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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 109 The lack of adequate inventory and documentation of major parts of the collections was identified by several people as a serious weakness. The disparate and inadequate collection information management systems were a source of common complaint. The reduction in research and curatorial strength in several disciplines, one of which referred to by several people being archaeology, was seen as a significant weakening of the MAGNTs capabilities. Even more generally expressed was the view that collection storage conditions and space were reaching a critical stage. The MAGNT desperately needs more storage was the expression of one staff member. The staff The MAGNT staff were seen as a strong resource (by both external respondents and the staff themselves). One respondent expressed this as the MAGNT and its staff having the capacity to deliver. Even where some external stakeholders raised some concerns about certain areas of activity, they were at pains to emphasise their respect for the commitment and skills of the institutions staff. Several respondents commented on the more friendly face to the museum via its visitor service staff. The high expectations on staff were also noted and those who were aware of resourcing observed that staff were often trying to do more than could reasonably be required of one position. The achievements of the current director in re-motivating and energising the organisation taking (the institution) to another level as one person described it - over the past four years were noted by several people, both internal and external. The relationship between management and the Board appears to be very sound. There was a view raised that at least some of the MAGNT staff may not have adapted to change as quickly as might have been desirable and that there is a perception in some quarters that some museum staff are still very focused on traditional pursuits, perhaps to the detriment of being more proactive in exploring new and more relevant activities. In tandem with this observation was the comment that for some of the more arcane activities, such as biosystematic research, the real value of the work was not well appreciated across the community or within government. There is a palpable feeling of strain amongst some of the MAGNT staff, reflecting what they see as growing expectations that they must deliver on a range of increasing administrative duties as well as maintain (or grow) a viable museum/gallery program with limited (and indeed reducing in real terms) resources. The concern at sacrificing strategic thinking and planning in order to focus on day-to-day administration was variously expressed by several senior staff. Nonetheless, the overall expression from staff was one of high morale, internal harmony and respect for the current management. Resources The majority of those interviewed referred to inadequate resources at least once in their discussion, and many referred to this repeatedly. The ability to deliver good programs on a small budget was considered a great capacity of the MAGNT but it was felt by all interviewed that programs had been progressively curtailed or even dropped because of reduced available resources.