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Strategic plan

Key strategic priorities

Enhance exhibitions, programs and services
The National Museum of Australia will implement the plan approved by Council to address the recommendation of the Review of Exhibitions and Public Programs (2003) including:

  • Gallery redevelopment
  • National Historical Collection development
  • Visitor amenities improvement.

Care for the National Historical Collection
The National Museum of Australia will develop and care for the National Historical Collection to help fulfil the Museum's national role.

Sustain research and scholarship activity
The National Museum of Australia will ensure research and scholarship continue to underpin collection development, exhibitions, programs, conservation, publications and other activities.

Engage national audiences
The National Museum of Australia will reflect its focus on customer service by developing programs, products and services which engage national audiences.

Strengthen business processes
The National Museum of Australia will develop best practice business processes.

Enhance staffing and workplace development
The National Museum of Australia will create a working environment where people are valued and organisational potential is continuously developed.

Augment asset development and planning
The National Museum of Australia will further develop its asset and capital development plans.

Strengthen resource base
The National Museum of Australia will build, review and strengthen its commercial activities and its approach to collection donors, sponsorship and philanthropy.

Business priorities

Progress on key strategic priorities for 2004-2005

(as specified in the Strategic Plan 2004-2007, p. 10)

1. Enhance exhibitions, programs and services

Implement gallery redevelopment Year 1 plan

  • Work ongoing to redevelop Circa theatre, Nation and Horizons galleries
  • Development and production of gallery guides underway.

Establish an object acquisition fund for the National Historical Collection

  • Fund established 2004-2005.

Establish National Historical Collection object acquisition priorities and targets

  • Targeted acquisition strategy delivered November 2004
  • Council approved 108 significant collections for inclusion in the NHC
  • The Museum accessioned 73 collections comprising 403 objects.

(see New acquisitions)

Improve visitor amenities through continued audit and improvement of acoustics, wayfinding and labelling

2. Care for the National Historical Collection

Review and set priorities for documentation of the National Historical Collection

  • New collection information management system released July 2004
  • Work began to review data standards and documentation practices
  • Ongoing program established for collection documentation.

(see Output group 1.1 - Collection development and management)

Identify and undertake preservation work for priority areas

  • More than 1600 objects treated throughout the year
  • 11,334 pest and hazard checks and 364 pest treatments undertaken.

(see Conserving objects)

Identify interim solutions to maximise the use of existing National Historical Collection storage space

  • Interim solutions implemented throughout the year, for example, Bark Painting Relocation project completed, providing improved storage for more than 400 paintings.

(see Storing objects)

3. Sustain research and scholarship activity

Review existing research policy

  • Revised policy approved by Council November 2004.

(see Scholarship and research)

Develop a broad-based research plan 2004-2007 identifying priority areas, collaborations, partnerships and resource implications

  • Research plan endorsed for implementation by Executive in January 2005, following policy approval
  • The Museum is an industry partner for 12 Australian Research Council grants projects
  • The Museum hosted a program of 96 different scholarly conferences, lectures and forums.

(see Scholarship and research)

4. Engage national audiences

Develop and implement a national outreach policy and plan

  • Policy approved by Council February 2005 and plan developed and implemented throughout the year.

Outreach activities included:

  • Seven travelling exhibitions toured to each mainland state and territory ( see Outreach events)
  • Museum involvement in Croc Festivals, a national youth festival that travelled to seven states and territories and attracted 15,000 people from remote and regional locations (see Outreach events)
  • Community-based online projects involving five towns in the MurrayDarling Basin (see Outreach events)
  • Snapshots, an online photographic project, enabled school students to feature their community on the Museum's website (see Snapshots of remote communities)
  • 11 Talkback Classroom forums involving more than 1000 secondary school students, most of which were broadcast on Radio National (see Talkback Classroom)
  • Six publications released (see Publishing)
  • 11 educational resources published online (see Website development).

Further develop the Museum's web potential

  • Release II of web architecture technical development substantially in place
  • Substantial new content added to existing website.

(see Website development)

Revise the temporary and travelling exhibition programs

  • Council approved a new Temporary and travelling exhibitions policy
  • Five-year forward program established for temporary and travelling exhibitions
  • During 2004-2005, five temporary exhibitions were staged at the Museum, including the year's major exhibition, Extremes
  • Seven travelling exhibitions toured mainland Australia.

(see Temporary exhibitions and Travelling exhibitions)

5. Strengthen business processes

Review how intellectual property is developed, valued and utilised

  • Delayed due to key staff changes.

Improve Information and Communications Technology customer service across the Museum

  • Customer service improvements delivered throughout the year
  • New desktop hardware and operating environment scheduled for delivery late July 2005.

(see Information Technology)

Review the human resource software system

  • New system chosen and implementation commenced.

(see Individual performance management - Better service delivery)

6. Enhance staffing and workplace development

Develop a new certified agreement 2005

  • Ministerial approval was granted mid-June 2005
  • Staff ballot and certification by the Industrial Relation Commission is scheduled to occur in July 2005.

(see Workplace agreement)

Review the Workplace Diversity Plan

  • Museum Workplace Diversity Plan was reviewed and a new plan produced
  • Plan prepared for staff comment June 2005 before finalisation and implementation.

(see Workplace diversity)

Review the workplace harassment policy

  • Workplace harassment policy and guidelines reviewed and finalised.
7. Augment asset development and planning

Review facilities lifecycle plan

  • Lifecycle plan reviewed, now fully incorporates all of the Museum facilities.

(see Asset management)

Review and align accommodation and staffing requirements

  • Procedures put in place to ensure consideration of the physical location of new or re-engaged staff in the approval process
  • Approval was gained for an extension to the Acton Annexe building.

Scope Museum storage requirements, including collection and exhibition needs

  • Consultancy reports are underway for the long-term future requirements and issues surrounding the Museum's storage needs
  • Additional facilities were leased for exhibition furniture and other non-collection storage.
8. Strengthen resource base

Review the commercial revenue framework to maximise alternative revenue opportunities

  • Review delayed by changes in key staff
  • Council expected to review Cost recovery and charging for goods and services policy July 2005.

Seek external support for Museum programs and in the process create long-term corporate collaborations

  • External support successfully obtained for exhibitions Behind the Lines 2004 (Acumen Alliance) and Extremes (CSIRO)
  • One new Corporate Circle member, with four more anticipated for 2005-2006.

(see Sponsorship and development)

Refine the framework for managing substantial philanthropic donations to the National Historical Collection

  • The Museum reviewed its protocols for the management of donors to the collection and worked closely with the Friends of the National Museum of Australia in establishing the Friends Foundation.

(see Friends of the National Museum of Australia)