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Review of the Museum and Art Gallery services : a report to the Department of Community Development, Sport & Cultural Affairs



Review of the Museum and Art Gallery services : a report to the Department of Community Development, Sport & Cultural Affairs

Other title

MAGNT Review December 2004 Morgan; Internal review of MAGNT. Final report March 2004


Morgan, Gary


E-Publications; E-Books; PublicationNT




"This Review has looked at the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory’s outputs relative to benchmark museum and art gallery activities and outputs around Australia and relative to international trends in museum practice. This Review has also considered possible service outcomes set against three funding scenarios." - Executive summary


This review was commissioned by Risk Management Services of the Department of the Chief Minister for the Northern Territory, on behalf of the Department of Community Development, Sport and Cultural Affairs. The review was put to Tender in October 2004, with the Tender awarded in November 2004. - Introduction; Made available via the Publications (Legal Deposit) Act 2004 (NT).

Table of contents

Executive summary -- Part A: Introduction - Background -- Outputs of this review. Part B: Outputs of the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory - A comparison of the MAGNT outputs in activities of collection development and management, public programs and research relative to those of other state museums and galleries - A discussion of the MAGNT outputs relative to national and international trends in museums and galleries - A consideration of the scientific focus of the MAGNT in terms of a) its management and outcomes relative to other museums and b) its contribution to Northern Territory economic activity and Government programs - A comparison of per square metre exhibition costs at the MAGNT relative to other institutions - A comparison of the acquisition budget of the MAGNT relative to other institutions. Part C: Possible budget scenarios - A discussion of three budget scenarios for the MAGNT with their consequent service outcomes. Part D: Summary of recommendations. Part E: Sources and acknowledgements. Part F: Appendices 1-8




Museums -- Northern Territory -- Public opinion; Museums -- Evaluation; Public relations -- Museums -- Northern Territory

Publisher name

Northern Territory Government

Place of publication



xviii, 124 pages ; 30 cm.

File type



Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

Copyright owner

Northern Territory Government



Parent handle


Citation address


Related items

https://hdl.handle.net/10070/458000; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/457995

Page content

MAGNT Review December 2004 Morgan xi Recommendation: o The MAGNT should explore opportunities for producing more popular publications on the natural history of the Northern Territory and consider tourists as a significant part of the market. o The MAGNT should explore opportunities for joint staff appointments with Charles Darwin University (or other possible partner agencies). Contribution of science to Northern Territory economic activity and Government programs External stakeholder comment regarding the MAGNTs science was very predominantly positive. This reflected the recognition by those persons of the use and value of museum science in terms of assisting their own agencies activities. Some respondents felt the MAGNT had not been as responsive as it might to making its knowledge available in a useful way to Government, but there was a strong attitude that this had substantially changed and that today the MAGNT was keen to have its science used and being seen as useful. The skill base at the MAGNT was seen as unique, needed and not replaceable by other agencies. The museums expertise in marine taxonomy was particularly noted. MAGNT science is involved with a wide range of partnerships with State agencies, Commonwealth bodies and the private sector. Major scientific research projects in which the MAGNT has been lead agent or a partner have brought in $1.9 million of external (non-Territory) funding since 1998. Using a simple multiplier conversion, this can be seen as generating an economic impact of over $3 million from external funds. Some of the value of the MAGNTs research is not quantifiable. One example of this is the identification of fouling organisms and pests that could cause enormous environmental and economic damage if not detected and contained. The natural science collections are large and an invaluable scientific resource. They are particularly strong in tropical Australian specimens which are often less represented in other museum collections. Some significant areas of modern museum collections are not strong, such as tissue samples for DNA analysis. Comparison of per square metre exhibition costs at the MAGNT relative to those of other institutions Museums and galleries mount a very wide range of exhibition types, for which the cost of development and installation can be equally variable. Hanging of art works from a gallerys own collection can be a relatively inexpensive exercise, as can certain community access programs where works are presented for basic staff and minimal additional costs. At the other extreme are long term (permanent) museum exhibitions that require more complex investment in infrastructure and often ancillary technologies such as multimedia. Costings per square metre are normally applied to mounting this latter type of exhibition rather than displays of artworks. The MAGNT has not been able to (re)develop many major long term galleries in recent years. The one gallery that has been delivered (Transformations in 2001) was completed for $700 per square metre, approximately one quarter the per square metre budget that many larger Australian museums regard as a basic (minimal) costing for a