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 2014.
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 2013–14 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 29 May 2014.
In accordance with a resolution of the Council, passed on 21 August 2014, the members of Council accept this report as being a fair and accurate representation of the organisation’s performance during the 2013–14 financial year.
The Council is delighted with the achievements of the National Museum in 2013–14. Over the past year, the Museum provided visitors with a diverse exhibition program that included the major temporary exhibition Old Masters: Australia’s Great Bark Artists. The stunning exhibition of 122 paintings from the Museum’s extensive bark collection, the largest of its kind in the world, won wide public acclaim.
The Museum also enhanced its visitor experience in the digital realm with a stronger focus on social media and the development of a digital asset management system. Both of these initiatives enable audiences to remain informed about the Museum’s activities and find information about the collection, regardless of their location.
The Council is committed to continually improving the performance of the Museum. To this end, we reviewed and approved a new Strategic Plan for 2014–18. The Council has also overseen development of the Museum’s fundraising and commercial activities, which now concentrate on building communities of interest around items in the National Historical Collection. In keeping with this change, the Council was pleased to see the Museum’s Royal Daimler project reach a milestone with the conserved chassis of the 1948 vehicle put on public display. The project continues to generate community support and raise funds for the restoration of the Daimler.
We are also advancing other important initiatives, such as the redevelopment of the Welcome Space in the First Australians gallery, and refurbishment of permanent galleries and multimedia spaces. Our retail shop was also renovated in the course of the financial year.
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.
We welcomed the appointment of Dr Mathew Trinca as Director of the Museum on 17 February 2014. Dr Trinca has established himself as a very effective leader, developing a new strategic focus for the Museum and readying the organisation for the next five years. I also take the opportunity to thank the members of the Museum’s executive management group, and indeed the entire staff of the Museum, for their ongoing efforts.
The Council has every confidence in the Museum’s future and its growing role in the cultural life of Australia.
Mr Daniel Gilbert AM
Chair of Council