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Statement by National Museum director Dr Mathew Trinca

28 May 2020

The role of museums has never been more important in connecting communities and providing a place to share and reflect on our experiences and we are delighted to be able to invite you back through our doors on 2 June 2020.

The power of ideas, objects and history to nourish our lives and help us make sense of our experiences underlies the work of the Museum and we look forward to re-connecting with you in person and sharing our collection and exhibitions.

With the COVID-19 pandemic still amongst us, the health and safety of our visitors and staff remain a priority and we are working on measures to help keep you safe including social distancing and boosted hygiene on-site, visitor number capacity guidelines and pre-booked tickets for our major exhibition. We thank you for your understanding as we work through these elements — stay tuned to our website for more details on COVID-19-related visiting protocols in the days ahead.

Visitors to the Museum will have the opportunity to see the landmark exhibition, Endeavour Voyage: The Untold Stories of Cook and the First Australians which was delayed due to the pandemic and will open to the public for the first time on 2 June.

A powerful exploration of both the legacy and achievements of James Cook and the largely untold 'view from the shore' as witnessed by Indigenous Australians who have lived on this continent for 65,000 years, this ground-breaking exhibition reframes the nation's foundational narrative.

The exhibition features the specially commissioned work, The Message, by award-winning filmmaker Alison Page and director Nik Lachajczak. The film features east coast Indigenous communities whose ancestors witnessed the Endeavour's 1770 passage, and powerfully reimagines the message of the ship’s arrival being passed up the coast line.

While our doors were closed we took the opportunity to revamp our Gandel Atrium which features a new array of historic vehicles from our collection.

The lakeside cafe and Museum Shop look forward to welcoming guests, in accordance with ACT government social distancing and capacity rules. Due to ongoing gallery redevelopment, the Museum's permanent galleries will remain closed for now.

We will continue to be guided by the National Cabinet and ACT government to help ensure your visit is a safe one. Stay tuned to our website and social media channels for updates.

For those of you who cannot visit us on-site, we will continue to bring you great Australian stories online at:

Thanks for your ongoing support and we look forward to re-connecting soon.

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