Controversy at the National Museum of Australia, Canberra 2002
Suspicion had been aroused about the long-term prospects of Dawn Casey as Director of the National Museum of Australia.
According to one report (by Penny Brown in The Australian 29/11/02),Minister for Arts and Sport Rod Kemp has informed Ms Casey that her contract will be renewed for only one year from this December, rather than a longer period of perhaps three or five years.
One external provider of theatre services to NMA expressed surprise at this possibility, considering the very great regard for Ms Casey's leadership style and program intitiatives among her staff. As a member of the Museum Performance Advisory Panel, in close contact with NMA Board members, he had heard nothing of the rumour. NMA's first Annual Report shows that more than 1 million people passed through the doors, and in evaluation responses covering the full year "91% of visitors state they are satisfied or very satisfied with their NMA experience."
Ms Casey will make no comment at this stage, her office stating that the report is no more than speculation. There is a suggestion, however, that an announcement may be made in about ten days. The Minister's office also refuses to make any comment either about the term of Ms Casey's contract or about any forthcoming announcement. On the other hand, neither the National Museum nor the Minister have issued a denial of the speculation.
© Frank McKone M.A., F.A.C.E.
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