Leading Museums, Museum Leaders

Turnaround for Australian Museum

Kim McKay outside the new Crystal Hall entrance. Source: SMH  Photo: Louise Kennerley.

Andrew Taylor, Australian Museum in profit as it prepares to reveal a new side to the city, The Sydney Morning Herald, 3 September 2015

As it prepares to reveal a $5.9 million makeover, the Australian Museum has made a dramatic financial turnaround by posting a small annual surplus, despite cuts in government funding.

Less than 18 months into the job, director and chief executive Kim McKay has wiped out the $745,000 deficit recorded by the institution, Australia’s oldest natural history museum, in 2013-14.

“I have turned that around in the 12 months to where we will be recording a small surplus,” she said.

The Museum’s return to profit comes as builders put the final touches on its new $5.9 million entrance on William Street, which will be opened by NSW Premier Mike Baird on September 9.

The Museum will also open its Wild Planet exhibition of 400 extinct and endangered animals in the old entrance area. A new exhibition, entitled TrailBlazers, featuring 50 top Australian explorers will open later this year, with explorer and environmental scientist Tim Jarvis the Museum’s inaugural TrailBlazer-in-residence.

The strong financial result, which will be reported in the Museum’s yet-to-be-released 2014-15 annual report, contrasts with poor results posted by other state cultural institutions including the Art Gallery of NSW and the Museum of Arts and Applied Sciences.

McKay said it was a “big turnaround in 12 months, especially with efficiency dividends imposed”.

“It has been because the staff and everyone have really gotten on board with the mission to save money but at the same time develop the Museum and transform it,” she said.

Read more



Council of Australasian Museum Directors c/o Lynley Crosswell, Museums Victoria, GPO Box 666, Melbourne VIC 3001, © CAMD 2023
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.