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Achievement of strategic and business priorities

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Strategic priority 1: Build profile

The Museum is regarded as contemporary and relevant to Australians and the government.

The Museum builds its profile through research, collections, exhibitions, educational programs and public events that promote lifelong learning, publications and online products. Business priorities for FY 2012–14 are:

Business priorities Report
1.1 Project the Museum nationally and internationally, taking opportunities offered by a new media environment


1.2 Extend the Museum’s tourism reach through partnerships, targeted promotional campaigns and strategic communication


1.3 Focus the Museum’s collection development activities to address collection gaps and meet program needs

Achieved: A new Collections Development Framework for the period 2013 to 2015 was implemented. The framework allows for the identification and prioritisation of collecting, and provides a framework for assessment of potential collection material.

See Managing the collection

1.4 Plan for the next stage of gallery refurbishment and refine delivery of the Museum’s temporary exhibition program


  • A Display Redevelopment Plan for the period 2011 to 2020 was revised. It outlines plans for the redevelopment of permanent galleries and public spaces.
  • A review of the temporary exhibition program occurred, with a focus on developing exhibitions with strong links to the National Historical Collection.
1.5 Integrate research with program development, and communicate the Museum's intellectual leadership through public programs, exhibitions and publications


  • A research strategy and framework was developed to provide focus for research activities in the 2013 to 2017 period. The framework links interdisciplinary research to the three main themes of the Museum.
  • Published seven publications and two issues of the scholarly journal reCollections.
  • Hosted the Centenary of Canberra’s Kungkarangkalpa: Seven Sisters Songline performance featuring senior desert dancers from the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands.
    See Programs and events, Adult learners 
  • Introduced an innovative series of public programs ‘Door to Store: Caring for your Collection’, involving conservators, registrars and curators demonstrating and discussing how the Museum cares for its collections.
    See Programs and events, Adult learners

Strategic priority 2: Align people, culture and structure

The Museum has the capability to drive its strategic intent.

Delivery of programs and services to the public is made possible by the Museum’s workforce, facilities, information, media and technology services, business and financial management, and executive support. Business priorities for FY 2012–14 are:

Business priorities Report
2.1 Undertake workforce planning and develop leadership capabilities to support the Museum’s new structure


  • A Management to Leadership Program was implemented for members of the Executive and Executive Level staff.
    See Sustainability, Taking care of people
  • Completion of improved data analysis of the Museum’s workforce profile over the last five years. This increased the emphasis on aligning staffing resources with strategic planning and budgeting cycles.
2.2 Embed a strategic focus in budget development, planning and reporting

Achieved/In progress: Linked business planning and budget development processes and created a multi-year focus for business planning. Emphasis is to better align business planning and budgets to strategic priorities.  

2.3 Ensure the alignment of internal performance measures with cross-agency Key Performance Indicators developed by the Office for the Arts

Achieved: The Office for the Arts (OFTA) introduced a new suite of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for all cultural agencies within the portfolio. The Museum introduced new reporting mechanisms to capture data against each of the KPIs during the financial year, and these measures complemented existing internal performance reports. The outcomes of the OFTA KPIs were reported to OFTA and will form the basis of a report to the Minister for the Arts in September each year.

See Program 1.1 Collection management, research, exhibitions and programs, Performance summary

2.4 Improve the Performance Management System (Workplace Conversations) through staff and union consultation

Achieved: Phase 1 of the review of the Museum’s Workplace Conversations framework was completed and the cycle aligned to the budget cycle. Phase 2 consultation processes have started, with a view to improving the capability of staff to engage in meaningful and productive feedback and development processes.

See Sustainability, Taking care of people

2.5 Monitor the work culture of the Museum through the Performance Management System, Museum Consultative Forum and staff survey

Achieved: The Museum continued to monitor the work culture of the Museum through the Museum Consultative Forum and used the outcomes of the Australian Public Service Commission State of the Service survey to develop priorities for improving staff engagement at the Museum.

See Sustainability, Taking care of people

2.6 Implement the Reconciliation Action Plan

In progress: The Museum Council’s Indigenous Advisory Committee has asked for a review of the draft plan before its implementation.

Strategic priority 3: Develop strategic partnerships

The Museum has a network of partners, sponsors and champions.

Many Museum programs and services rely upon the support of and partnerships with other cultural agencies, organisations and individuals. Business priorities for FY 2012–14 are:

Business priorities Report
3.1 Continue to implement recommendations of the review of fundraising as appropriate, including developing strategic partnerships

Achieved: A range of practices and programs were established to support the shift toward more effective fundraising. Examples include the deployment of a relational contact database, the development of discrete fundraising appeals and creation of a donor care program.

See Generating external revenue and support

3.2 Build partnerships through making effective use of the Client Relationship Management system

Achieved: The Museum continues to build a community of interest around its work through the effective use of the Client Relationship Management system. The system supports donor and sponsor communication and improved donor acknowledgment practices.

3.3 Align with whole-of-government agendas for shared computer services, green initiatives, and the rationalisation of property and storage infrastructure


  • Whole-of-government panels used where appropriate, for procurement of Information and Communication Technology equipment and services.
  • Utilisation of cloud services for a range of applications.
  • Participation in the whole-of-government electricity contract and combining with other cultural agencies to seek efficiencies and reduced energy costs.
    See Management performance, Facilities management
3.4 Be a leader in the provision of education programming and curriculum materials in relation to the Australian Curriculum


3.5 Develop partnerships that build upon, and develop, the Museum’s programs and collection strengths Achieved: Relationships were established with a number of historic car clubs and collectors as part of the Royal Daimler Project. These have led to increased collection knowledge and additional fundraising capacity.

Strategic priority 4: Implement new forms of delivery

The Museum has current and emerging technologies in place.

New digital and information technologies enable the Museum to deliver programs and services to audiences wherever they are. Business priorities for FY 2012–14 are:

Business priorities Report
4.1 Create concepts for using supplementary funding (2012–13 to 2015–16) to enhance access to the Museum’s programs and collections

Achieved/In progress: The supplementary funding was used to:

  • Develop a new interactive exhibition.
  • Make improvements to collection access through digitisation, enhanced software and online search tools.
  • Fund the Collection Digitisation project, which generated 11,293 images of objects in the National Historical Collection.
  • Fund the addition of 75,056 images to the digital asset management system. 
    See Managing the collection, Photography
4.2 Extend the reach of the Museum’s education and learning programs through increased use of digital delivery methods

Achieved: Videoconference programming for students and related professional learning opportunities for teachers was expanded. This suite of programming will be significantly increased in subsequent reporting periods.

See Connecting with the Community, Reaching a national schools audience

4.3 Complete the reconceptualising of Kspace

In progress: Work began on scoping and defining a new interactive experience for children and families to replace the current Kspace gallery.

See Connecting with the Community, Reaching a national schools audience 

4.4 Review Information and Communication Technology (ICT) service delivery arrangements to assist the Museum with delivering its strategic directions

Achieved: Following an internal review, the Museum’s ICT system support functions were insourced and merged with audiovisual support services to operate as a single service desk.

See Management performance, Enhancing key services: Information and communication technology (ICT)

4.5 Consolidate the implementation of the Museum’s digital collections and related asset management system

Achieved/In progress:

  • A new digital asset management system, Piction, was implemented enabling staff to preserve, request and deliver images more effectively across the Museum.
  • A facility is in development to improve public access to images on Piction and collection object information through the Museum’s website.
    See Managing the collection, Photography

Strategic priority 5: Raise sustainable revenue

The Museum has the capacity to invest in infrastructure.

Delivery of programs and services to the public is made possible by the Museum’s workforce, facilities, information, media and technology services, business and financial management, and executive support. Business priorities for FY 2012–14 are:

Business priorities Report
5.1 Undertake a review of the Museum Shop’s operations with an aim to increase revenue and expand the Museum’s brand

Achieved/In progress:

  • The review of retail operations was completed in 2013. The recommendations include new processes and business systems, which will enable/support an ongoing sustainable revenue stream.
    See Generating external revenue and support, Merchandising and retail
  • A five-year strategy is being developed to ensure viability of future revenue streams and commercial development opportunities.
5.2 Increase the commercial return for the Museum through enhancing business processes and streamlining operations


5.3 Develop innovative programs and events of wide appeal to increase venue hire and the use of facilities, including the cafe and theatre

Achieved: A new 200-seat cafe was completed in December 2012. It replaced the existing fine dining restaurant and cafeteria style eatery in the Main Hall. The reshape of catering facilities liberated space in the Main Hall for more of the collection to be displayed and the cafe is available as a discrete venue for events.

See Management Performance, Design + Environment (D+E)

5.4 Build a donor base that includes regular giving, major gifts and bequests

Achieved: The Museum has established a growing donor base on which to build regular giving and major gift and bequests programs.

5.5 Source additional funding opportunities through state and federal governments


The exterior of the new Museum Cafe.
The new Museum Cafe, designed by ARM Architecture. Photograph by John Gollings.