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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 36 decisions about the visitor program and facilities. The MAGNT should ensure it has a formalised process of interpreting the visitor data and a tracking process that documents what has been considered and incorporated into resource allocations. For example, a common issue in the visitors comments is the need for improved wayfinding within the museum*. This may involve better signage, more extensive use of floor plans/maps, guides on the floor, and any combination of these and other techniques. Once an issue like this has been identified from visitor comments, MAGNT management need procedures to ensure the matter is addressed, with a resource allocation if appropriate. Surveys are only as good as the quality of their data and only as useful as the extent to which the data are used. (*As a matter of interest, visitor orientation is one of the commonest problems facing museums and is not as easy to address as some might imagine. The way-finding approach at the $300 million Te Papa Museum of New Zealand had to be completely rethought on the basis of visitor responses.) It is the Consultants view that for its size, the MAGNT is making a good effort to better know its visitors. The surveys offer a basic but sound evaluation that in some ways is superior to that used by the far better resourced National Museum of Australia. Of course, visitors are only a part of the potential audience. The Consultant would advise that obtaining information about those who do not visit the MAGNT is also important to know the marketplace. This is understood by senior staff at the MAGNT and options may be considered in future for gathering information on the non-visiting public. There is some reference to this in the MAGNTs Marketing Strategic Plan 2003-2008. From discussions with management and staff, there is clearly a culture within the MAGNT of awareness of the audience and a desire to enhance the visitor experience. This has been factored into the proposed Five Year Building Masterplan and Business Development Plan. One potentially major component of the audience that is not being well served is the remote audience, defined here as those who are not visiting the MAGNT site(s). This is discussed in sections below. 4.3 Providing more products that reflect the changing needs of the community ie. being more responsive to the community through diversifying products As is noted above, there appears to be a culture within the MAGNT of commitment to serve a wide and diverse audience. The visitor expectations of museums continue to evolve. While there is still a firm place for static displays of objects behind glass cases (as a matter of security and object care if nothing else), the typical museum experience today is characterised by many types of experience. By its very diversity of collections and disciplines, the MAGNT is providing a fairly diverse range of products in so far as topics and themes. There are few museums in Australia or anywhere in the world where one visit to one site can expose the visitor to natural history, Indigenous art (and to a lesser extent culture), non-Indigenous Australian art, at least some of the history of the locality, maritime history and regional (Southeast Asian) exhibitions, with a short term exhibition or two often available as well.