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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 81 Several major programs could be added. These include the Collection Management Information System, an Indigenous Arts and Culture Unit and a new History of the Northern Territory Gallery. Approximate costings are shown in Box 25. A new Collection Information Management System will be of very significant functional and strategic value to the MAGNT. It will facilitate management and movement tracking of the collections, and in its implementation, the gaps in current documentation of the collections (including for the art collection) can be addressed. Once the CIMS is in place, the MAGNT will be better able to provide information on the collections to Government, other agencies, research institutions and researchers, other museums and galleries, and to the general public. The CIMS costing is based on a whole-of-Department system for all major datasets relating to heritage collections held within the Department of Community Development, Sport & Cultural Affairs which is said to be the most cost effective approach. A system solely for the MAGNT would be less expensive. The Consultants immediate reaction to the Departmental costing is that the recurrent costs seem high, but they have not been subject to review here. A significant improvement in the MAGNTs service delivery of Indigenous art and culture products to Indigenous Australians and general visitors will be possible. This Review has emphasised the importance of, and opportunities for, the MAGNT taking an even stronger leadership and partnership role in nurturing, encouraging and presenting Aboriginal art and culture. The MAGNT could position itself as Australias leading public centre for Indigenous culture, especially northern Australian Indigenous culture, as part of a network involving Indigenous community groups across the Northern Territory (and arguably beyond). In budget scenario three, directing resources to this end would be strategic. An Indigenous Arts and Culture Unit is referred to in the Internal Review March 2004. No costing for this initiative is included in the body of that document but the Consultant understands that a figure of just under $10 million over five years has been suggested. It is the Consultants view that this costing warrants some further explanation and justification for scale and numbers (for example the number of employed staff and traineeships). Its delivery under current plans would require capital works for staff accommodation but this is linked with the construction of new laboratories and offices as per the MAGNTs Five Year Building Masterplan. Even allowing for these qualifications, the thinking on the Indigenous Unit is seen as a sound basis for considering how the MAGNT might achieve its potential as an Indigenous cultural centre of excellence. A new History of the Northern Territory Gallery is identified as a priority for long term exhibitions. The rationale for this is that currently the MAGNT is a social history museum (in part) that does not tell the story of the Northern Territory, a fundamental failing in its public program. Cyclone Tracy is an important event to profile but only one in the rich history of the Territory. In this funding scenario, the new exhibition would be delivered within existing gallery spaces of the MAGNT (unless additional capital funds were forthcoming). As noted in scenario 1, if the Cyclone Tracy area were used, and fitout was budgeted at $3,000 per square metre (a basic industry standard), then the cost would be approximately $900,000. This would allow the use of some multimedia and interactives as well as long-term and quality display systems. As a negative, the exhibition space would be rather small for such a broad topic and a