Territory Stories

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 115 Partnerships with other areas of Government are noted below. Partnerships, including with other areas of government External and internal respondents felt that the MAGNT was making a real effort to be involved in partnerships and across-government initiatives. There was general consensus that the institution had moved away from being highly individualistic to being more of a team player. There were several stories about one former Director in particular, with both criticism and respect for what was achieved in those early days of the independent museum. A history dominated by personalities was the way one person appraised the past activities of the MAGNT. Current senior MAGNT staff in particular see the need for establishing and maintaining partnerships and direct a significant part of their working time to this end. External partners universally regarded the contribution of the MAGNT as important or critical. A common observation was that the Territory needed the expertise of MAGNT staff available and if it wasnt there, finding alternatives would be difficult. There was a consistent view that the skills of the MAGNT complemented those of partner agencies. Several people felt that there were very good opportunities for partnerships involving the MAGNT to expand in future. This could include partnerships relating to biomedical research and tropical systems. In certain areas, partnerships are in effect legislated onto the MAGNT. For example, the MAGNT has responsibilities for maritime heritage under the Commonwealth Historic Shipwrecks ACT (1977) and the Northern Territorys Heritage Conservation Act (1991, under review). The Meteorites Act (2000) also requires the MAGNT through its Board to take responsibility for meteorites in the Territory, necessitating working relationships with other departments. Several external stakeholders commented on the dwindling capacity of the MAGNT to enter into meaningful partnerships however. One person described this as a willingness on the part of MAGNT to provide input but its resources seem to have dwindled. Areas of identified diminution included archaeological input and terrestrial faunal biology and survey. In the case of archaeology, one respondent bemoaned the diminishing base of expertise in a part of Australia where Indigenous cultural heritage was so important. Regarding terrestrial biological survey, one external observer felt that the MAGNT may have missed the boat regarding marketing its expertise as other agencies, notably the DPIE, had better positioned themselves to be the main adviser to Government. This was seen to reflect a lack of awareness at the MAGNT that its activities had to be seen as relevant and applied to hands-on and current management decisions, rather than merely be academically worthy. Other agencies were seen as more responsive providers of information. This attitude is perceived as changing in that the MAGNT is more likely today to see the need and value of making its research relevant to Government. Getting the collections databased with information available in meaningful ways was seen as vital to enhancing the relevance of MAGNT collections.