Museums as agents for social and political change

The National Museum of Australia was a birthday gift to Australia for the Centenary of Federation. Has it been a welcome gift?... Has it made a useful contribution to public life? And from the museum profesional's point of view, it is worthy to join the ranks of the great twenty-first century museums?
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National Museum of Australia (NMA) Director Dawn Casey addressed the National Press Club last week, in celebration of the her institution’s first anniversary of opening. Here’s what she had to say…

I will begin today by acknowledging the Ngunnawal people, traditional owners of this country.

I am here today to mark the first anniversary of the National Museum of Australia, and to ask a few tough questions.

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Dawn Casey
About the Author
Dawn Casey has been Director of the National Museum of Australia since December 1999. In 1997, she was appointed Chief General Manager of the Task Force responsible for managing the construction of the museum. She initiated a unique alliance contracting system among all partners - a world-first for a major building project. Winner of three Commonwealth Public Service Medals, Dawn has wide experience in the management of indigenous, cultural heritage, immigration and international policy issues. She was also formerly Assistant Secretary of both the Heritage Branch of the then Department of Communications and the Arts and, in 1991-1992, the Aboriginal and Reconciliation Unit in the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. In this role she developed the legislation, structure and funding for the Reconciliation Council.