6 January 2023
The National Museum of Australia has welcomed news that the Federal Government will address the financial problems faced by the National Cultural and Collecting Institutions.
National Museum of Australia director Dr Mathew Trinca said it was encouraging that Arts Minister Tony Burke had highlighted in a recent speech the ‘systemic underfunding’ of the cultural institutions over a long period of time.
Dr Trinca also praised the Minister for committing to the ‘major decisions that the Government will take in dealing with those challenges’.
Minister Burke has said there was a ‘justified outcry’ about the institutions’ funding woes that had been building over many years.
'The Museum has been very encouraged by Minister Burke’s clear understanding of the problems that go to the sustainability of the nation’s cultural institutions', Dr Trinca said.
‘As my colleagues have noted, there needs to be substantial re-investment in the cultural institutions in our portfolio to avoid major impacts on our work and the quality of our service to the Australian public.
'These issues have been around for some time and the news that Government is looking to address these concerns is a great relief for all of us who have worked hard through what have been very challenging years.'
Dr Trinca said that the National Museum had focused on increasing its own source income through donations, corporate support and commercial activities onsite in recent years to cover the shortfall.
While attendances at the Museum had grown by more than 50 percent to date this financial year, there was a limit to how much money could be raised by the institutions themselves through commercial activity.
'The simple fact is that we need to re-invest in these institutions if we want them to be world-class and to tell the Australian story in all its dimensions', Dr Trinca said.
‘In global terms, we have great stories to tell and there is an expectation that a country like Australia should be proud to share its stories with the world.
'We look forward to hearing more about the Government’s plans to deal with these issues in the near future and thank them for their attention to these matters.'
Media contact: Diana Streak 02 6208 5091 | 0409 888 976 or firstname.lastname@example.org