A New Era - Stage Two
Dear AM friends,
It is my great pleasure to announce a new historic partnership between the Australian Museum, Westpac and the NSW Government, which will help us restore the nation’s first museum gallery and showcase the most significant treasures from our collection.
The Long Gallery – a familiar and much-loved destination for visitors to the museum – will become the Westpac Long Gallery in 2017, and house 200 Treasures from the Australian Museum, celebrating the AM’s 190th anniversary and Westpac’s 200th anniversary.
Technological advancements are revolutionising the museum experience. From audio-visual displays to touch screens to smartphone apps to beacon positioning and virtual reality, a visit to a museum today is an immersive experience. We aim to bring together these innovations with the original wonder of museums – through the ‘cabinet of curiosities’ – that drew thousands to the Australian Museum to see the Long Gallery when it opened in 1850.
Two of the most valuable treasures to feature in the restored gallery are on display for a strictly limited time: Australia’s first bank note issued on the day the Bank of New South Wales (now Westpac) first opened in 1817, on extended loan from Westpac, and the Maitland Gold Nugget, the only surviving example of a large gold nugget from the early mining years of New South Wales, on extended loan from the NSW Government. The First Bank Note and the Maitland Bar Gold Nugget will be on display until 20 December 2015.
We are delighted to have the support of Westpac and the NSW Government in this next stage of our transformation. Upon its completion in 2017, the newly restored Westpac Long Gallery promises to be the region’s must-see gallery.
Kim McKay AO, CEO & Executive Director
The AM’s spectacular new contemporary glass entrance, Crystal Hall, leads visitors into a transformed ground floor that includes Wild Planet – the first new permanent gallery in 50 years; the refurbished First Australians galleries; and a rejuvenated Atrium and Museum Store. On Level 2 you will discover the recently-opened Pacific Spirit gallery highlighting our world-renowned Pacific collection. And on Level 4, the Rooftop Café offers snacks, great coffee and lunch all day long with sweeping views over Hyde Park to Sydney Harbour.