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Generating external revenue and support

Grants and sponsorship

The total value of support secured from external sources was $1,123,150, comprising $367,472 for cash or in-kind sponsorship and $755,678 for grants received for major programs. Not Just Ned: A True History of the Irish in Australia attracted substantial media support from Prime Television and Foxtel's History Channel.

Significant grant funding received included:

  • $207,000 from the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Office for the Arts, National Collecting Institutions Touring and Outreach Program to support the development of touring exhibitions
  • $400,000 from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade for Papunya Painting: Out of the Australian Desert to travel to the National Art Museum of China in Beijing. This was the second portion of the overall $500,000 grant provided for the tour
  • $40,000 from the Irish Government to provide video equipment for Not Just Ned: A True History of the Irish in Australia.

Merchandising and retail

Merchandising and retail operations not only raise revenue for the Museum, but also enhance visitor experiences by providing merchandise that is largely inspired by the Museum's exhibitions, programs and its unique building. The year 2010–11 was the most successful year on record for the Museum's retail operations with a 47.96 per cent increase in gross sales and a record 12 per cent net profit return to the Museum. This increase in sales was the result of operational, customer service, product and merchandising improvements implemented throughout the year.

In 2010–11, retail conversion increased significantly from 14.26 per cent to 21.07 per cent while average sale and sales per visitor increased 22.27 per cent and 80.54 per cent respectively, reflecting the increased appeal of the product range to visitors.

An extensive range of merchandise was produced for Yiwarra Kuju: The Canning Stock Route. Royalties from sales of this merchandise were paid to the respective art centres and artists involved. Total exhibition merchandise sales for Yiwarra Kuju, including 2873 catalogues, contributed 19.6 per cent to retail sales for the period of the exhibition.

A special temporary shop operated for Not Just Ned: A True History of the Irish in Australia, selling local gifts and mementos as well as authentic goods imported from Ireland. Sales in the exhibition shop contributed 23.07 per cent to retail sales for the period of the exhibition in 2010–11.

In January, the Museum launched its e-commerce facility. It was launched with a modest book range to support the Museum's publications program, but further development and enhancement to this important revenue and customer service function will occur in 2011–12.

Venue hire

The Museum is a popular venue and in 2010–11 a range of corporate events was held at Acton, including conferences, meetings, product launches, gala dinners, awards presentations and cocktail receptions. Key relationships were developed within the industry to help promote the Museum as a venue to local, national and international markets, particularly the conventions industry.