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Gandel Atrium announced

15 May 18

New Defining Moments Digital Classroom partnership

Senator Mitch Fifield, the Minister for Communications and the Arts, officially launched the Gandel Atrium at the National Museum of Australia today. The renaming of the Main Hall to Gandel Atrium is in honour of prominent philanthropists John Gandel AC and Pauline Gandel.

A vast atrium with a brightly-coloured sculpture suspended from the ceiling and a Holden car, with pink caravan, at the centre of frame.
The iconic FJ Holden, and the Reko Rennie Bogong Moth sculpture acquired with the generous support of John Gandel AC and Pauline Gandel. Photo: Jason McCarthy

This is in recognition of their commitment to Australian children and the nation’s cultural sector.

Gandel Philanthropy partnered with the Museum to support the Defining Moments Digital Classroom initiative, which will take Australian history into schools across the country.

The revolutionary online Digital Classroom will allow students to explore this history through in-school interactive smart boards, iPads, videos, virtual tours, 3D scans and trivia quizzes.

It takes key moments and events that have shaped Australian culture and identity and links them to the national curriculum.

Gandel Philanthropy

Gandel Philanthropy generously contributed $1.5 million to the Digital Classroom, which will use the nation’s rich history as a vehicle to empower children to learn and explore.

The overarching theme of the Gandel Atrium is Defining Moments in Australian History, with key objects from the Museum's collection on show.

John Gandel AC and Pauline Gandel:

Education transforms futures – it is the key to unlocking potential and creating opportunities in all of us, but especially our children.

Contemporary Aboriginal artwork

Mr and Mrs Gandel’s generous contribution also helped the Museum to acquire Bogong Moth, a contemporary artwork by acclaimed artist Reko Rennie.

This bold, neon-coloured sculpture is suspended from the dome of the Atrium, bringing together traditional themes with modern materials and artistic practice. This contemporary centrepiece welcomes visitors to the Museum to discover Australia’s rich past and diverse stories.

Inspiring the leaders of tomorrow

'We live in a dynamic, technology-driven landscape where knowledge is the new currency, a world where there has never been a greater need for a Museum equipped to educate future generations,' said Dr Mathew Trinca, Director of the National Museum of Australia.

'Mr and Mrs Gandel's shared vision was critical to ensuring that the Defining Moments Digital Classroom is a virtual space shared with children around the nation to unlock the future and inspire the leaders of tomorrow.'

The Defining Moments Digital Classroom will be aligned to the national curriculum, tailored to year groups and available in classrooms nationally from 2020.

Read our Gandel Philanthropy partnership media release

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