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The year at a glance

Achievements: Outcomes and outputs

The National Museum of Australia is funded by the Australian Government to achieve an agreed outcome through a series of outputs. The Museum's performance is measured by the government against the outcome, outputs and associated performance indicators, as specified in the annual Portfolio Budget Statement. The Museum's outcome is:

Australians have access to the National Museum's collections and public programs to encourage awareness and understanding of Australian history and culture (National Museum of Australia, Portfolio Budget Statement 2005–06).

The Museum reached or exceeded targets set for this outcome in 2005–06. For example:

  • 50 per cent of the collections were available for exhibition, public programs and research (target: 50 per cent)
  • 76 per cent of visitors and users indicated that the Museum's exhibitions and public programs have contributed a new or different awareness or perspective on Australia's history or culture (target: 75 per cent).
  • Specifically, in relation to Output 1.1: Collection development and management, targets were also reached or exceeded. For example:
  • 100 per cent of acquisitions were acquired in accordance with the Collections Development Framework (target: 100 per cent)
  • 75 per cent of the collection was stored at or above Museum standards (target: 75 per cent)
  • 1770 objects received conservation treatment (target: 1000)
  • the cost per collection item was $36.65 (target: $45.26).
  • In relation to Output 1.2: National exhibitions, programs and services, targets were exceeded. For example:
  • 93 per cent of visitors recorded that they were satisfied or very satisfied with their visit (target: 70 per cent)
  • 98 per cent of schools visiting the Museum were satisfied that the education programs met core curriculum requirements (target: 80 per cent)
  • 771,000 people visited or used the Museum's exhibitions or programs, excluding the Museum's website (target: 600,000)
  • 467,000 unique visitors visited the Museum's website (target: 400,000)
  • the cost per visitor/user was $50.71 (target: $57.54).

For 2005–06 the total actual price of these outputs was $46.377 million, including departmental appropriations of $39.784 million and revenue from other sources of $6.593 million.

Achievements: Strategic and business priorities

In the second year of the Museum's 2004–2007 Strategic Plan, the Museum's resources were focused on 31 business priorities. Results against these business priorities are as follows:


Key strategic priority: Enhance exhibitions, programs and services

The National Museum of Australia will implement the plan approved by Council to address the recommendations of the Review of Exhibitions and Public Programs (2003) including gallery development, National Historical Collection development and visitor amenities improvement.

Business priority for 2005–06



Implement permanent gallery redevelopment Year 2 plan

Project planning, documentation and project control were implemented from January 2006 with the commencement of a project manager to lead this area. Substantial progress has been made on issue and risk identification, budget planning, detailed scheduling, communication, reporting, and procurement planning.


Deliver on collecting priorities, particularly historical colonial material

This year, significant acquisitions included the Springfield gift; the water bottle of famed explorer, Robert O'Hara Burke; a rare convict shirt, a punishment shoe and related materials from Tasmania; a Grubb 6-inch refractor telescope used from the 1890s by early Australian astronomers; a cricket stump from the 'Bodyline' series of 1932–1933 and a bat used by Sir Donald Bradman on the 1934 Australian tour of England; watercolours of station life in the north-west of Australia by Elizabeth Durack; and a 1920s Wagilag Sisters Dreaming bark painting from Central Arnhem Land.


Develop a manual for the management of permanent galleries

A manual has been developed which is in the final stages of consultation.


Review Client Service Charter

A review with staff, visitors and volunteers indicated only minor changes are required to the existing charter.


Develop a programming strategy for the Broadcast Studio

A brief was delivered on schedule with a range of options for future development.


Develop a brief for a discovery centre

A brief was delivered on schedule with a range of options for future development.


Key strategic priority: 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.

Business priority for 2005–06



Implement 2005–06 documentation plan for the National Historical Collection

A plan was implemented and a new project to clear back-log assessments and accessions was developed as part of a larger collection information initiative.


Complete 2005–06 preservation work plan

The 2005–06 preservation work plan is 80 per cent complete.


Finalise handover of
Springfield gift

The handover was finalised in September 2005 and documentation was accepted by the Cultural Gifts Committee.


Key strategic priority: 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.

Business priority for 2005–06



Implement visiting fellows research scheme

A visiting fellows research scheme was implemented and two fellowships were awarded.


Implement 2005–06 Research Plan

The Research Plan was implemented: two visiting fellowships and six staff scholarships were awarded, and two writing and publishing workshops were held. Eight Australian Research Council grants are in progress and five grant proposals are pending.


Launch National Museum of Australia journal

Launched e-journal, reCollections, in March 2006.


Key strategic priority: 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.

Business priority for 2005–06



Implement 2005–06 National Outreach Plan

The plan was delivered throughout the year with key outreach activities including:

  • eight travelling exhibitions touring to each mainland state and territory (except the Northern Territory) including All Aboard: 150 Years of Rail, which toured extensively throughout New South Wales
  • two community-based online projects involving Toowoomba and Goolwa in the Murray–Darling Basin
  • Snapshots, an online photographic project, enabling school students from Western Australia and the Northern Territory to feature their communities on the Museum's website
  • nine Talkback Classroom forums involving more than 1000 school students and broadcast on Radio National
  • Australian History Mysteries National Youth Challenge workshops, focusing on the use of objects in the study of history held in Ballarat, Launceston, Brisbane, Sydney, Darwin, Perth, Adelaide and Canberra
  • the release of eight publications.


Release additional website functions

The website architecture project was completed with the release of version 2.4 in March 2006, which included substantial new functions and content.


Develop Travelling Exhibition Plan for regional museums and non-museum venues

Eight exhibitions were displayed at 28 venues (two capital cities, four metropolitan and 22 regional/rural locations) in comparison with 2004–05 when a total of four exhibitions went to nine venues (three capital cities, five metropolitan and one regional/rural location). This is a substantial increase in the target area of regional museums. All states and territories hosted exhibitions, with the exception of the Northern Territory.


Undertake research study to increase understanding of current and future audiences

An audience segmentation study was undertaken and is currently being integrated into Museum planning.


Seek international exhibitions through partnership with Art Exhibitions Australia

This was achieved with the major milestone being the delivery of the exhibition Cook's Pacific Encounters which was launched on 30 June 2006. Further international exhibitions are currently under investigation.


Key strategic priority: Strengthen business processes

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

Business priority for 2005–06



Improve information services network architecture to streamline network maintenance and operations

Consultants have been engaged to assist with developing recommendations for an appropriate network architecture and maintenance design.


Implement the human resource information system including self service functionality

Implementation of the payroll module is complete and substantial planning for the additional nine modules completed; rollout of the first module will commence in July 2006.


Implement new retail inventory management system

The retail inventory management system was completed; replacement will commence in 2006–07.


Roll out new desktop and standard operating environment

New desktop machines and standard operating environment were rolled out in October 2005.


Implement common project management methodology

Common project management methodology was introduced, which included Primavera project management software.


Key strategic priority: 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.

Business priority for 2005–06



Implement National Museum of Australia 2005–2008 Certified Agreement

The items planned for completion in the first operating year of the Certified Agreement have been completed.


Develop strategies to promote Indigenous employment and cultural awareness

A new Workplace Diversity Plan was developed and agreed upon, which included a focus on strategies to promote Indigenous employment. Work has commenced on establishing the Museum's graduate program for Indigenous Australians.


Implement workplace anti-harassment guidelines

In addition to the implementation of the guidelines, anti-harassment training was delivered across the Museum and Museum Equity and Diversity Contact Officers were appointed.


Key strategic priority: Augment asset development and planning

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

Business priority for 2005–06



Develop integrated asset replacement and capital works budget

During 2005–06 the Museum reviewed all asset records. This review was used as the basis to develop the asset replacement program for 2006–07 and to estimate asset replacement and capital work requirements for three years.


Scope requirements for new Museum storage facility in 2009

The Museum's proposed Strategic Accommodation Plan has been completed. The Museum also participated in the development of DCITA's Portfolio Collections Storage Plan.


Key strategic priority: 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 priority for 2005–06



Undertake a scoping study to determine the potential level of corporate support for the Museum

A scoping study was completed with the final report due in September 2006.


Increase Corporate Circle members

Ninety per cent of existing Corporate Circle members renewed their membership and three new organisations are about to become members.


Develop processes and procedures to encourage substantial philanthropic donations to the National Historical Collection

Progress delayed by changes in key staff and other key priorities.


Support the National Museum of Australia Friends Foundation

Discussions and support were provided throughout the year as required by the Friends Foundation.