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The Museum continued to deliver a rich and varied exhibition program, at the Museum itself and to venues throughout Australia.
Developing the Galleries
As mentioned on page 16, a central part of the Museum's four-year Collections and Gallery Development Plan is the staged redevelopment of the Circa theatre and two galleries, Nation and Horizons. The plan includes updating and refreshing the existing galleries in the short-term in advance of their complete redevelopment in 2007 and 2008.
As the first stage of that program, the Gallery Development section researched and prepared content for two new displays this financial year. One display, representing the significance of sport in national life, will be installed in the Nation gallery, while another on the British discovery and colonisation of Australia has been readied for the Horizons gallery.
During the year, the names of the permanent galleries were reviewed. The name of Tangled Destinies will be changed to Old New Land. The names of Eternity and the First Australians gallery will remain the same. The names of Nation and Horizons will be maintained until the new gallery developments in 2007-2008. Exhibition briefs were developed for the future redevelopment of these two galleries. The briefs establish a conceptual plan for two galleries and detail the interpretive approaches to be taken. New project teams will begin work on the research program for both galleries in the next financial year.
Circa is the Museum's rotating theatre positioned at the entrance to the permanent galleries. It shows a 12-minute multimedia program exploring the Museum's three main themes of land, nation and people. The Collections and Gallery Development Plan identified a need to refurbish the theatre as an introduction to the galleries. This year work progressed on developing a new multimedia program, and on identifying technologies to refresh the screen infrastructure. Council approved a creative brief for the new program in April 2005, and script development has commenced.
The Gallery Development section prepared content for new printed Museum guides. These guides - for families, for the Garden of Australian Dreams, and an introduction to the National Historical Collection - will let people tailor their visit to their own needs and interests. Other guides on a variety of themes will be published in the future. Research continued into the interpretation of, and other potential uses for, the Garden of Australian Dreams, as well as the possible future uses of interactive kiosks in the permanent galleries.