Leading Museums, Museum Leaders

WAM CE Alec Coles OBE named as 2021

WA Museum Director Alec Coles. Credit: Ross Swanborough/The West Australian.

Media Statement, WA Museum CEO wins prestigious arts and culture award, Government of Western Australia, 5 June 2021

Alec Coles OBE named Western Australian of the Year for Arts & Culture
Stunning new WA Museum Boola Bardip breaking visitation records

Western Australian Museum Chief Executive Officer Alec Coles OBE has been named as the 2021 Arts & Culture Western Australian of the Year.

Culture and the Arts Minister David Templeman congratulated Mr Coles on his outstanding achievement in leading the development of the new $400 million Government-funded WA Museum Boola Bardip in the Perth Cultural Centre.

Mr Coles has been at the helm of the WA Museum for 11 years, leading it through some exceptional times, including the opening of the stunning new WA Museum Boola Bardip.

Since it opened in November last year, more than 460,000 people have visited the new location. The museum is unique in its focus on what it means to be Western Australian, sharing the stories of our people, places and experiences, and examining WA’s relationship with the rest of the world.

Boola Bardip means ‘many stories’ in Noongar language. It acknowledges that the museum sits on Whadjuk Noongar land and celebrates the shared cultural heritage of the 2.65 million people who call Western Australia home.

The WA Museum Boola Bardip is one of seven public museums that sit under the Western Australian Museum banner. The WA Government has committed to providing free general admission to Boola Bardip for at least the first 18 months of operation. Children under the age of 15 will always be provided free general admission.

Comments attributed to Culture and the Arts Minister David Templeman:

“I sincerely congratulate Alec Coles on his outstanding achievement in delivering such an exciting, engaging, inspiring museum for the people of Western Australia.

“Nationally and internationally the WA Museum Boola Bardip will play a very significant role in positioning Perth as a centre for cultural excellence and Western Australia as a destination for cultural tourism.

“The enormous benefits of Alec’s contribution to culture, science, and the arts will be enjoyed by generations to come.”

Minister’s office – 6552 5400

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 2021
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