Leading Museums, Museum Leaders

2019 MAGNA awards announced

ACMI’s Wonderland, one of the national winners at the 2019 MAGNA Awards.

2019 MAGNA Awards Announced, Australian Museums and Galleries Association, May 2019

Organised by Australian Museums and Galleries Association (AMaGA), and sponsored by Panasonic, the Museums and Galleries National Awards (MAGNA) celebrate outstanding achievement in the sector in the areas of exhibitions, public programs, Indigenous projects, and research. The 2019 MAGNAs were announced at an awards ceremony held in Alice Springs tonight as part of the AMaGA National Conference.

The celebrated projects and programs below are an outstanding representation of the kind of work museums and galleries are performing. The diversity, innovation and community focus that is at the heart of all of the below winners is testament to the importance of museums and galleries in the community for the purposes of education, entertainment and life-long learning for all Australians in addition to the traditional mission of collecting organisations of preserving, conserving and communicating Australia’s art and cultural heritage.

One key aspect common across most of the winners is extensive collaboration and co-curation, both within and outside of the museums and galleries sector, including other arts organisations such as theatre, dance, and music, and segments of their local and wider communities. By combining the skills prevalent in our museums and galleries with the knowledge and input of the communities, our cultural organisations are creating and presenting the most inclusive, accessible, educational and engaging programs ever.

In addition to the commended and winning entries, two overall national winners were selected. The national winners represent opposite ends of the spectrum in terms of project budget, location and opportunities – but were similar in exploring and delivering new forms of engagement. One key message is that money is not the critical factor in award-winning museum/gallery projects.

The National Winners were Museum of the Riverina, for STEAM the Museum, and Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI), for Wonderland.

ACMI has developed and delivered a rapturously-received, immersive exhibition on Alice in Wonderland that has attracted new audiences of different ages – it has had a huge impact in Victoria and nationally.  One judge commented, “A wonderland of cross-disciplinary artworks and technological collaborations with backend data analytical tools for capturing learnings for future projects,“ and another said, “Great concept… Highly interactive and immersive – multiple ways to engage (depending on ability).” Judge #2

The Museum of the Riverina delivered a “participatory museum project that saw the Museum’s social history collections interpreted using tools and techniques drawn from the STEAM field”. The Museum partnered with a cohort of local school students to explore different approaches in researching, curating, designing, installing and advocating for a variety of exhibitions and museum experiences – with the students as leaders in the curatorial process. “The innovation was the student curators learning valuable STEM skills while applying them through a design thinking process to solve a social history problem”. The products were creative and engaging. Opportunities were also available to the public, through the many external collaborators. The judges commented, “This is an innovative and ambitious project for a relatively small museum. It focuses on important skills and seems very well designed and thought out,” and, “Brilliant… I can see the innovation and impact… I don’t think you could collaborate more than this project has!” and, “This is a project with an innovative and creative concept and with the principles of co-design, collaboration, community outreach and education at its heart.”

A list of winning entries is available below and more information at www.amaga.org.au/awards

Contact: Stephanie Hamilton stephanie.hamilton@amaga.org.au


MAGNA 2019 Winners

Entry Levels

  • Level 1: Project budget less than $20,000
  • Level 2: Project budget $20,000 – $150,000
  • Level 3: Project budget $150,000 – $500,000
  • Level 4: Project budget more than $500,000

National Winners

ACMI – Wonderland

A wonderland of cross-disciplinary artworks and technological collaborations with backend data analytical tools for capturing learnings for future projects. Would have liked to understand if and how it altered ACMI’s approach to exhibitions – a new way of working. Really tapped into a zeitgeist nostalgia and mined the grainy gothic vibe of Tim Burton to excellent effect. Demonstrated very high production level standards and showed what and how high quality industry collaborations can achieve amazing things. Clever interweaving of themes – from the feminist empowerment of Alice to the literary world of Lewis Carroll to the craft of theatre/film/animation.

Museum of the Riverina – STEAM the Museum

This is a project with an innovative and creative concept and with the principals and co-design, collaboration, community outreach and education at its heart. This project demonstrated the ability for museum practice to directly engage and involve community, learning and innovation to deliver an enriching project for the community.


Interpretation, Learning and Audience Engagement

Level 1

WINNER

Museum of the Riverina
STEAM the Museum

This is a project with an innovative and creative concept and with the principals and co-design, collaboration, community outreach and education at its heart. This project demonstrated the ability for museum practice to directly engage and involve community, learning and innovation to deliver an enriching project for the community.

HIGHLY COMMENDED
Old Melbourne Gaol
“Think You Know Me?” Virtual Reality Experience

Level 2

WINNERS

National Trust of Western Australia
REST at East Perth Cemeteries

Judges comments coming soon

Orange Regional Museum/Orange City Council
Bigger than Ben Hall

Judges comments coming soon

HIGHLY COMMENDED
National Wool Museum
The Little L Project

Level 3

WINNER

Museum of Brisbane
Life in Irons: Brisbane’s Convict Stories

It is clear the collaboration, production quality and ethical communication were delivered aims of this project. The use of technology, local community knowledge and stories, links to the national/state curriculum, and concern about interpreting colonial histories with specific attention to Indigenous history and voices are all well delivered.

Level 4

WINNER

Sovereign Hill Museums Association
The Sovereign Hill Costumed Schools Program

This is a great and enduring program.

HIGHLY COMMENDED
National Trust of Western Australia
Ellensbrook at Mokidup


Permanent Exhibition or Gallery Fitout

Level 1

WINNER

Centre of Democracy (History Trust of South Australia)
My Actions Count, My Voice Matters

Excellent. Puts higher spend exhibits to shame. The content – the deeper thought processes of democratic engagement – is reflected in the interaction method. Most impressive is the creation of opportunities for dialogue within and between visiting groups – the essence of the core concept of ‘participation’.

Level 2

WINNER

National Motor Museum
Game Engine: Digital Legends

The project has produced strong results and obviously captures the attention of the youth demographics it is aimed at.

HIGHLY COMMENDED
Soldiers Memorial Institute Military Museum
Central Victoria Remembers the First World War

Sunshine Coast Council
Raising the benchmark – Bankfoot House Hertiage Precinct

Level 3

WINNERS

Shire of Manjimup
State Timber Museum

Judges’ comments coming soon

Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory
Unruly Days: A Territory Life 1911-1921

Judges’ comments coming soon

Level 4

WINNER

Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory
Megafauna Central

The community consultation was very good. The displays and interpretations are of high quality. This project seems to have won a deserved and strong place in Alice Springs, attracting locals and tourists in equal measure. Excellent combination of storage and display and creation and inclusive approach to developing a new attraction. Brilliant inclusion of Arrente language.

HIGHLY COMMENDED

Anzac Memorial
The Anzac Memorial Centenary Exhibition


Indigenous Project or Keeping Place

Level 2

HIGHLY COMMENDED
Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory
Translating Otto

Museum of Contemporary Art
John Mawundjul: I am the old and the new’ exhibition microsite

Level 3

WINNER

New England Regional Art Museum
Myall Creek and beyond

HIGHLY COMMENDED
National Gallery of Australia
The National Picture: the art of Tasmania’s Black War


Research

Level 1

WINNER

John Curtin Gallery
Contesting Space

An innovative project from a university gallery focused on inclusive practice which builds understanding in a cross institutional capacity for a gendered group that has previously been marginalised from mainstream culture. Project is an excellent example of art as social activism grounded in academic research.

HIGHLY COMMENDED
Australian National University
The Powerful (and Power-Shifting) Potential of Museum Participation

Level 3

WINNER

Western Australian Museum
Shipwrecks of the Roaring Forties: A Maritime Archaeological Reassessment of some of Australia’s Earliest Shipwrecks

This project represents a valuable and timely reassessment of existing archaeological evidence and through a diverse range of partnerships has provided new data and interpretive output that will generate significant public and academic interest. The thorough usage of new and emerging technologies in this project makes it an excellent exemplar of modern archaeological practice.

HIGHLY COMMENDED
Joanna Mendelssohn, Catherine De Lorenzo, Alison Inglis and Catherine Speck
Australian Art Exhibitions: Opening Our Eyes


Temporary or Travelling Exhibition

Level 1

WINNER

Logan Art Gallery, Logan City Council
He kākano āhau (I am a seed)  

HIGHLY COMMENDED
Bay Discovery Centre
Little River: the story of Glenelg’s Patawalonga

Geoffrey Kaye Museum of Anaesthetic History
The Rare Privilege of Medicine: Women Anaesthetists in Australia and New Zealand

Hurstville Museum & Gallery – Georges River Council
St George on a Sunday

Level 2

WINNER

Australian Museum
GADI

Wonderful example of opening the curatorial process to those to whom the story belongs and collectively build content from the first person … ie. the true owners of knowledge.

HIGHLY COMMENDED
MOD.
Sleep Ops

Sydney Living Museums
How Cities Work

Level 3

WINNERS

Museums Victoria
LOVE

Judges’ comments coming soon

National Gallery of Australia
The National Picture: the art of Tasmania’s Black War

The two most commendable elements are the original research about frontier conflict and the critical challenge to colonial narratives.

Level 4

WINNER

ACMI
Wonderland

A wonderland of cross-disciplinary artworks and technological collaborations with backend data analytical tools for capturing learnings for future projects. Would have liked to understand if and how it altered ACMI’s approach to exhibitions – a new way of working. Really tapped into a zeitgeist nostalgia and mined the grainy gothic vibe of Tim Burton to excellent effect. Demonstrated very high production level standards and showed what and how high quality industry collaborations can achieve amazing things. Clever interweaving of themes – from the feminist empowerment of Alice to the literary world of Lewis Carroll to the craft of theatre/film/animation.

HIGHLY COMMENDED
Australian National Maritime Museum
James Cameron: Challenging the Deep


 

Council of Australasian Museum Directors, c/o Ms Daryl Karp, Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House PO Box 3934 Manuka, Australian Capital Territory 2603 Australia, © CAMD 2020
Disclaimer: The content of this website is provided for information purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for professional advice. No claim is made as to the accuracy or authenticity of the content of the website. The Council of Australasian Museum Directors does not accept any liability to any person for the information or advice (or the use of such information or advice) which is provided on this website. The information on our website is provided on the basis that all persons accessing the site undertake responsibility for assessing the relevance and accuracy of its content. No responsibility is taken for any information or services which may appear on any linked web sites. Hostgator.
.