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The Museum has a comprehensive suite of policies and plans. These are monitored and reviewed at regular intervals and made publicly available on the Museum’s website. Five of the Museum’s published policies or plans require reporting of activities or performance in the Museum’s 2016–17 Annual Report: the Donor Recognition Policy; the Partner Recognition and Sponsorship Policy; the Reconciliation Action Plan; the Indigenous Australian Art Charter of Principles for Publicly Funded Collecting Institutions; and the Client Service Charter.
Donor Recognition Policy and Partner Recognition and Sponsorship Policy
According to the Donor Recognition Policy and the Partner Recognition and Sponsorship Policy, the Museum publicly acknowledges all donors and corporate partners in the annual report.
Support from corporations, organisations and foundations
The National Museum of Australia acknowledges and thanks the following corporations, organisations and foundations for their support during 2016–17:
ACT Government VisitCanberra
The Australian Government International Exhibitions Insurance Program
Botanics on Jardine
The Canberra Times
Foxtel: History Channel
Gordon Darling Foundation
Macquarie Group Limited
National Australia Day Council
The Prince’s Trust Australia
The Scully Fund
Sidney Myer Fund and The Myer Foundation
Singapore Airlines Cargo
Total E&P Australia
Support from individuals and groups
The Museum acknowledges and thanks all donors who have contributed significantly to activities, fundraising programs and the Museum’s collection:
Perpetual Governor ($1 million and above)
Geoff Ford OAM and Kerrie Ford
Wayne and Vicki McGeoch
Life Governor ($500,000–$999,999)
Dr Stephen and Sue Dyer
Jim Maple-Brown AM and Pamela Maple-Brown
The Dick and Pip Smith Foundation
The Scully Fund
The Prince’s Trust Australia
Edward Frank Everitt and Eric George
Richard (Dick) Kimber
John Moriarty AM and Ros Moriarty
Major Benefactor ($50,000–$99,999)
Gordon Darling Foundation
Sidney Myer Fund
Graeme and Linda Beveridge
Daryl D Blaxland
Dr Guy Fitzhardinge AM
Daniel Gilbert AM
Alexander and Domitille Hartman
The family of Raymond Holliday
Emeritus Professor Andrea Hull AO
Dr Anthea Hyslop
David Jones and Melinda Conrad
Richard and Carol Kemp
Maureen and Keith Kerridge
The family of the late Sir Alastair Stephen
Rex Stevenson AO and Caroline Stevenson
Michael Traill AM and Jenny Gage Traill
Norman and Joy Wheatley
Sally White OAM
Kim Williams AM and Catherine Dovey
Dr Marion Amies
Marc Besen AC
Keith Bradley AM and Kerry O’Kane
HM and JE Brown
Merrell Davis OAM
Margie Seale and David Hardy
Dr Marian Hill
Lady Jodie Leonard
Ben and Marina Maguire
Jim and Sophia Notaras
Peter Pigott AM
The Hon Margaret Reid AO
Winnifred Rosser OAM
Rev Garth Shaw
David and Linnett Turner
Colonel Craig and Suzanne Wood
Moh Yan Yang
Donors to the National Historical Collection
The National Historical Collection was greatly enhanced during 2016–17 through the donation of objects by anonymous givers and the following donors:
Dr Maggie Brady
Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet
FORM Contemporary Craft and Design Inc.
Anthony ‘Sconey’ Forrest
Kenmore Hospital Museum
Dr Betty Meehan
Nextgen Group Holdings Pty Ltd
Nancy Pallin and Kate Moppett
Professor Peter Sutton
Sue Maree Treweek
Reconciliation Action Plan
In May 2015 the Museum launched Innovate: Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) 2015–16. The Museum has made a commitment to report on RAP activities in its annual report. Its vision for reconciliation is to work closely with communities to create opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to contribute to, and participate in, the Museum’s programs. The Museum strives to show respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, value their culture and histories and be inclusive and welcoming to all. The Director and senior executive members champion the Museum’s RAP, and participate as members of the RAP Working Group together with staff from all divisions of the Museum. The RAP Working Group includes Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and non-Indigenous people. The current RAP has been extended to 2018.
The RAP Working Group met four times during the reporting period and has contributed to or coordinated the following activities against RAP targets:
- The Museum continues to acknowledge and promote significant anniversaries and events through social media and online, including through the Defining Moments in Australian History project and webpage.
- In 2016–17 the Museum marked the 50th anniversary of the 1967 referendum and the 25th anniversary of the 1992 Mabo decision in the exhibition A Change Is Gonna Come; launched the Encounters Indigenous Cultural Workers Scholarships in partnership with The Prince’s Charities Australia; consulted with local communities on the development of the Welcome Space for the First Australians gallery; toured One Road: Aboriginal Art from Australia’s Deserts to Japan and provided graphic-panel displays of works from the Old Masters: Australia’s Great Bark Artists exhibition and Yiwarra Kuju: The Canning Stock Route to Australian diplomatic posts around the world.
- In September 2015 the Museum advised the Australian Public Service Commission that it was nominating an Indigenous employment target of 5 per cent. The number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people employed by the Museum was 11 employees at 30 June 2017, representing 4.5 per cent of Museum staff.
One of the key commitments in the Museum’s RAP is continued support for the Museum Indigenous Network (MINmin). Membership of MINmin is open to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees. The purpose of MINmin, as expressed in its mandate, is to support Indigenous employees in their role at the Museum, both socially and in the workplace. MINmin recognises the unique challenges that face Indigenous Australian museum professionals and works towards creating positive and collaborative futures for Indigenous employees in the cultural sector.
Diversity Action Plan
The Museum’s commitment to promoting a diverse workplace culture as embodied in the RAP is further evidenced in its commitment to developing a workforce of employees who reflect the broad spectrum of Australian communities. Through the Diversity Action Plan, the Museum develops and implements strategies to ensure that the Museum celebrates and values diversity, creates a fair and respectful workplace culture, and builds and retains diverse capabilities and experiences. The Museum has progressed a number of diversity initiatives this year, including:
- ongoing proactive support and return-to-work programs for ill and injured staff
- embracing a flexible workplace environment that caters for staff needs
- identifying and creating special measures or identified positions for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples
- embedding accessibility considerations into projects
- increasing staff awareness of accessibility issues
- encouraging staff to participate in multicultural activities and celebrations.
Indigenous Australian Art Charter of Principles for Publicly Funded Collecting Institutions
The Museum endorsed the Indigenous Australian Art Charter of Principles for Publicly Funded Collecting Institutions by publishing it on its website.
The Museum has embedded the obligations and commitments outlined in the charter into all relevant areas of museological practice, most notably through the incorporation of due diligence and consultation requirements in its collection acquisition procedures, and through the development and adoption of the Indigenous Cultural Rights and Engagement Policy.
Museum activities continue to conform to the Indigenous Cultural Rights and Engagement Policy, which was approved by Council in 2015. Indigenous cultural and intellectual property (ICIP) refers to Indigenous peoples’ rights to their heritage, traditional knowledge and traditional cultural expression, and the policy aims to:
- recognise and respect Indigenous peoples’ rights to access, and maintain and control the use of their cultural heritage
- outline how the Museum engages with Indigenous peoples, their cultural heritage and its associated rights, including through appropriate interpretation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural heritage within the Museum
- give public acknowledgement to the value of ICIP and to reinforce the Museum’s support for the recognition of ICIP rights
- establish a transparent feedback and complaints process regarding the Museum’s engagement with Indigenous peoples and its dealings with ICIP.
The Indigenous Cultural Rights and Engagement Policy is publicly available on the Museum’s website, and a training package has been developed to raise awareness and engage staff in understanding and applying the principles where relevant to their work.
Following an initial round of training in October 2015, the Museum conducted a further series of workshops in June 2017 for a broad cross-section of Museum staff. Further workshops will be delivered as part of an ongoing training and awareness program.
Client Service Charter
The Museum’s Client Service Charter is available to the public on the Museum’s website. The Museum has committed to publishing a summary of its performance against the charter each year in its annual report.
During 2016–17, the Museum received 665 written comments from visitors using the visitor feedback form or social media, which was about 18 per cent higher than the previous year. Most feedback comments took the form of general remarks, questions or suggestions.
Approximately 63.5 per cent of feedback was positive, referring to the Museum’s staff, services, galleries and exhibitions. Negative feedback accounted for about 16.5 per cent of comments and related to exhibitions, programs, services or facilities. The remaining 20 per cent of comments were questions or recommendations.
The Museum received 928 emails through firstname.lastname@example.org, compared with 530 received in 2015–16. These emails covered a range of enquiries related to exhibitions, programs and events, Museum Cafe bookings and venue hire, school and educational tours, conservation of items, object donations, historical event/object curatorial research, requests to use copyright material, and retail (both in-store and online) products.