Premier’s Review – South Australian Museum

SA Gov

The proposed restructure of the South Australian Museum will be put on hold and a Premier’s Review established to examine the options going forward.

The Premier and Minister met with the Chair of the Museum Board Kim Cheater and the Chief Executive of the Museum Dr David Gaimster earlier this week, following a constructive meeting held last week with a number of interested parties concerned about the proposed changes to the Museum.

As a result of those discussions, and following community advocacy, the Museum has agreed to pause the restructure.

The review will be a rapid exercise with a view of providing recommendations to Government to ensure the museum continues to deliver quality outcomes for all South Australians.

The review will be chaired by the Chief Executive of the Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Damien Walker, with expert membership of the Chief Scientist to South Australia Professor Craig Simmons, and Chief Executive Officer of the Queensland Museum Dr Jim Thompson PSM.

The panel will consider and provide principles, general guidance and advice on a range of areas including:

  • Research functions
  • Curatorial capabilities
  • Repatriation and engagement with First Nations communities relating to their cultural heritage
  • Collections management
  • Public engagement
  • Contemporary approaches to displays, exhibitions and public access to the collection, including digitisation
  • Contemporary approaches to how the museum can provide opportunities for education and knowledge sharing aligned with the curriculum and early learning frameworks.
  • Delivery of public value to the people of South Australia ensuring the Museum utilises its resources to deliver the best possible outcomes for its audiences.
  • Any other matters related to the appropriate balance of functions in a contemporary museum at the size and scale of the South Australian Museum.

It is expected the panel will make recommendations to the Government by the middle of the year.

There has been misinformation about the proposal for the Museum in the community, much of it peddled by the Opposition.

There are no plans to get rid of the Egyptian Room or the Mammals Gallery, nor will the Repatriation of Ancestral Remains program stop.

The Liberal Party’s criticisms of the Museum are deeply hypocritical, given David Speirs and John Gardner were key members of the Marshall Liberal Government, which inflicted significant cuts in 2018-19 and then again in 2019-20.

As put by Peter Malinauskas

The South Australian Museum is a vital institution for our state.

Like the culture it so honourably documents, it is important the Museum adapts and evolves.

But we need to ensure those changes are done sensitively and in a way which inspire community confidence.

I look forward to receiving expert advice from the review.

It has been disappointing to see the Liberal Opposition – who themselves wreaked significant budget cuts on the Museum – make false claims about its future.

As put by Andrea Michaels

The South Australian Museum is a beloved cultural institution in our state and the

review will provide advice to the State Government on the best way forward for a stronger future for the Museum.

It has been disappointing to see the misinformation out there in the community, however, we understand that there is concern about the proposal and that’s why we have taken this step.

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