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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 12 *The public scrutiny and media controversy that has characterised the first years of operation of the National Museum of Australia, and the ongoing focus on the balance of programs at the National Gallery, give testament to the extent of political and stakeholder interest in national cultural bodies. The MAGNT is a relatively small state museum/gallery. Only the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery has a smaller operating revenue (allowing for the comment above on costing of centralised services). Staff numbers at the MAGNT are higher than at several state art galleries but lower than for the other state museums other than TMAG. In summary, the core functions and major program areas of the MAGNT align well with those of other Australian state and national museums and galleries. Given its combination of very broad disciplinary coverage and operation of multiple sites, the MAGNT is one of Australias most diverse cultural organisations (arguably, the most diverse). This complexity is combined with a relatively small size of the institution, in terms of staff and budget. Box 4 is a qualitative comparison of the MAGNT to other state museums and art galleries in Australia. Box 4. A qualitative comparison of the MAGNT to other large Australian museums in terms of facilities and functionality. In all meaningful respects, operating as and regarded as a State level institution Delivering a nationally and arguably internationally significant program in the Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award Operating several public sites over a large geographic area (closest comparators are the Western Australian Museum and Queensland Museum) Facing the challenges of running most sites with free admission as costs increase across the board A disciplinary diversity at the upper end of the museum sector and one of the few to combine art gallery and museum functions (closest comparators are Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery and the much larger Te Papa Museum of New Zealand) One of the smallest of the state agencies in operating income and staff numbers A very high visitation rate relative to the resident population and a very high visitation by tourists to the Northern Territory (see public programs below) A strong commitment to regional services; most other state museums do not have regional sites and/or do not operate anything akin to the Regional Museums Support Program (closest comparators are the WA Museum and Queensland Museum) Identifiable facilities and program shortcomings, some of which are becoming critical, including collection storage and management, IT products for collections care and public delivery, staff accommodation at modern OH&S standards and galleries for delivering a state-level program for both museum and art gallery functions