Senator the Hon George Brandis QC
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 2013.
The Council is responsible under Section 9 of the Commonwealth Authorities and Companies Act 1997 for the preparation and content of the report of operations of the National Museum of Australia. The 2012–13 annual report has been prepared in conformity with the Commonwealth Authorities (Annual Reporting) Orders 2011, and with regard to the Requirements for Annual Reports, as approved by the Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit under subsections 63(2) and 70(2) of the Public Service Act 1999 and made available by the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet on 24 June 2013.
In accordance with a resolution of the Council, passed on 29 August 2013, the members of Council accept this report as being a fair and accurate representation of the organisation’s performance during the year under review. The Council is delighted with the achievements of the National Museum in 2012–13. Over the past year, the Museum completed major building works that have transformed visitor experience and created new educational and entertaining exhibitions about the nation and our history.
On arrival, visitors to the Museum now encounter a permanent display of large objects from our collection in the Main Hall. They can also experience the Museum’s new cafe with its stunning views across Lake Burley Griffin. Completion of the new administration wing has provided accommodation for staff in a more openly collaborative environment. The exhibition program for the year was diverse and vibrant. Of particular interest was the compelling exhibition, Glorious Days: Australia 1913, celebrating the Centenary of Canberra. Our public and schools programs continued to attract a wide range of visitors, with a highlight of the year being the Seven Sisters performances by Aboriginal women from Central Australia.
We are committed to continually improving the performance of the Museum. To this end, the Council reviewed and approved the Encounters’ exhibition project, a highly significant collaboration between the National Museum of Australia, the British Museum and 15 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities across the country. This will result in the exhibition of important Indigenous objects from the collection of the British Museum.
Council has overseen implementation of revised strategic priorities, a new organisational structure, and changes in the Museum’s fundraising and commercial activities. We are also progressing other important initiatives, such as the digitisation of the National Historical Collection and the redesign of the popular children’s Kspace facility.
I would like to acknowledge the support of all Council members in ensuring the highest levels of governance of the National Museum of Australia. The Council also joins me in congratulating the former Director, Andrew Sayers, and staff on the Museum’s success in 2012–13.
Daniel Gilbert AM
Chair of Council