14/09/2015 - 16:32

Museum seeks long engagement

14/09/2015 - 16:32

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Museum seeks long engagement
BIG GOALS: Alec Coles at the Western Australian Museum. Photo: Attila Csaszar

THOSE driving the development of a new $428 million museum in Western Australia are hoping to engage with more than 1 million annual visitors to the new facility within its first few years.

Western Australian Museum chief executive Alec Coles told Business News he hoped the new museum, to be built next to existing facilities in the Perth Cultural Centre, would develop and expand partnerships with businesses, arts groups and researchers state-wide.

During the past financial year, more than 950,000 people visited the state’s museums, with about half going to the Perth facility and others spread between the two maritime-related museums in Fremantle and the regional museums in Kalgoorlie, Geraldton, Albany.

Mr Coles said the new WA museum would seek to highlight what it meant to be Western Australian, showcase state scientific discoveries, and show how WA related to the rest of the world.

“Through the development of an exciting museum and fantastic experiences ... it will be something that’s used, owned and valued by Western Australians and admired by the world,” he said.

“As we can see from the rather tired buildings at the cultural centre that are now being refurbished, WA Museum doesn’t stack up against other big city museums in Australia, (but) very soon it will.”

Mr Coles said he hoped the new museum would play a role in continuing of the tradition of holding joint activities such as environmental monitoring and cultural events across the state.

“We accept that it would be very unlikely that we would ever reach a point where every single Western Australian from Kununurra to Esperance would have visited the WA museum but the chances are something that the museum has done has impacted on their lives,” he said.

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