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3 January 2003

A major review will be undertaken into the exhibitions and public programs of the National Museum of Australia.

Mr Tony Staley, the Museum's Chairman, said that soon after the Museum's opening, the Council agreed that a review should be undertaken. 'Given that the Museum opened in Canberra in March 2001, it is timely to conduct that review now, starting in late January-early February, and taking an expected four to six months.'

The aims and content of the Museum's exhibitions and public and schools programs will be examined. The review will also evaluate the Museum's progress so far and consider priorities for the future development of exhibitions and programs. The terms of reference for the review will be available shortly.

The Review Committee will consult widely by calling for public submissions and holding meetings with historians and other academics to gauge the broad spectrum of opinion on existing exhibitions and programs and to identify the key issues that should shape the Museum's future direction.

The Review Committee, which will report to the Museum's Council, comprises the following people:

  • Associate Professor John Carroll, Reader in Sociology, at La Trobe University, Melbourne (Chair);
  • Mr Richard Longes, Director, Investec Australia Ltd Investment Bank;
  • Dr Philip Jones, Senior Curator of Anthropology at the South Australian Museum;
  • Professor Patricia Vickers-Rich, Professor of Vertebrate Palaeontology and Director of the Monash Science Centre, Monash University, Melbourne

'The National Museum, since it opened in March 2001, has attracted a lot of national and international attention and an unexpectedly high number of visitors, the vast majority of whom (94%) are satisfied with their visit,' said Mr Staley.

For further enquiries in relation to the review, please contact Mr Staley on 0408 292 068.

Enquiries in relation to the Review Secretariat should be directed to Jenny Harrison, Manager, NMA Review Secretariat, at the Department of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, on (02) 6271 1427.

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