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5 November 2005

The National Museum of Australia has consolidated its status as a hallmark tourism destination after being named the Canberra and Capital Region's best Major Tourist Attraction for the third year running.

The museum has established itself as a 'must-see' tourism destination since opening in 2001 - and last year went on to win the national prize for best major tourist attraction.

'This award, for the third year in a row, recognises the museum's success in striving to be a major cultural tourism destination where visitors enjoy learning about Australian history and heritage,' National Museum director Craddock Morton said.

Mr Morton said the museum was constantly working to improve the visitor experience, including the introduction of new gallery guides and an information hub.

'The museum is well-placed to build on its achievements. We're doing a considerable amount of work on developing our collections, reviewing and improving exhibitions and expanding our research base - which may not be immediately obvious to visitors, but will bring more rewards in years to come.

The museum attracted more than 666,000 visitors in the last financial year. Repeat visitation continued to rise and there was strong interest in the museum's range of public forums, entertainment, educational and community events. Exhibitions remained a big visitor drawcard, with a forward program including:

  • Captivating and Curious, showcasing the diversity of the National Historical Collection, from Azaria Chamberlain's black dress to the No.1 Holden Prototype. Opens 13 December.
  • Sport: A National Obsession, a new permanent exhibition examining the role sport plays in defining Australian identity, featuring Phar Lap's heart, Michael Milton's downhill ski and Don Bradman's cricket pads. Opens December.
  • Colour Power, celebrating the new wave of Aboriginal art the daring and visionary use of bold colour by indigenous artists who defied preconceptions about the use of natural ochres. Opens 17 November.

Following the award ceremony last night at the National Convention Centre, the Museum is now an automatic entry in the 2006 National Tourism Awards to be announced next February.

For images, interviews or more information please contact Sandy Forbes on 02 6208 5351, 0409 916 481 or Leanda Coleman on 02 6208 5338, 0438 620 710 or email

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