Museums Galleries Australia is the national association and peak advocacy body representing museums and galleries. We encompass a wide and diverse range of national, state, regional and community museums, galleries, historic sites, botanic and zoological gardens, research centres, Indigenous cultural centres, and Keeping Places across Australia. All of our members are, however, linked by a shared dedication to culture, the arts, movable cultural heritage and communities, and the knowledge that Australian cultural life is a dynamic ecosystem that generates creativity and innovation and contributes to the social and economic wellbeing of the country.
MGA is also a service and professional development organisation. We seek to enhance the value of Australia’s collections, public programs and stories by sharing knowledge, developing skills, inspiring innovation and providing leadership and the authoritative voice in protecting and promoting our arts and cultural heritage.
We have branches in every state and territory, and support professional national networks of expertise. Membership is open to both organisations (ranging from national to remote, volunteer-run institutions) and individuals, both professional and volunteer. The NSW and WA Branches also have chapters throughout their state regions.
Our most recent achievements
- In 2015, MGA initiated the first ever collaboration of GLAM Peak (galleries, museums, libraries and archives’ peak bodies) that is focusing on an integrated approach to expanding Australia’s digital access to collections and meeting the 21st century’s requirements for a knowledge economy. Year one of a project to develop a national framework and case-study based toolkit is currently underway.
- MGA has provided leadership training for practically all the directors of museums and galleries in Australia and New Zealand through the internationally recognised Museum Leadership Program. Supported since its inception by the Gordon Darling Foundation, the 8th program will be delivered in 2018.
- The state branches of MGA build on a long history of museum professional association activity that extends back, in NSW for example, to the 1930s.
The cultural sector
The cultural sector is the parallel source of knowledge to the formal education system and museums and galleries, as core parts of this sector, are hugely trusted sources of information, learning and engagement for people of all ages. (Horne, Marsden and Painter, 1993) Furthermore, they help foster the creative industries which are one of the engine houses of the economy. (Darren Henley, The Arts Dividend: Why investment in culture pays, 2016)
Museums and galleries are also places where Indigenous and settler Australians meet and learn about each other, and are key resources for achieving reconciliation. The social capital outcomes of investing in these places will be invaluable.