Detail: Lucian Freud After Cézanne
1999–2000 oil on canvas
Purchased with the assistance of Members of the NGA Foundation,
including David Coe, John Schaeffer and Kerry Stokes AO, 2001 National
Gallery of Australia
click detail to view full image
The National Gallery of Australia, which opened to the public in October
1982, is a statutory authority established by the National Gallery
Act 1975. The National Gallery forms part of the Communications, Information
Technology and the Arts portfolio.
The Ministers responsible for the National Gallery are Senator the Hon.
Richard Alston, Minister for Communications, Information Technology and
the Arts, and the Hon. Peter McGauran MP, Minister for the Arts and the
Centenary of Federation.
The National Gallery Act 1975 and the Commonwealth Authorities
and Companies (CAC) Act 1997 prescribe certain powers to the Minister
- to make available Commonwealth land and buildings for National Gallery
- to approve the acquisition of works of art valued in excess of a prescribed
limit ($10 million);
- to approve the disposal of works of art;
- to approve the acquisition or disposal of any property, right or privilege
other than a work of art in excess of a prescribed limit ($1 million);
- to approve the National Gallery’s entry into a contract for
construction of a building in excess of a prescribed limit ($1 million);
- to approve or revoke the appointment of deputies for part-time National
Gallery Council members;
- to convene a meeting of the National Gallery Council;
- to grant the Director of the National Gallery leave of absence other
than recreation leave;
- to appoint a person to act temporarily in the position of Director
of the National Gallery and to determine the terms and conditions of
- to terminate temporary appointments as Director of the National Gallery;
- to issue directions regarding employment of staff and terms and conditions
of employment of staff at the National Gallery; and
- to issue directions regarding the form and timing of submission of
budget estimates of the National Gallery each financial year.
Exercise of minister’s
The Minister appointed an Acting Director on two occasions during
National Gallery’s powers and functions
The powers of the National Gallery as prescribed in the National Gallery
Act 1975 are, subject to that Act, to do all things necessary or convenient
to be done for, or in connection with, the performance of its functions.
The functions of the Gallery as provided in the Act are:
- to develop and maintain a national collection of works of art; and
- to exhibit, or to make available for exhibition by others, works of
art from the national collection, or works of art that are otherwise
in the possession of the Gallery.
National Gallery corporate plan
In October 1998 the National Gallery’s corporate plan for 1999–2001,
Into the New Millennium, was launched by the Minister, Senator
the Hon. Richard Alston. During 2000–2001, the Gallery continued
a strategic direction consistent with the plan.
The new corporate plan (to be published later in 2001 as the Strategic
Plan 2001–2004) has been developed by the Gallery’s Executive,
which comprises the Director and Program Managers, after consultation
with, and input from the Gallery’s staff. The plan builds on the
successes of Into the New Millennium and focuses on further building
and developing the collection, providing understanding, knowledge and
enhanced enjoyment of the visual arts, and providing increased access
to works of art. These strategies are consistent with the functions of
the Gallery as specified in the Act.
National Gallery Council
The National Gallery is governed by an 11-member Council (Gallery Council
Members are listed in Appendix 1). The Director of the Gallery is the
executive officer and a member of the Council. The Council Members, other
than the Director, are appointed by the Governor-General for three-year
terms, having regard to their knowledge and experience of the visual arts
and other areas of knowledge relevant to the affairs of the Gallery.
Mr Harold Mitchell was appointed Chairman of the Council on 1 January
2001, replacing Mr Kerry Stokes AO, whose term ended on 31 December 2000.
Mr Robert Ferguson was appointed Deputy Chairman on 21 February 2001,
and Dr Brian Kennedy is the Director.
Two new members were appointed during 2000–2001 for a period of
three years: Mr Michael Chaney from 13 December 2000 and Dr Peter Farrell
from 6 February 2001.
Throughout the year the work of the Council was assisted by four committees:
the Finance and Audit Committee, the Development and Marketing Committee,
the Acquisitions Committee, and the Building Committee (details of committee
membership are given in Appendix 1). In addition, Mr Anthony Berg reports
to Council on matters pertaining to the National Gallery of Australia
Structure of the National Gallery
A seven-program management structure served the National Gallery’s
operational requirements, and provided appropriate lines of authority
and accountability. The Gallery’s management structure on 30 June
2001 is shown in Appendix 2. A staffing overview is given in Human Resource
Management, p. 61.
Senior executive and their responsibilities
The Director and the seven Program Managers comprise the senior management
team. The senior management team meets weekly to develop strategies, review
policies, provide advice to the Director and the Council, and coordinate
the National Gallery’s operations.
Senior management committees and their roles
The framework for decision making, planning, communication and consultation
within the National Gallery seeks to be inclusive and to provide opportunities
for staff to participate in the planning and delivery of Gallery priorities
and programs. There are regular and structured meetings of the Gallery’s
Council, Program Managers and Managers, the Gallery Consultative and OH&S
Committees, as well as program, departmental and section meetings. In
addition, committees and groups meet to participate in the planning and
implementation of specific programs, projects and activities: for example
publications, exhibitions, and planned modifications to the Gallery building.
Terms and conditions of employment of National Gallery staff are expressed
in the National Gallery’s Agency Agreement 1999–2000.
This agreement has a nominal expiry date of 31 December 2000. Negotiations
commenced during the year in review to develop a replacement agreement
under section 170 LJ of the Workplace Relations Act 1996.
Social justice and equity
The National Gallery’s programs are developed with an emphasis on
public accessibility and adhere to the principles outlined in the Commonwealth
Government’s Charter of Public Service in a Culturally Diverse
Society (July 1998). All exhibitions, public programs and publications
are designed to provide the greatest possible access to the Gallery’s
collection for all Australians and visitors. Special services are provided
for people with disabilities and for speakers of languages other than
English. The program of travelling exhibitions focuses on providing Australians
living in rural and remote communities with access to the Gallery’s
collection. Further access is provided through the Gallery’s website,
www.nga.gov.au. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art and culture
are fundamental aspects of the Gallery’s collection and focus, and
works are shown in consultation with indigenous communities.
Internal and external scrutiny
Compliance audits and audits of systems and controls were undertaken during
the year and the results presented to Council through the Finance and
Audit Committee. The audit of financial statements was undertaken by the
Australian National Audit Office (ANAO).
Committees of inquiry
The National Gallery was represented before the Senate Environment, Communications,
Information Technology and the Arts Legislation Committee and provided
information about the Gallery’s operations and funding.
The Gallery was also represented at the House Standing Committee on Communications,
Transport and the Arts and provided information about the Gallery’s
involvement with the Art Indemnity Australia scheme.
There were no judicial decisions involving the National Gallery during
As an agency covered by Comcover, the National Gallery is required
to actively implement contingency plans that identify and put in place
strategies to deal with risks to which the Gallery is or could be exposed.
The Executive has established a Risk Management Committee to evaluate
identified risks, to report to the Executive on such risks, and to coordinate
the further development of the Gallery’s Risk Management Plan.
During 2000–2001 the Gallery developed a Risk Management Plan consistent
with the Federal Government’s requirement, as part of the continuing
agenda for public sector reform. The effective management of risk enables
the Gallery to achieve its aims. This occurs through the systematic analysis
of activities and the identification of greater opportunities for continuous
improvement. In evaluating the impact of risk, the Gallery’s Risk
Management Plan focuses on:
- the national collection;
- all stakeholders including the public;
- Gallery employees and their skills;
- the environment in which the Gallery operates;
- the quality of service;
- Gallery assets and intellectual property;
- contractual and statutory obligations; and
- Gallery image and reputation.
Risk management is a key part of improving the Gallery’s business
and is incorporated in all business planning, operations and management
of contractors and service providers. The challenge for the future is
to ensure that risk management is an integral part of the Gallery’s
culture, everyday business operations and those of the Gallery’s
contractors and business partners. The aim is to achieve best practice
in managing all risks to which the Gallery is exposed.
Indemnities and insurance premiums for National
Comcover is the insurer of the National Gallery and provides, on
a fee basis, Professional Indemnity Cover to a liability limit of $10
million on any one claim and in the aggregate. Liability Cover is provided
to a limit of $10 million on any one claim and in the aggregate, and covers
the Director and staff of the Gallery.
National Gallery Service Charter
The National Gallery Service Charter, launched on 6 March
1998, was developed in consultation with visitors and Gallery staff. The
Charter outlines the services provided, what visitors can expect, and
how they can assist the Gallery to make improvements to current levels
Standards against which services are measured include courteous, responsive
and friendly service; informed staff; a welcome and safe environment;
and appropriate and well-maintained facilities. Visitors are invited to
provide feedback on the extent to which these standards are met by completing
a Service Charter form, available at the Gallery and on its website, or
by letter, telephone, facsimile or email.
In 2000–2001 the Gallery received 187 responses. Comments related
to parking, signage in the Gallery, maintenance of facilities, and the
use of mobile phones in the exhibition spaces. Respondents also supported
the exhibition program, the permanent collection, the public program and
assistance from Gallery staff. All responses were acknowledged and the
average time taken by the Gallery to reply was 14 days.
Policy and practices on the establishment and
maintenance of appropriate ethical standards
Staff are guided in their standards of conduct, and in ethical behaviour,
through the National Gallery’s Code of Conduct, and its Code of
Ethics. The Code of Conduct is based on the Australian Public Service
(APS) Code of Conduct, while the Code of Ethics is based substantially
on the Museum Ethics Code, and the Code of Ethics for Art, History and
Science Museums. The Code of Ethics is currently being reviewed.
During the year, staff participated in the identification and development
of the Gallery’s values. These values are based largely on the APS
values of integrity, consideration, excellence and professionalism. All
new staff are provided with guidelines on the Gallery’s values in
the Induction Manual which was developed during the year.
Report on performance in implementing the Commonwealth
In accordance with guidelines provided by the Commonwealth Office of Disability,
the National Gallery is drafting a Disability Action Plan in consultation
with staff and their representatives. The plan will be based on the Commonwealth
Office of Disability’s employer and provider models, and will include
a review of internal policies and procedures, and the provision of staff
training on disability awareness issues.
For more information relating to services provided to people with disabilities,
see Social justice and equity, p. 13.
Freedom of information
In 2000–2001 the National Gallery received six requests for access
to documents under the Freedom of Information Act 1982. Information
that was not exempt was released to the applicants. One applicant sought
an internal review under Section 54 of the Act. Two applicants appealed
to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal under Section 55 of the Act. One
appeal was subsequently withdrawn.
Members of the public may inquire in person about Freedom of Information
matters, submit formal requests for access, or inspect documents to which
access has been granted during business hours (Monday to Friday, 10 am
to 5 pm). Inquiries about procedures for seeking information from the
National Gallery of Australia under the Freedom of Information Act
1982 may also be made in writing, by telephone, facsimile or email.
Freedom of Information Coordinator
The Manager, Office Services
National Gallery of Australia
Parkes Place PARKES ACT 2600
GPO Box 1150
CANBERRA ACT 2601
Telephone: (02) 6240 6677
Facsimile: (02) 6240 6529
The Director, the Deputy Director, the Head of Human Resource Management,
the Manager Human Resource Management, the Head of Planning and Facilities,
the Manager Facilities (Services) and the Manager Office Services are
the authorised decision makers as required by the Freedom of Information
Act 1982. The categories of documents held by the Gallery are detailed
in the Personal Information Digest, published annually by the Privacy
Commissioner, Human Rights Australia.
Advertising and market research
The National Gallery is committed to gaining the highest level of understanding
of its visitors and markets, and to this end has conducted market research
and audience evaluation during the year. Expenditure incurred on market
research in 2000–2001 was $33,068, compared with $30,723 in 1999–2000.
Researching the market ensures the most effective means of advertising
and communicating with visitors and the broader public. The Gallery actively
promotes its program and activities to the widest possible audience with
most of the arrangements to do so organised and implemented by staff.
Total expenditure on advertising and publicity this year is $869,962 as
compared to the previous year when $624,737 was incurred. The increase
was largely due to the extra promotion of major exhibitions including
Monet & Japan.
A direct mail organisation is used to sort and send correspondence, including
artonview, the Gallery’s quarterly magazine, which is mailed
to over 25,000 Gallery Members. The cost of this service, which excludes
postage, in 2000–2001 was $32,798 compared with $30,199 in the previous
Ecologically sustainable development and environmental
The National Gallery made a referral under the Environmental Protection
and Biodiversity Conservation Action 1999 concerning the proposal
to make modifications to the Gallery building and site. The referral was
considered under the Act, and the Gallery has been notified that the action
is not a controlled action and that approval is therefore not needed under
Part 9 of the Act before the action can proceed.
Information concerning workplace diversity, equal employment opportunity,
workplace relations, industrial democracy, occupational health and safety,
and staff training and development is given in Human Resource Management,