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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 v The site of the MAGNT is a key attribute to the public program and would benefit from investment in more interpretive experiences around the buildings, linking with the surrounding precinct. Visitation to the MAGNT is the lowest for the state museums and galleries but the highest of any state institution relative to the residential population of the state. In 2003/04, visitor numbers actually exceeded the population of the Territory. Visitor numbers at the MAGNT have grown at a time of reducing visitor numbers to the Territory. The proportion of tourists visiting the MAGNT is high (over 70%) and the percentage of tourists to the Northern Territory who visit the MAGNT is also high (69%) by museum standards. School student attendance is comparable or better than to other major museums in Australia. The education program has been expanded over recent years and is well documented with annual calendars of events. The education staffing level is low. Galleries are dedicated to themes that relate to the span of the collections. Visitor satisfaction levels are high overall. Thematics that would warrant significant enhancement are Northern Territory history and Australian art. While popular, the Aboriginal art exhibition like other galleries is looking rather tired and warrants rejuvenation. The MAGNT could do more in enhancing the static presentation of Aboriginal art with other dimensions of Aboriginal culture. The Discovery Centre is a positive initiative that provides hands-on learning experiences (the only are of the MAGNT to do so) but is fairly small and very modest in its fitout. The program of exhibitions at the MAGNT is not as large as for many other museums and galleries. This reflects both a lack of space and insufficient funding to expand the program. Relative to the population of the Territory however, the MAGNT operates a diverse program of exhibitions. A detailed five year Exhibitions Plan is developed with a less defined plan for out years, in keeping with good museum practice. MAGNT has a Marketing Plan in place that, while brief, considers image, brand, positioning, audience research and advertising. This too is good practice and in accord with museum benchmarks. There is opportunity for some growth in revenue generation from commercial activities. Review of the merchandise mix available in the shop may provide a better range of products for tourists. The lease arrangement for the Cornucopia Museum caf requires attention (as per the Stanton Partners Report, 2004). There may be opportunities to expand venue activities, although internal spaces are limiting. Recruiting a senior commercial manager should yield dividends across the MAGNTs commercial operations. There is a real opportunity to increase income from donations, through a recommended donation scheme targeting tourists to the site. If fees for general admission should be considered at some time in the future, then concurrent consideration should be given to what discounts and incentives could be given to residents of the Northern Territory.