The 2019 Gallery and Museum Achievement Award is heading to Outback Queensland after Winton's Australian Age of Dinosaurs took out the top prize.
On Thursday September 19 the winner and finalists were announced at a special presentation event, held at the recently opened Cairns Performing Arts Centre.
Australian Age of Dinosaurs was announced as winner for outstanding achievement in the category of Sustainability: Organisations with Paid Staff for its project and Turning out the lights: Australia's first International Dark-Sky Sanctuary.
The Jump-Up in Outback Queensland is a magical spot to stargaze. It is Australia's first International Dark-Sky Sanctuary; awarded a unique classification within the International Dark Sky Places Program reserved for sites that are the remotest and often darkest places in the world and whose conservation state is most fragile.
The Australian Age of Dinosaurs was founded following the accidental discovery of a large dinosaur femur in 1999. Local graziers David and Judy Elliott started a not-for-profit museum, the Australian Age of Dinosaurs and during the first seven years of its operation, the Museum acquired the beginnings of a very large collection of dinosaur bones.
In 2009, it relocated to The Jump-Up, a 1400-hectare unique mesa environment near Winton that is home to a diverse array of flora and fauna.
The rise in artificial light around the world and its potential to negatively affect the environment, including wildlife, led Museum staff and volunteers at the Australian Age of Dinosaurs to begin a sustainable program to protect the extraordinarily dark-skies above The Jump-Up.
Museums & Galleries Queensland Executive Director, Rebekah Butler said, "The Australian Age of Dinosaurs staff and volunteers are to be congratulated for their tremendous achievements in compiling and adopting their formalised Lighting Management Plan and for being designated Australia's first International Dark-Sky Sanctuary.
"The Museum has demonstrated leadership through its conservation strategies, educational programs and guided tours. These initiatives have created a better understanding of the benefits of truly dark skies and are ensuring continued public engagement with this very remote Museum and region."
The GAMAA were established by Museums & Galleries Queensland in 2004 to honour the achievements of our State's individuals and organisations in striving towards excellence.
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