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14 November 2016

Museum commended as ‘International Ready’

The National Museum of Australia has won the Major Festivals and Events prize for its groundbreaking exhibition Encounters: Revealing Stories of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Objects from the British Museum, at the Canberra Region Tourism Awards.

The Major Festivals and Events prize is awarded to projects that attract over 50,000 visitors and enhance the profile, appeal and finances of the destination.

The Museum received a 'commendation' in the inaugural International Ready award, for its ability to deliver tourism products and services to international visitors to Canberra.

National Museum Director Dr Mathew Trinca said the award and commendation reflected the Museum’s commitment to powerful Australian-history storytelling, for both domestic and international audiences.

‘We are delighted to receive this award and commendation which reflect the Museum’s mission to bring to life the stories of Australia through compelling objects, ideas and programs,’ he said.

‘Domestic and international tourists to Canberra come to the National Museum to experience Australia’s rich cultural and social history,’ said Dr Trinca.

Encounters was a groundbreaking project that attracted nearly 100,000 visitors, by bringing Indigenous objects from the British Museum’s collection to Australia and forming enduring connections between 27 Indigenous communities and the London institution,’ said Dr Trinca.

'It also brought nearly $20-million into the local economy,' he said.

Under the Encounters project (November 2015–March 2016),151 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander objects from the British Museum came to Canberra and were supplemented by 138 contemporary artworks from the communities represented in the exhibition. The vast majority of the British Museum objects had not been seen in Australia since they were first collected.

The National Museum’s tourism marketing strategy targets both national and global audiences. The Ultimate Museum Experience package was developed specifically for the international market. Personal foreign language tours are available in 13 languages.

The annual awards reward tourism excellence. They were presented at an 11 November ceremony at the city’s National Arboretum. As a result of winning the ACT’s Major Festivals and Events prize, the National Museum’s Encounters project is automatically a finalist in the 2016 Australian Tourism Awards, to be announced next February.

For more information please contact Tracy Sutherland, (02) 6208 5338 / 0438 620 710 or

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