Senator the Hon George Brandis QC
Attorney-General, Minister for the Arts
Canberra ACT 2601
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 2015. The Council is responsible under sections 7AB and 7AC of the Public Governance Performance and Accountability (Consequential and Transitional Provisions) Rule 2014 for the preparation and content of the report of operations of the National Museum of Australia.
The 2014–15 annual report has been prepared in conformity with the Consequential and Transitional Provisions Rule, which continues the application of the Commonwealth Authorities (Annual Reporting Orders) 2011 for the preparation of annual reports; and with regard to the Requirements for Annual Reports, as approved by the Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit under subsections 63(2) of the Public Service Act 1999 and made available by the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet on 25 June 2015.
In accordance with a resolution of the Council, passed on 25 August 2015, the members of Council accept this report as being a fair and accurate representation of the organisation’s performance during the 2014–15 financial year.
The Council is pleased with the achievements of the National Museum for 2014–15. In advancing its strategic purpose and direction, the Museum has implemented and made strong progress against a new set of strategic priorities for 2014–18. These priorities focus on the core functions of the Museum and outline the key business objectives, activities, outputs and performance targets to be achieved over the next three years.
In meeting these strategic priorities, the Museum has successfully reinvigorated its international profile through partnerships and exhibition exchanges with overseas institutions. During 2014–15, the Museum has established partnerships with major institutions in East and South-East Asia, and Europe, including an unprecedented major partnership with the British Museum, which will result in exhibitions in 2015, 2016 and 2018.
Over the past year, the Museum has provided visitors with two temporary exhibitions, Spirited: Australia’s Horse Story, and The Home Front: Australia during the First World War. The Museum has further extended its reach domestically and internationally with a successful travelling exhibition program.
A stronger focus on the digital realm and social media was demonstrated with the launch of such projects as Defining Moments in Australian History and Australia Day Your Way. The success of these projects is evidence of the Museum’s ability to generate significant conversation and debate by using digital media platforms.
In 2014–15, the Council concentrated on a number of strategic policies regarding the Museum’s statement of its recognition, commitment and approach to Indigenous engagement. The Council also continued to oversee development of the Museum’s fundraising and commercial activities, and placed a stronger focus on collection development and exhibition development.
The Council has welcomed two new members and farewelled four members, including former Chair, Mr Daniel Gilbert AM. Mr Gilbert was Chair for the past six years, and the Museum is grateful for his substantial contribution during that time. I would like to acknowledge the support of all Council members, who have brought their considerable expertise to the governance of the Museum over the past 12 months.
I also take the opportunity to thank the members of the Museum’s executive management group and all staff for their ongoing efforts and continued professionalism in preserving and bringing to life Australia’s history. The Council has every confidence in the Museum’s future.
Mr David Jones, Chair of Council