26 September 2023

Museum collects giant donation

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The National Museum of Australia (NMA) in Canberra has announced that a $1.5 million donation from philanthropists, John and Pauline Gandel is the largest philanthropic gift it has ever received.

Chair of the Museum, David Jones said the donation would be used to support the $6.5 million Defining Moments Digital Classroom initiative which will take Australian history into classrooms nationwide.

“Gandel Philanthropy’s vision and far-sighted investment in the understanding of Australian history underpins the Defining Moments Digital Classroom, which will enable the National Museum to build a world class interactive educational resource for teachers and students nationally,’ Mr Jones said.

“The Defining Moments Digital Classroom will allow students to explore this history via interactive smart boards, iPads, videos, virtual tours, 3D scans and trivia quizzes.”

He said that in acknowledgement of the gift the National Museum’s main hall has been relaunched as the Gandel Atrium, the first time the Museum has instituted naming rights in acknowledgement of a gift.

Senior Curator at the museum, Sophie Jensen said the NMA’s National Historical Collection contained more than 200,000 items with 5,000 items on display and around half available online.

She said the items were collected and displayed under three key themes: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and history; Australian history post 1788, and people and the environment.

“Each of these themes intersect to bring together the stories of Australia’s history. The hall reflects these themes and the new Defining Moments interactive wall gives Australians the opportunity to engage more closely,” Dr Jensen said.

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