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Excerpt from front cover of National Standards for Australian Museums and Galleries.

National standards

The National Standards for Australian Museums and Galleries is focused on key areas of activity common to organisations that care for collections and provide collection-based services to the community.

National Standards for Australian Museums and Galleries

Are you looking for a comprehensive list of standards and resources on museum practice? The  National Standards for Australian Museums and Galleries  contains links to many resources on best practice. Areas covered include: 

  • Managing the museum 
  • Involving people 
  • Developing a significant collection 

National Standards 2.0

The National Standards for Australian Museums and Galleries version 2.0 is due for release in late 2022.

The Taskforce has received funding from The Ian Potter Foundation to review the National Standards and create a new edition. New content will address key developments to museum and gallery practice. This project involves the integration of AMaGA’s First Peoples: A Roadmap for Enhancing Indigenous Engagement in Museums and Galleries into the National Standards. Read more about this below.

New content will be created across the following areas:

  • Diversity
  • Environmental Sustainability
  • Digital Engagement
  • Social Media
  • Digitisation
  • Copyright

(re)Mapping the National Standards Pathways

Consultants, Donna Biles Fernando, a woman of the Muruari and Ngemba people, with Debbie Abraham, were commissioned by Museums & Galleries QLD (on behalf of the National Taskforce) to undertake a national consultative project, (re)Mapping National Standards Pathways, to embed First peoples’ engagement throughout the National Standards, particularly as identified in Terri Janke and Company’s ‘First Peoples:  A Roadmap for Enhancing Indigenous Engagement in Museums and Galleries’ (commissioned by the Australian Museums and Galleries Association, 2018). The consultants acknowledge the work carried out in this purposeful and essential plan based on extensive research and consultation across the Country.

Key to (re)Mapping project consultation was to ensure First Peoples voices were integral to shaping the process and outcomes. To guarantee this, and from the outset, the Focus Group was established by contacting 30 First Peoples professional staff members from 23 key museums and galleries in all of the states and territories across the Country, to gauge their interest and availability in contributing to the process.

From this initial contact, a representative group of 14 First Peoples professional staff came together in late October 2021, and a further six joined the group in the review processes – all generously giving their time, knowledge and expertise.

During the initial consultative phase, the consultants contacted the Council of Australian Museum Directors (CAMD) and the Council of Australian Art Museum Directors (CAAMD) to canvas their support for the project, including the survey and staff Focus Group involvement. Other groups and service organisations, such as Contemporary Art Organisations Australia, were contacted by either the National Taskforce or by the consultants to ensure participation in the survey.

The consultative process included analysis of literature, Focus Group meetings, a national survey completed by 211 organisations (representing a cross section of the gallery and museum sector), one-on-one conversations with cultural centres and Keeping Places and a review of survey findings and recommendations by the Focus Group.

This way of working reflects the collective and genuine belief that the sector can move forward together to ensure strategies related to First Peoples engagement are firmly and practically embedded in the National Standards.

The consultants and Focus Group focused on key areas of activity common to organisations that care for collections and provide collection, exhibition and program-based services to the community. The project sought to support Australian galleries and museums to embed First people’s engagement while carrying out their day-to-day activities, meeting their responsibilities to their various stakeholders, attracting support, and achieving their other organisational objectives.

Further to this, areas particular to First Peoples culture, knowledge, moral, legal and intellectual rights, employment and cultural safety were either integrated into the National Standards or outlined as future actions, training or strategies in this report.

The (re)Mapping project, funded by the Ian Potter Foundation, reinforces the desire of First Peoples and the sector, to continue to work collaboratively towards an overall shared future, one in which our mutual histories embrace truth-telling with understanding, compassion and reverence, and one in which we look to arts and cultural organisations to lead the way openly and outwardly.

National Standards Taskforce

The National Standards for Australian Museums and Galleries has been produced collaboratively by the National Standards Taskforce.  

Museums & Galleries Queensland logo
Tasmanian Government logo
museum and art gallery northern territory logo
AMaGA Victoria logo
Collections Council of Australia logo
Western Australian Museum logo

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