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A colour image of two people dressed in dark suits viewing a large painting mounted on a wall.
Guests at the official opening of A New Horizon: Contemporary Chinese Art admire Sun Zixi's Group Photo at Tiananmen, 1964

A new direction

In 2011–12 strategic priorities were created that will transform the National Museum of Australia and position it for the next decade. They move the focus from inward-looking to outward-looking. They seek to bring the Museum to the forefront of the cultural life of the country, to a position of thought leadership in which contemporary Australia is understood in relationship to its past and its future promise.

These priorities are underpinned by the pursuit of excellence in every area of the Museum’s activity. To this end, they will deploy all of the internal resources available to the Museum responsibly and to maximum effect. They seek to establish fruitful partnerships to help the Museum grow its resources and reach wider audiences in Australia and globally.

The strategic priorities are:

  • create a place that people love, renowned for its excellence
  • reach and involve people whoever they are and wherever they are
  • use the collection to the full
  • treat the whole Museum and its activities as an integrated educational experience
  • harness the capacity of our people to maximum effect — their ideas, research capacity, diverse experiences and energy
  • increase our resources and make maximum use of them.


The National Museum of Australia operates with the highest ethical standards. It embraces truth and the pursuit of knowledge for its own sake and recognises the importance of aesthetic considerations. The Museum acknowledges the contributions of all Australians to the country’s historical development and accepts a fundamental requirement for fairness and equity in its activities. In operating within the framework established by such values, the National Museum of Australia:

  • develops and preserves the National Historical Collection
  • upholds scholarly and professional integrity
  • makes best use of its resources
  • values and is open-minded to new ideas
  • promotes continuous learning
  • strives to be innovative and creative
  • anticipates and responds to its diverse audience’s needs.
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