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Appendix 2: Functions and powers of the National Museum of Australia

The functions and powers of the Museum are set out in Sections 5, 6 and 7 of the National Museum of Australia Act 1980 (the Museum Act).

Gallery of Aboriginal Australia

Section 5 of the Museum Act specifies requirements for:

  • a gallery of Aboriginal Australia to form part of the Museum
  • the performance of functions in relation to the gallery.

Functions of the Museum

Section 6 of the Museum Act states that the functions of the Museum are:

(a) to develop and maintain a national collection of historical material

(b) to exhibit, or to make available for exhibition by others, historical material from the National Historical Collection or historical material that is otherwise in the possession of the Museum

(baa) to exhibit material, whether in written form or in any other form, that relates to Australia’s past, present and future

(ba) from time to time as the occasion requires, to exhibit, by itself or in collaboration with others, in Australia or elsewhere, material, whether in written form or in any other form and whether relating to Australia or to a foreign country

(c) to conduct, arrange for or assist in research into matters pertaining to Australian history

(d) to disseminate information relating to Australian history and information relating to the Museum and its functions

(e) to develop and implement sponsorship, marketing and other commercial activities relating to the Museum’s functions.

Section 6 also requires the Museum to use every endeavour to make the most advantageous use of the national collection in the national interest.

Powers of the Museum

Section 7 of the Museum Act provides that the Museum has power to do all things necessary or convenient to be done for or in connection with the performance of its functions.