Western Australia’s stunning new museum, the WA Museum Boola Bardip, has just been awarded three prestigious MAGNAs (Museums and Galleries National Awards) at the sector’s annual awards event in Canberra on June 9.
After four years of development, the $400million-dollar museum opened its doors in November of 2020 to widespread acclaim and has offered patrons free entry for the first 18months of operation.
The MAGNAs are open to all Australian cultural institutions and recognise excellence and innovation. WA Museum Boola Bardip has picked up three awards in the categories of: Permanent Exhibition or Gallery Fitout; Interpretation, Learning and Audience Engagement; and Research project.
The award for gallery fit-out was presented for all eight new permanent galleries in the WA Museum Boola Bardip. The galleries focus on the Museum’s major themes of being Western Australian, Discovering Western Australia and Western Australia’s relationship with the world. Each gallery has its own personality and specific mix of objects, interactive multimedia and programming spaces.
The Museum won the Audience Engagement award for its six-year, state-wide engagement program which saw more than 54,000 people from across WA provide their thoughts and ideas about the stories and programs they wanted to see in their new museum.
‘Sharing Stories’ won the research project award. This series of eight short films was a collaborative effort by the Museum, CARAD (Centre for Asylum Seekers, Refugees and Detainees), eight Western Australians with refugee experience and two independent content creators. The project explores what it means to be a refugee in WA, and part of the Museum’s Connections gallery is dedicated to exploring migrant issues.
Since it opened in November last year, more than 480,000 visitors have visited the WA Museum Boola Bardip. In Nyoongar language, Boola Bardip means ‘many stories’, acknowledging that the Museum sits on Whadjuk Nyoongar land, and celebrating the shared cultural heritage of the 2.65 million people who call WA home.