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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 52 5.3 Contribution of MAGNT science to Northern Territory economic activity and Government programs Certain attitudes to the MAGNTs science are clear from stakeholder responses summarised in Appendix 4. Overall, external partners regard the MAGNTs research staff and collections as a vitally important resource to the Northern Territory. There was some concern expressed that the MAGNT had not positioned itself as well as it might as a provider of useable information to government. There was also some concern that in its desire to raise funds to support its operations, the museum had not always maximised its returns from partnerships. However, the general view was that the MAGNT was now trying to make its expertise both relevant and seen as relevant, and to get the best benefit for it and the Territory from doing so. There was a view that the MAGNT may have disadvantaged itself to some extent through a perception in quarters of a past indifference to stakeholder needs but that this had substantially changed and there was now a real willingness to be part of cross-government initiatives. The skill base of the MAGNT was seen as unique, needed and not replaceable by other agencies. In its science, the MAGNTs past and present capacity in marine biosystematics was particularly noted. This type of input serves as qualitative data of the contribution of the MAGNT to the Northern Territory. Quantifying that contribution is much harder. The Consultant is not aware of any museum that has quantified the contribution of its research to economic activity. The London School of Economics study of the Natural History Museum (Travers et al, 2003) attempted an estimate of economic contribution of the museum to the United Kingdom through its employment of a large staff body, its turnover (general operations) and its role as an attraction to locals and tourists. That study did not attempt to assess any economic effect of the research activities of its 220 research staff. The reason is that the economic effects of museum-type research are obtuse and imprecise. The product of the research is rarely if ever a patentable good with an identifiable market value. Museum science is heavily taxonomic, or descriptive, and underpins much of the ecological, environmental, fisheries and bioprospecting research dependent on identification of organisms. Often the economic value of the research is delivered via the use of the information by numerous secondary parties. Box 18 lists a number of recent (1998-2004) projects that the MAGNT has undertaken that were underpinned by the museums scientific resources. It notes the amount and source of funds and the major partners. The range of projects in Box 18 demonstrates a rolling program of largely collaborative research projects, with external funding from various sources. There is a preponderance of marine studies reflecting the strength of the MAGNT is this area of expertise. Much of the funding is from the Commonwealth and a significant amount is from international partners. Research partners include Northern Territory agencies, departments and agencies in other States and the Commonwealth Government.