A week of awards for Museum Victoria

21 November, 2011

 Wild Amazing Animals in a changing world
Wild: Amazing Animals in a changing world exhibition is part of the Science and Life Gallery at Melbourne Museum
Image: Dianna Snape
Source: Museum Victoria

Melbourne Museum's Science and Life Gallery has taken out top honours at the inaugural 2011 Museums and Galleries National Awards (MAGNAs), held in Perth last week.

The Gallery won the Large Museum Permanent Exhibition award in a field of entrants from across Australia and New Zealand.

Judges for the award commented that the Science and Life Gallery was outstanding in its design and flow, and provided access to information through a combination of analogue and digital technology.

"The stylish mode of presenting 3D objects alongside intelligent use of multimedia and interactive technologies encourages visitors to see and assimilate information while engaging with the natural history of the world in new and memorable ways," the judges said.

Completed last year in the largest exhibition redevelopment ever planned by Museum Victoria, the Science and Life Gallery includes the Dinosaur Walk, Wild: Amazing animals in a changing world, 600 million years: Victoria evolves, and Dynamic Earth exhibitions, all of which are united by the theme of change – whether it's landscapes, climates or life forms.

With the assistance of $9.5 million in Victorian Government funding complemented by $500,000 in support from Rio Tinto, the Gallery has now won many international, national and state-based awards, including:

  • 2011 Special Achievement in Innovative Design, American Association of Museums 23rd Annual Excellence in Exhibition awards
  • 2011 The Best in Heritage "Excellence Club", European Heritage Association/Europa Nostra
  • 2011 winner, Gold MUSE Award, the American Association of Museums' Media and Technology Committee
  • 2010 winner, Gold MUSE Award, the American Association of Museums' Media and Technology Committee
  • 2010 Merit Award, International Society for Environmental Graphic Design, USA
  • 2010 winner, Australian Interior Design Award for Installation Design
  • 2010 winner, Australian Audio Visual Industry Award for innovative multimedia technology
  • 2010 winner, Interior Design Excellence awards, Inside Magazine
  • 2010 winner, Arts Portfolio Leadership Awards – Leadership in Technology category
  • 2010 Eco-Buy Awards Winner: Victorian State Government category: Sustainable Exhibition Design Initiative

"Museum Victoria is committed to developing exhibitions that are informative and engaging for all our visitors", said Dr Patrick Greene, CEO, Museum Victoria. "The Science and Life Gallery was created using the skills of in-house staff and local Victorian companies. This award recognises the creative and innovative design that is integral to its success and which has been greeted with great enthusiasm by many thousands of visitors, since it opened."

Also announced last week, at a ceremony in Melbourne, was Museum Victoria's Patrick Greene as CEO of the Year at the Australian Human Resource Institute Awards.

Dr Greene was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Museum Victoria in August 2002 and is has led a process of transformation of Australia's largest museums organisation, which comprises Melbourne Museum, Scienceworks and the Immigration Museum, as well as the World Heritage listed Royal Exhibition Building and IMAX Melbourne Museum. Attendance across Museum Victoria venues has increased dramatically, reaching 2.3 million in the last financial year.

These awards come on the back of Melbourne Museum winning the award for Major Tourist Attraction at the RACV 2011 Victorian Tourism Awards last Monday night. The Victorian Tourism Awards were established to recognise and reward organisations that contribute excellence, innovation and commitment to the Victorian tourism industry.

"The last year has been one of landmark achievements for Melbourne Museum – and indeed, Museum Victoria as a whole - and we are delighted with the recognition that all three of these awards represent," said Dr Greene.

"This would not have been possible without the continued support of government and our sponsors. The Board and staff look forward to continued success in 2012."

For further public information on Museum Victoria, phone 13 11 02 or visit museumvictoria.com.au.

For further information, interviews or images, please contact:
Lynnette Foo on (03) 8341 7726, 0403 296 647 or lfoo@museum.vic.gov.au