds used to support activities of value to the wider community, as decided by the consultative process already set up. This would, I believe, allow for preservation of heritage material relevant to the city, but disposal of less locally significant items for the benefit of local projects.

  26. All the pieces are of significant historical value and should not be discarded. I believe the items should be put on public display for everybody to enjoy – free of entry charge. A museum or gallery would be a most suitable place for them to be displayed.
    If they were to be auctioned, how do we know the money gained would be put to best use for all of Ipswich’s residents?

  27. I think how these items were obtained is now irrelevant, the fact is they are now the property of this city. They should ALL be placed on display so the “owners” – the people of Ipswich, can view them and properly assess the contents. Viewers could be invited to vote/leave comments regarding the worthiness of each item, and only after PUBLIC assessment would decisions be made as to what should be kept and what should be sold, with proceeds given to worthy causes in this city.

  28. some significant item should be kept for display and the items that are not of much value that should be sold, use this money for Ipswich community benefits.

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