November 10, 2011

New – National Standards for Australian Museum and Galleries – Version 1.2


Version 1.2 of the National Standards for Australian Museum and Galleries has been released with updated resources and links. The release of this latest version continues the Taskforce’s commitment to continually review the document so that it remains relevant to the needs of Australian museums. This document is intended to be freely available to all of Australia’s many museums. We use the term museum to represent all collecting organizations in the sector

The Standards are focused on key areas of activity common to organisations that care for collections and provide collection-based services to the community. They aim to support museums and galleries in carrying out their day-to-day activities, meeting their responsibilities, attracting support, and achieving their other organisational objectives.

The National Standards Taskforce (see Appendix B of the Standards Document) has developed the National Standards for Australian Museums and Galleries in consultation with the museums and galleries sector and with reference to current practice, existing core standards, development and accreditation programs. The result is an up-to-date set of agreed Standards that are broad in their scope and are designed to be an accessible tool for museums nationwide.

The three parts, nine Principles and thirty-nine Standards within the document capture and explain core industry standards and practices. Benchmarks, tips and resources provide guidance on attaining or researching specific Standards.

The Standards may be used to:
• Understand principles and standards of vital importance to museum development
and management.
• Identify what can be done towards meeting specific Standards.
• Review the museum. Staff or external reviewers might use one or all parts and/or Standards as a basis for a review of operations.
• Advocate for resources to meet Standards
to governing bodies, different levels of government, and departments, regarding museum needs such as equipment, facilities and staffing
• Gain leverage to enhance access to funding
by provide a rigorous context for funding applications.
• Help make the museum more sustainable.
by providing support or measurements for a museum’s commitment to this aim.
• Identify areas to improve.
by allowing museums to discover areas of
operation that could be initiated, developed or improved.
• Promote achievements within the museum through identifying, communicating, celebrating and promoting the benchmarks they have met.
• Raise the museum’s profile with local, state/territory or federal government.
through promotion and networking, as well as forward planning with reference to government strategies and policies.
• Enhance the museum’s credibility, recognition and status within its local community.
through long-term strategic planning and in positioning themselves within their local community.
• Increase community confidence in the capacity of the museum.

The National Standards for Australian Museums and Galleries are structured in three parts:
• Part A: Managing the Museum
• Part B: Involving People
• Part C: Developing a Significant Collection

For each of these areas of activity, this document presents five levels of information:
• Principles: the core principles of museum practice addressed by the National Standards
• Standards: the criteria to be met as museums put the Principles into action
• Benchmarks: points of reference to assist museums wishing to demonstrate that they are working towards meeting specific Standards
• Tips: practical pointers and suggestions relating to specific benchmarks
• Books and online publications and/or web pages: print publications and online resources relevant to museums activities encompassed by individual benchmarks
(for use in conjunction with Appendix E; all online resources are hyperlinked)

The first five appendixes contain at-a-glance reference information:
• Appendix A: What Is a Museum? – extended definition of a museum, developed
by Museums Australia
• Appendix B: The National Standards Taskforce – information about the nine
organisations represented on the National Standards Taskforce
• Appendix C: Key Acronyms – a list of acronyms used in this document
• Appendix D: Glossary – concise definitions of key terms used in this document
• Appendix E: Resources – full bibliographical details for all print publications and
online resources referenced in this document.

Collecting organisations of all kinds are invited to use the National Standards framework as a practical point of reference, and are encouraged to continue providing feedback, contributing their insights, and reporting on their experiences, as the Standards continue to be developed (see Appendix F).

Contact details for Taskforce members in each state and territory are provided on the website of Collections Australia Network (CAN), the host site for the National Standards, and in Appendix F.

Importantly, the Standards offer museums opportunities for development long term, and can help them to identify priorities and develop policies, plans and procedures that will allow them to manage their activities effectively and to achieve their goals.

Benchmarks identified in this document can be incorporated into a museum’s planning in manageable stages, as resources become available.

Source: CAN Outreach blog

November 9, 2011

At The Frontier 2011 - Digital Stories

The “digital frontier” is an important theme of At The Frontier 2011 conference and whilst the conference itself will focus on the why’s and where fore’s of the production of such material, it is important to showcase the end product, which is designed for the audience to see. What better way to do this than on a big public screen?
Anna Crane from J├Ąger Studio has curated a program of the vast range of digital material produced and presented by museums, galleries, interpretive centres, natural heritage, historic sites, digital artists and curators.

View here the daily program for Digital Stories:

November 3, 2011

Regional Stakeholders Consultation Day

Re         25 November              Regional Stakeholders Consultation Day
9.30 am – 4.30 pm      Target Theatre, Powerhouse Museum, Harris Street
The Powerhouse Museum will be holding our annual Regional Stakeholders Consultation Day on Friday 25 November 2011 in the Target Theatre.

This meeting aims to share current work at the Powerhouse Museum and other State Cultural Heritage Institutions and provide opportunities for regional heritage organisations to give feedback and discuss planning for 2012. This will include a forum in the afternoon and will be open to all who are interested.  We hope it will support better planning of outreach programs offered to regional organisations and more collaboration and integration of programs across the sector in 2012 and beyond. Apart from the Powerhouse staff there will be representatives from Australian Museum, State Library, Historic Houses Trust, State Records, Museums and Galleries NSW.

You are invited to attend and take part in the discussions. The program will include four panel sessions designed to encourage discussion and the topics to be featured are

Protocols and policies for working with Indigenous communities and collections
Touring regional product, collaboration, and exhibition and program development
Research and interpretation for school and community engagement

Please advise Einar Docker, 02 9217 0412 or email  if you are wish to attend. There is no cost but bookings are essential.

If you would like further information you can contact myself on 1800 882 092 or by email

Yours sincerely

Rebecca Pinchin
Regional Services

Phone 02 9217 0220
Free call 1800 882 092

November 2, 2011

Canowindra’s ‘Green Gold’ Celebration


Please join us for the unveiling of the new interpretive panels in the museum’s 
lucerne display, followed by afternoon tea in the grounds of the railway cottage.
When:  Saturday 12th November 2011 at 2 p.m.
Where:  Canowindra Historical Museum
Gaskill Street, Canowindra

The Canowindra Historical Society & Museum Inc. invites members of the community to an afternoon of celebrations to acknowledge the importance of Lucerne to the local area.   Lucerne grown on the Belubula River flats brought early wealth and fame to Canowindra and it was dubbed Canowindra’s ‘Green Gold’.   The afternoon will feature the unveiling of panels of information and pictures related to the local area.   The panels will be placed in a section of the shed that houses the museum’s Lucerne objects.   These panels are an outcome of the Sustainable Collections Project, Central NSW, a joint initiative of Orange, Blayney and Cabonne Councils supported by funding from Arts NSW.   The afternoon activities begin at 2 p.m. with the unveiling of pavers, followed by the Lucerne panels.  Afternoon tea will be served by Society members at approximately 3.15 p.m.   Short oral history presentations will feature throughout afternoon tea by selected people involved in Lucerne production.