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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 108 The original buildings on the site date from 1981 and one respondent commented on their increasing problems of age-related maintenance, exacerbated by a tropical climate and inadequate funding. This was seen as leading to a crisis management approach rather than strategic building management. Several persons noted the buildings were looking tired. Public regard and marketing It was generally felt that the MAGNT did a good job now of marketing itself and communicating its public programs to the residents of Darwin. The high percentage of tourist visitors suggested that effective contact was being made with that sector as well (although there is also a view that tourists simply do the MAGNT as part of the Darwin visit). Nonetheless, senior MAGNT staff would like to create better awareness of the institution and its program via targeted advertising. As well, it was noted by one person that more needs to be known about why people do not visit, as well as the views of those that have. The MAGNT Foundation has recently refocused its activities with the aim of making better contact with general members of the community. As is noted further below, the respect and affection of the community was seen as a strong attribute by many of those interviewed. The MAGNT was described as critically important in the cultural life of the Territory. The collections and research There is a general consensus that the MAGNTs collection strengths are in Aboriginal art, regional cultural material (notably of Southeast Asia and to a lesser extent Oceania) and the fauna of the Northern Territory and northern Australia. There seemed less confidence regarding other areas of the art collection and the history collections. The non-Indigenous art collection was described as severely lacking by one respondent. The maritime collection drew varied comment, ranging from accolades for its strength and reflection of regional (notably Southeast Asian) maritime heritage to a measure of concern as to its strategic purpose and costs of holding and maintenance. It is a common view that the MAGNT today is less lassez faire in its approach to research and collecting than was once the case. The attitude of several respondents was that past administrations and curators acted in a degree of isolation in their collection and research pursuits, and that this has (generally for the better) become more focused and corporatised over the years. Both internal and external interviewees expressed concern that the research activities of the MAGNT should be, and be seen to be, relevant to Government and the broader community of the Northern Territory. There are now in place a number of collections policies and procedural documents, that define the range and nature of collection-related activities. The view of those aware of these documents was that they were a solid advance in focused collection practices.