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The National Museum of Australia guides the delivery of its outputs through its corporate governance framework as well as through a number of management initiatives and other corporate activities.

Legislative Framework and Portfolio Structure

The Museum's key corporate governance and accountability legislation include:

  • the National Museum of Australia Act 1980, which established the Museum as a Commonwealth statutory authority, and the National Museum of Australia Regulations 2000. This legislation defines the National Museum's role, functions and powers including its corporate governance framework
  • the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997, which provides a single set of core reporting, auditing and accountability requirements for directors of Commonwealth authorities such as the National Museum of Australia. It deals with other matters such as banking and investment and the conduct of officers. It also states that directors are responsible for the preparation and content of the report of operations in accordance with the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies (Report of Operations) Orders 2002
  • the Public Service Act 1999 which covers the powers of the Director of the National Museum in relation to the management of human resources.

The functions and powers of the Museum are in Appendix 2.

The Museum's chain of reporting and accountability to the Government at 30 June 2003 was:

Diagram showing the Museum's chain of reporting and accountability

National Museum of Australia Council and Committees

Photo of the Council of the National Museum of Australia
The Council of the National Museum of Australia (left to right): David Barnett, Marcus Besen, Ron Webb, Dawn Casey, Andrew Reeves (until November 2002), Tony Staley, Sharon Brown, John Thame, Cathy Santamaria. Absent: Benjamin Chow, Christopher Pearson.
Photo: Dean Golja

The Council of the National Museum of Australia is responsible for the overall performance of the organisation including the strategic direction and establishment of goals for management. The Council works with senior management in developing, executing, monitoring and adjusting the appropriate strategies.

The National Museum of Australia Act 1980 provides for a Council comprising a Chairman, the Director and not less than seven or more than ten members. All members are appointed by the Governor-General and, apart from the Director, are part-time and appointed for terms of up to three years, although terms of appointment can be extended. The Director is appointed for a period not exceeding seven years.

The current membership of the Council provides a mix of relevant skills and experience in the areas of business, financial and strategic management, journalism, museum management and government policy and administration. Remuneration for non-executive members is determined by the Commonwealth Remuneration Tribunal.

During 2002-2003, one member was appointed to Council for a term of three years, three members were reappointed to Council for a term of three years and one member reappointed for one year. The term of one member lapsed on 24 November 2002. The Council usually meets every two to three months, and four meetings were held during 2002-2003. Details of Council members are in Appendix 1. The Executive Director, Arts and Sport from the Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts attends Council meetings as an observer.

As part of its ongoing commitment to maximise its performance, enhance the quality of Council discussion and decision-making, and to ensure that it is kept up-to-date with Government changes to corporate governance responsibilities, the Museum provides Council members with corporate governance information as it becomes available, including Australian National Audit Office documents and guidelines.

The Council has policy and procedures for the disclosure and resolution of any matter which may give rise to actual or potential conflicts as a result of a matter to be considered by the Council. Members are required to make the nature of that interest known at the commencement of a Council meeting and details of such disclosures are recorded in the minutes of the meeting.

The Council has four committees to assist in the execution of Council responsibilities. These are the:

  • Audit and Finance Committee
  • Collections Committee
  • Development Committee
  • Exhibition Content Review Committee.

Details of Council Committees are in Appendix 1.

Executive Management Group

The Executive Management Group, consisting of the Director and four General Managers, provides strategic and operational leadership to the National Museum.

General Managers Freda Hanley, Greg Andrews, Darryl McIntyre and Suzy Watson and Director Dawn Casey
Photo: George Serras
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