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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 57 so that results can be cross-referenced into the future. Taxonomic study and identifications of species relies heavily on collections of this sort. They are an essential resource and overhead to biodiversity and ecological studies and can be invaluable resources to research in pharmacological (including bioprospecting) and health sciences, and agricultural and introduced pests. * A lot is a holding of specimens with the same collecting data (site, time etc). In natural sciences, this may be one specimen (as it often is for vertebrate holdings) or multiple specimens of the same species (as it often is for invertebrate holdings). Hence there can be a significant difference between numbers of lots and numbers of specimens. There are legislative areas of responsibility for the MAGNT that impact on its science. For example, the Northern Territory Meteorites Act (2000) sets the MAGNT Board as responsible for all meteoritic material found in the Northern Territory. Retaining at least collection management resources in this area is required to address this responsibility. Several external stakeholders interviewed (refer Appendix 4) expressed fears that the MAGNT had diminished in its capacity to contribute to research activity because of the reduction of staff and resources. There are a number of curatorial/research in science positions that remain vacant. In part, this will reflect the internal management decisions of the MAGNT; all organisations must make prioritisations regarding how to allocate their funds. The positions identified for establishment and redesign, funds permitting, in the Internal Review March 2004 and the Five Year Business Development Plan for the museum do not include any further research positions in science. While recognising the diminution in some previous areas of research strength, even the MAGNTs senior science manager identified public programs as a higher priority for enhancement. This reflects in part recognition that the MAGNT has been able to augment its inhouse science skills via external funds for contract positions. _________________________________ While this discussion was scoped to focus on science, other disciplines of the MAGNT were also identified by stakeholders as contributing to government programs. The MAGNT is the Territorys key repository of archaeological materials. There is no longer an archaeologist on staff and this was regretted by at least one external respondent, given the richness of the archaeological heritage of the Northern Territory. The MAGNT is the entry way to Aboriginal heritage for many visitors to the Northern Territory. There are active programs of partnership with Indigenous groups. As is noted in Box 18, this can include research programs (eg. surveys of Van Diemen Gulf and Arnhem Land coast). Closer to Darwin, these partnerships can advance community development by assisting in reinvigorating traditional cultural activities (refer section, Larrakia partnerships). The MAGNT is contributing at a national level to recognition of, and consequently revenue generation from, Indigenous art, most notably through the Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award. It is beyond the scope of this review to quantify the impact this award has had on Aboriginal art sales in general but its profile and status has contributed to the growth in recognition and interest in of Indigenous art.