Armidale Folk Museum, Standards visit, 2019
What’s the Standards Program?
The Standards Program is one of our hallmark programs. It’s designed to assist small to medium museums, galleries and Aboriginal cultural centres to operate sustainably.
Through a process of self-review and external feedback, your museum can assess your practices and policies against minimum standards developed for public museums and galleries.
The program aims to establish a long-term network for sustainable community museums and galleries as well as acknowledge the hard work undertaken by volunteers and paid staff to maintain Australian heritage.
How does the Standards Program work?
Running from April to November each year, this program is a unique opportunity for organisations to conduct a self-assessment, to acknowledge the achievements of the organisation and its members and to develop plans for the future direction of the organisation.
Participants receive focused information and support from M&G NSW staff and the Standards Review Committee. This is an ideal opportunity to develop networks within the museum sector and to allow your museum, gallery or Aboriginal cultural centres access to people who can provide expert advice and support.
M&G NSW will visit or remotely connect with all participants to offer advice and support throughout the duration of the program. This is followed up by a Field Visit and On-Site Review by the Reviewers, which is a great chance to get the advice of museum professionals from organisations such as Sydney Living Museums, the University of Sydney, the Museum of Contemporary Art and regional arts organisations, such as Hawkesbury Regional Museum and Shellharbour Museum.
What are the National Standards?
The National Standards Taskforce is a national body that developed the National Standards for Australian Museums and Galleries. The Standards are focused on key areas of activity common to organisations that care for collections and provide collection-based services to the community.
The National Standards have been developed with the aim of supporting Australian museums and galleries in carrying out their day-to-day activities, meeting their responsibilities to their various stakeholders, attracting support, and achieving their other organisational objectives.
These are based on international standards and adjusted for practicality and Australian conditions.
M&G NSW is a member of this taskforce and works with organisations on the ground to improve museum standards across NSW.
Who can be involved?
The Standards Program is offered state-wide and interested organisations can apply via an Expression of Interest.
“Don’t procrastinate, just sign up! The extra work involved is more than compensated by the professional advice and unstinting support offered by the museum advisors.” – Nowra Museum, (2018 Standards Participant)
“This is a really worthwhile project which shifts the focus from the pressing day-to-day activities of all museums to thinking more broadly about planning, strategy, sustainability, strengths and gaps.” – Miss Porter’s House (NSW National Trust), Newcastle (2017 Standards Participant)
Don Bretherton, President, Merimbula-Imlay Historical Society, discusses why they chose to participate in the
Standards Program again having completed it previously in 2011.