Merry Christmas from the Museum of Australian Democracy
2012 has been a big year for the Museum of Australian Democracy. Just a few of our highlights include another successful year as a feature of the Enlighten festival in March; achieving our 300th oral history recording in October (thanks 666 ABC Canberra for your help here); we added more significant items to our growing collection including the privy council uniform worn by the first Prime Minister Edmund Barton; our research fellows extended our reach into Academies around Australia and internationally; our online activities reached record numbers and have revealed some of the lesser known but important facts about our democratic heritage; we completed Stage Two of the massive project to address the building’s deteriorating exterior rendered surfaces on time and on budget; we welcomed over 81,000 schools visitors setting a new record and winning the Australian and Capital Tourism Award for best Tourism Education Program; and we celebrated 85 years since the provisional parliament house building was opened.
Special mention must also be made of our exhibition Marnti Warajanga—a walk together which travelled to the Pilbara and Perth in May and June . This is a first for the museum targeting community engagement with remote indigenous communities and a major undertaking that required the efforts of all our staff to achieve. As well as touching the lives of thousands of people of all ages, or perhaps as a result of its impact, the exhibition was honoured with the Museums Australia Museums and Galleries National Award for best travelling exhibition. Thanks to our partners BHP Billiton, the Australian Government, the Wangka Maya Pilbara Aboriginal Language Centre and Tobias Titz Photography.
The year ahead will be just as busy as we join in celebrating the centenary of Canberra through our yearlong celebration Art of Influence. Art of Influence includes a range of exhibitions and events that explore the relationship between art and democracy and the power of each to influence the other.
Finally in October we bid farewell to our Director, Jenny Anderson, who for the last six years has led the organisation through transition and transformation to the award winning museum we see today. Jenny’s friendly and professional approach and her considered and decisive direction has ensured that the museum will continue to grow in the hearts and minds of all Australians.
From all of us here at the Museum of Australian Democracy we wish you a happy, safe and relaxing festive season.