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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 27 art gallery (as Te Papa Museum of New Zealand found when it opened to generally high acclaim but also some protest that the institution was not adequately serving as the national art gallery). There is also opportunity to explore the synergies between disciplines. Given there is no correct range of themes for a multidisciplinary museum to address, comments regarding the current range must be interpreted as merely one view. It is the Consultants opinion that the MAGNT is not providing a satisfactory introduction to the history of the Northern Territory and Darwin. The Cyclone Tracy exhibition is popular with visitors (it has the highest satisfaction rate of all galleries from Exit Survey results) yet is only one part of the fascinating story of the Territory. There is no where in the MAGNT to learn about early contact between Aboriginal people and Macassans; nothing on early white settlements; nothing on the Second World War years or the bombing of Darwin. These are vital elements to the understanding of what the Northern Territory is and who Northern Territorians are. Resources permitting, this theme should be enhanced in the future. The Consultant also feels that the introduction to Aboriginal culture is not as expansive as it might be. The Aboriginal Gallery has truly exceptional works on display and is again popular with visitors. Yet the MAGNT gives relatively little interpretation of the diversity of Aboriginal cultures in the Territory, their relationships with country and the cultural dimensions outside of visual arts. One of the great opportunities for the MAGNT is to place itself as a centre of excellence in living Aboriginal art and culture (discussed at greater length in Section 4). If the MAGNT is to serve the Northern Territory as both a resource for Territory residents and a strong attractor to tourists, it must stage a balanced program that recognises the desire by locals for: o a changing and attractive exhibition program o a range of activities and experiences; and o a responsive source of information and tourists for: o an engaging introduction to the culture and natural history of the Northern Territory; and o a source of mementos of their visit. Both locals and tourists will desire: o a pleasant environment and quality visitor facilities o complementary facilities such as a well-stocked shop and comfortable and well-priced caf (which can be destinations in their own right). The MAGNT attempts this balance, and the visitation numbers would suggest it is doing so with more than a fair degree of success. The comments from visitors in the biannual Exit Surveys and the August 2004 Intercept Survey (McGregor Tan Research) indicate a positive response to the visitor experience. The exhibitions do not avail of significant audio-visual or multimedia elements, in large part due to budget limitations (discussed further in Section 4). As adjuncts to the exhibitions themselves, the MAGNT provides a map of galleries and Customer Service Officers are on hand to provide personalised assistance. The