Australian Age of Dinosaurs was honoured as a winner in the 2021 Gallery and Museum Achievement Awards.
Announced before Christmas, the Winton natural history museum was the winner in the category of Sustainability: Organisations with Paid Staff for its project Our past, your museum. Building a sustainable Museum of Natural History in Outback Queensland.
The award citation said that over 11 years, the Australian Age of Dinosaurs has been developing in stages, planning to ensure the long-term viability of the museum and ensuring that as visitation increases that the necessary supporting infrastructure such as accommodation, food outlets and transportation facilities in Winton is also developed to meet demand.
The final stage of the Museum's infrastructure development is its most challenging: the construction of a multi-million-dollar Museum of Natural History (MNH).
Building the MNH is a massive undertaking and its viability has been endorsed by the completion of a comprehensive Bankable Feasibility Study, compiled by internationally recognised consultancy firm, Grant Thornton.
The citation said the study has built the capacity of the Museum by clearly outlining the necessary steps to complete construction of the MNH within the next three to five years. In readiness for this, plans to broaden the Museum's reach through the development of further products and experiences, such as dark-sky astronomy initiatives and virtual excursions to school classrooms, have been implemented along with development of new tours and a broad range of unique merchandise options. Likewise, the Study has highlighted the urgency to further build the Museum's fossil collection in readiness for the MNH, and a range of collecting and exchange initiatives with other museums around Australia is now underway.
Museums & Galleries Queensland Executive Director, Rebekah Butler said Australian Age of Dinosaurs is to be congratulated for its vision and commitment to preserve and promote Australia's geological past, and helping to secure the long-term sustainability of communities throughout regional Australia.
"This is the Australian Age of Dinosaurs' second consecutive GAMAA," she said.
The GAMAA were established by Museums & Galleries Queensland in 2004 to honour the achievements of Queensland's individuals and organisations in striving towards excellence.
The winners received an exquisitely crafted ceramic trophy by Queensland artist, Michelle Yeatman, courtesy of Yarrabah Arts and Cultural Precinct.
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