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Chairman's Letter of Transmittal

Senator the Hon. Rod Kemp, Minister for the Arts and Sport
Senator the Hon. Rod Kemp,
Minister for the Arts and Sport.
Photo: Office of Senator Rod Kemp.

Senator the Hon. Rod Kemp
Minister for the Arts and Sport
Parliament House
CANBERRA ACT 2600

Dear Minister

On behalf of the Council for the National Museum of Australia, I am pleased to submit our annual report for the year ended 30 June 2004. The report is presented in accordance with Section 9 and Schedule 1 of the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997, and it has been prepared in conformity with the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies (Report of Operations) Orders 2002.

In its third year of operation the Museum has continued to build upon its success in delivering innovative exhibitions and programs that foster a greater understanding of Australian history and cultures. It has maintained visitor numbers and a high level of visitor approval. It has successfully presented travelling exhibitions throughout Australia and staged its biggest temporary exhibition to date. Public programs and school programs have continued to meet visitor expectations and enjoyed an increase in attendances.

The Hon. Tony Staley, Chairman of the Council
The Hon. Tony Staley,
Chairman of the Council,
National Museum of Australia.
Photo: Dean Golja.

During the year, considerable planning occurred towards the Museum's future. Following the Review of Exhibitions and Public Programs (2003), the Museum developed a new Collections and Gallery Development Plan. Council endorsed the plan in November 2003. The Museum also developed a new strategic plan for 2004-2007, which will provide greater focus on developing the National Historical Collection, reaching national audiences, building the Museum's research and strengthening its resource base. Council approved the plan in June 2004, for implementation in the next financial year.

Other achievements of the year included an increase in non-Government revenues including an improvement in retail turnover and an increase in sponsorship.

The year saw some changes in leadership for the Museum. Ms Dawn Casey's term as Director ended in December 2003 and Mr Craddock Morton was appointed Acting Director. In June 2004 Mr Morton was appointed Director for a period of three years. The Council is pleased to welcome Mr Morton to the position and looks forward to working with him over the coming years. I would like to express the Council's gratitude to Ms Casey for her many achievements during her term as Director.

I take this opportunity to acknowledge the support of my fellow Council members in guiding the Museum towards the successes it has achieved during the year. I would also like to express the Council's appreciation for the ongoing support of the portfolio ministers, Senator the Hon. Helen Coonan, Senator the Hon. Rod Kemp, and the Hon. Daryl Williams.

Finally, all members of Council join me in congratulating the Directors and staff on the Museum's continuing outstanding success.

Yours sincerely

Tony Staley
Chairman of the Council
National Museum of Australia
7 September 2004