Canberra’s National Museum of Australia
Australia has numerous museums. I hope to visit one day soon. I decided to check Australia’s, Canberra’s National Museum out. They have three statements under Vision, Mission, and Values. Their strategic commitments invest, challenge, explore and connect across all aspects of their business (nam.gov.au, 2021).
Purpose statement: “The Museum was established to develop and maintain the National Historical Collection for the benefit of the nation, and to bring to life the rich and diverse stories of Australia” (nag.gov.au, 2021). One may argue, this may be a mission statement. However, I found that although each statement provides information, it can be quite lengthy and not every visitor would take the time to read each one. Visitors have all sorts of reasons to visit a museum for example getting everyone out of the house to learn about a particular topic, as well as educational reasons and/or to have a combined outing with another venue.
First,Vision: “To be a trusted voice in the national conversation, and recognised as one of Australia’s premier cultural destinations exploring Australia’s past, illuminating the present and imagining the future.” Second, Mission: ” The National Museum of Australia’s mission is to bring the world’s cultures to Australia and present Australia’s history and culture to the world. In pursuit of this goal, the Museum has developed its ambitious Master Plan 2017–2030.” Third, Values: “In every part of what we do we will demonstrate excellence, respect, integrity, courage and resilience. This statement is in addition to the observation of the Australian Public Service values set out in the Australian Public Service Act 1999” (nam.gov.au,2021).
Currently, the museum is undergoing some major changes. This will take place over the next four years and will focus on the real and virtual. They plan on building connections across all topics and accompanying exhibits that embed a culture of discovery, delight, inquiry, and authority. The focus is on Indigenous histories, as well as their cultures. This expands into European settlements, as well as the interaction with their environments. Established in 1980, this museum is publicly funded, as a statutory authority in the Commonwealth Arts portfolio. The Governor-General appoints a Director to the museum. They have numerous photos with a title underneath, in which to click on to find more information on the topic at hand. Each section appears to be thorough and provides transparency.
The museum has a section titled Indigenous Reference Group.
“The primary role of the Indigenous Reference Group (formerly the Indigenous Advisory Committee) of the National Museum of Australia Council is to provide expert Indigenous advice to the Council regarding the Museum’s activities that represent and serve the interests of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and the broader Australian community” (nam.gov.au, 2021).
Below is just a sampling of informational categories that this museum contains. There seems to be no shortage of information. I was astounded at all the topics. In the past, I’ve only gotten a brochure or heard about an exhibit via news, television, or academia. I feel that visitors would not take the time to research in-depth exhibits. I could be wrong, especially with the pandemic and restricted movements. This may depend on interests and educational levels of visitors. This could be a topic unto itself. My question: Would you take the time to explore a museums website in-depth, as well as its stance on controversial exhibits?