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Chair's letter of transmittal

The Hon Simon Crean MP
Minister for the Arts
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600


Dear Minister

Portrait of Simon Crean
The Hon Simon Crean MP

On behalf of the Council of the National Museum of Australia, I am pleased to submit our annual report for the financial year ended 30 June 2011. 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 2008.

In March 2011 the Museum celebrated the tenth anniversary of its opening on Acton Peninsula, a significant milestone in the history of the Museum. We took this opportunity to outline a forward plan for the Museum, built on its present and past successes.

This year was marked by many achievements. These included record visitation figures of nearly five million, the opening of a major permanent gallery and the creation of a new brand for the Museum.

Portrait of Daniel Gilbert
Daniel Gilbert AM

Highlights of the Museum's temporary exhibition program included an exhibition that for the very first time told the story of the Canning Stock Route's impact, and the importance of the country around it, in Aboriginal voices and interpreted through Aboriginal eyes. Not Just Ned: A True History of the Irish in Australia told the epic story of the impact of the Irish in the history of Australia. Both of these exhibitions resulted in record-breaking visitation.

The Museum has achieved or surpassed the outcomes set for it by government for 2010–11, and there have been no significant developments since the end of the financial year. I would like to acknowledge the support of all Council members in ensuring the highest levels of governance for the Museum. The term of longstanding Council member Marian Gibney ended during the year and I take this opportunity to thank her for her work in the governance of the National Museum.

I would also like to express the Council's appreciation of your support for the Museum throughout 2010–11, and acknowledge the support of the Minister for Environment Protection, Heritage and the Arts, Hon Peter Garrett AM MP, from 1 July to 13 September 2010.

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

Yours sincerely

Daniel Gilbert AM
Chair of Council
National Museum of Australia
September 2011