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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 43 attraction to encourage the visitor to explore, which perhaps is just as well as there is little to find there if one does. Basic information about the MAGNT is the extent of the coverage. If the audience of the MAGNT is seen to be those who cannot visit it as well as those who can, then a functional web presence is a priority. This can serve to encourage visitation and it can provide access to information about the MAGNTs collections and programs that can make the museum a tool to people all around the Northern Territory and farther afield. This discussion can be seen as linking that of the interaction with Indigenous Territorians (see above), as contact with the MAGNT via the web may be the primary way kids in remote communities can engage with museum programs. Good web products can also make their way to schools all around the Territory. Most of the large museums and art galleries in Australia now run very engaging websites. The most visited is the Australian Museum website (www.amonline.net.au) which is attracting over 5 million user sessions per year (the number of hits is many times this) (Australian Museum annual report, 2002/03). For another highly interactive web product, linking to the schools curriculum, the reader is recommended the Land and People virtual exhibition on the Western Australian Museum website (www.museum.wa.gov.au). This virtual exhibition is supported by a Schools Working Kit that is sold at a small fee to teachers to support classroom use. The Discovery Centre at the MAGNT is a highly regarded resource. It drew praise from a number of those interviewed for this review. It is particularly popular with children and family groups, as is the case at other museums. The mix of hands-on materials, reference materials and live animals makes for an engaging component of a museum visit. In comparison with other major Australian museums, it is a very modest facility in terms of area and fitout. Hands-on components to other galleries are not generally available at the MAGNT. A possible exception could be seen as the Maritime Gallery where the visitor can touch the boats and watercraft. A recent innovation is the introduction of touch trolleys that are mobile sites for hands-on activities. They are staffed by Education Volunteers at busy times, notably in the Transformations gallery. No self-guided audio tours are available. Guided tours and floor talks are presented at times but not on a regular basis. Talks in the theatrette by staff and visitors are apparently quite popular with the public when they happen and are promoted. It is some years since there was an Open Day giving visitors behind-the-scenes tours of the MAGNT. The Consultants view of the MAGNT in terms of use of new and ancillary methods to enhance visitor experiences is that it is limited but where attempted has proven successful. There is enormous potential for expansion of these programs, but major expansion would require resourcing for equipment/hardware, software, fitout and maintenance, and some staff. It must be emphasised that the use of wide ranging methods must by underpinned by a focus on improved outcomes in learning. That is, the techniques must either attract new audiences who would not otherwise have come and/or provide a learning environment that cultivates better self-directed learning for the visitor. http://www.amonline.net.au/ http://www.museum.wa.gov.au/