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The National Museum of Australia is a statutory authority within the Commonwealth Arts portfolio.

Financial summary

The Museum’s financial statements disclose an operating deficit of $0.453 million (budgeted deficit $1.160 million). The budgeted deficit relates to the unfunded depreciation of heritage and cultural assets. Total income for 2016–17 was $49.618 million (budgeted $44.981 million) while total expenses were $50.071 million (budgeted $46.141 million).

Revenue from government was $39.375 million and revenue from other sources amounted to $10.243 million (budgeted $5.654 million). This includes gains from donated assets valued at $0.235 million. Revenue from non-government sources increased by $3.981 million compared with 2015–16. This is due to increased revenue from exhibitions and commercial activities as the result of higher than forecast visitation to the major temporary exhibition for the year, A History of the World in 100 Objects from the British Museum.

Total expenses were $1.701 million more than the previous year. This was due to increased expenses associated with the higher than estimated visitation.

The Museum received an equity injection of $1.937 million to fund collection development and acquisitions.

Cash as at 30 June 2017 totalled $0.900 million (30 June 2016: $1.766 million), and investments totalled $40.000 million (30 June 2016: $41.000 million).

Financial summary 2016–17

Expenses $46.141m $50.071m
Departmental appropriations $39.327m $39.375m
Income from other sources $5.654m $10.243m

Program summary

For reporting periods after 1 July 2015, requirements for content to be included in annual reports are prescribed in the relevant Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Rule 2014, and the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013.

To demonstrate compliance with the requirements of the enhanced Commonwealth performance framework, this year’s annual report focuses on reporting results against the performance criteria described in both:

  • the annual Portfolio Budget Statements (PBS) for 2016–17
  • the Museum’s Corporate Plan 2016–17.

The report also complies with requirements specified in the Museum’s establishing legislation and key policy documents.

The Museum’s PBS outcome is to ensure:

Increased awareness and understanding of Australia’s history and culture by managing the National Museum’s collections and providing access through public programs and exhibitions.
(National Museum of Australia, Portfolio Budget Statements, 2016–17)

This outcome is achieved through the delivery of the program that supports the Museum’s PBS outcome:

Program 1.1 — Collection management, research, exhibitions and programs

Program 1.1 Objectives

  • Bring the stories of Australia to life through innovative exhibitions and programs.
  • Develop, manage and preserve the National Historical Collection and enable access through online engagement.
  • Establish meaningful and long-lived local, national and international partnerships.
  • Create participatory programs to build relationships and engage with audiences.
  • Deliver an active research and scholarship program that underpins the Museum’s programs.

External influences

Like other cultural institutions, the Museum needs to adapt to the challenges of changing social, economic and political contexts by:

  • championing the Museum’s role in promoting and preserving Australia’s cultural heritage
  • enhancing the attraction of the Museum’s Canberra site through redevelopment of external entry areas and internal galleries, and visitor experiences
  • extending the Museum’s international profile through expanding its current touring program and partnerships with international organisations
  • engaging with new technologies to better serve the Museum’s audiences, including expanding the Museum’s platform of collection digitisation initiatives to support collection access and online engagement
  • ensuring best-practice standards across the Museum, including collection management and acquisitions, research, and exhibition delivery, both domestic and international
  • maintaining efficient use of financial and human resources.

Program 1.1 Deliverables

During 2016–17 the Museum:

  • undertook an innovative program of temporary exhibitions, including A History of the World in 100 Objects from the British Museum
  • expanded its collections through the acquisition of key objects that represent the breadth and depth of Australian history and culture
  • undertook an ongoing changeover program within its permanent galleries at Acton and initiated a program of gallery redevelopment
  • marketed the Museum as a key destination and developed new partnerships to support its core business to reach national and international audiences
  • delivered programs for regional Australia, including continued participation in the Community Heritage Grants program
  • toured temporary exhibitions across metropolitan and regional Australia
  • in partnership with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, toured a major international exhibition in Japan, mounted a large-scale graphic-panel exhibition in Mexico City and toured two graphic-panel displays in 25 countries as part of a program of facilitating cultural diplomacy
  • initiated, renewed and continued a number of key collaborations with museums in Europe and Asia to enable joint exhibition, staff and research exchange programs
  • presented public programs for families, children and audiences with a disability that promoted lifelong learning opportunities
  • grew its online audience and invested in new technologies to increase online public access to the Museum’s collection
  • delivered high-quality education programs that met the standards of the Australian Curriculum
  • developed new engagement strategies to drive growth and development and enhance its digital presence
  • refreshed its focus on philanthropy to build a donor base that supports regular giving, major gifts and bequests
  • raised own-source income to advance its program
  • initiated the Cultural and Corporate Shared Services Centre (CCSSC), a shared services hub for cultural agencies
  • developed and delivered the inaugural Encounters Indigenous Cultural Workers Scholarships, engaging six interns in a three-month intensive program in Australia and the United Kingdom.

The Museum’s performance statements for 2016–17 are set out in full in Part Two of this annual report.

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