|Description of this AgencyDescription of this Agency|
The Council of the Museum of Victoria was established on 1 July 1983 by s10(1) of the Museums Act 1983 (No. 9903/1983). It was the successor in law to "the Building Trustees established under the State Library National Gallery National Museum and Institute of Applied Science Act 1960, the Council of the Science Museum of Victoria established under the Science Museum of Victoria Act 1970 and the National Museum of Victoria Council established under the National Museum of Victoria Council Act 1970" (ss 32 and 33(3) Museums Act 1983).
The Director of the Museum was appointed by the Governor in Council on the recommendation of the Minister for the Arts, and was the Chief Executive Officer of the Council (Museum of Victoria Annual Report 1988-89, p5).
The original functions of the Council and the Museum are subject to research. The Council became responsible for administering the Royal Exhibition Building and Exhibition land on 1 April 1996, when the body corporate known as The Exhibition Trustees was dissolved (s37 Museums Act 1983 (No. 9903/1983), inserted by s45 Miscellaneous Acts (Omnibus Amendments) Act 1995 (No. 100/1995). The Council was made successor in law to The Exhibition Trustees (s38 Museums Act 1983), also inserted by s45 Miscellaneous Acts (Omnibus Amendments) Act).
In February 1997 the Council of the Museum of Victoria was replaced by the Museums Board of Victoria (s10 Museums Act 1983, as amended by s39 Arts Institutions (Amendment) Act 1996 (No. 61/1996). The Board was to be taken as the same body as the Council, despite the change of name (s47 Museums Act, inserted by s66 Arts Institutions (Amendment) Act). The Board comprised from seven to eleven members appointed by the Governor in Council. Appointments were for renewable periods of up to three years (s11 Museums Act, as amended by s40 Arts Institutions (Amendment) Act). The Board's functions were to, subject to the control of the Minister,
-- control, manage, operate, promote, develop and maintain the Museum of Victoria
-- control, manage, operate, promote, develop and maintain the Exhibition land...
-- develop and maintain the State collections of natural sciences, indigenous culture, social history and science and technology
-- exhibit material from those collections for the purposes of education and entertainment
-- promote use of those collections for scientific research
-- promote the use of the Museum's resources for education in Victoria
-- research, present and promote issues of public relevance and benefit in... the origins, development and diversity of cultures in Australia and adjacent lands; the natural environment; [and] science and technology and their applications to the development of society
-- act as a repository for specimens upon which scientific studies have been made or which may have special cultural or historical significance
-- provide leadership to museums in Victoria
-- advise the Minister on matters relating to museums, and co-ordination of museum services, in Victoria
-- carry out such other functions appropriate to museums and the Exhibition land as the Minister from time to time directs (ss22A and 23 Museums Act, as amended).
The Ministerial advisory function had previously been carried out by Museums Advisory Board, which was abolished at the same time as the Council (s46 Museums Act, inserted by s65 Arts Institutions (Amendment) Act; "Arts Institutions (Amendment) Act Proclaimed," News Release from the Office of the Premier and Minister for the Arts, 6 February 1997).
The Museums Board of Victoria employed Museum employees in its own right. Prior to the commencement of the Board, Museum employees had been employed in the public service.
From early 1998 the oganisation began to identify itself as Museum Victoria (Museum Victoria Annual Report 1997 -- 1998 p2).
Until March 1991 the Museum comprised a single campus, in premises shared with VA 2923 State Library of Victoria. Responsibility for managing the premises and some other administrative tasks were undertaken in conjunction with the State Library. Details of the administrative relationship between the Musuem and the State Library are subject to research. From March 1991 the Division of Science and Technology was housed at Sciencworks, on the site of the former Melbourne Metropolitan Board of Works pumping station, in Spotswood (Museum of Victoria Annual Report 1991-92, p15). In November 1998 the Immigration Museum and Hellenic Antiquities Museum commenced at the Old Customs House, in Flinders Street Melbourne, and in October 2000 the Museum's other operations moved to the newly constructed Melbourne Museum, in Carlton Gardens.