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Museums and Galleries National Awards 2022


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The Museums & Galleries National Awards, or MAGNAs, began in 2011. They recognise excellent work nationally in the categories of exhibition, public programs and sustainability projects.

The MAGNAs are open to all Australian cultural collecting institutions who are members of Australian Museums and Galleries Association except Indigenous Programs or Keeping Places which is open to all. Become an organisational member of AMaGA.

The MAGNAs will be awarded at the AMaGA National Conference in June. 

The Awards are intended to:

  • Encourage the continuous improvement and development of Australian museums and galleries
  • Inspire and recognise best practice and innovation in the collecting sector
  • Enhance the profile of museums and galleries in local and wider communities.

In 2014 the MAGNAs became a member's only benefit, and free for entry to all AMaGA organisational members.





Call for entries:       25 March 2022
Entries close:          27 April 2022





Level 1: Project budget less than $20,000
Level 2: Project budget $20,000 - $150,000
Level 3: Project budget $150,000 - $500,000
Level 4: Project budget more than $500,000




You can preview the questions here

  1. Permanent Exhibition or Gallery Fitout
    A physical or virtual interpreted presentation of materials owned or borrowed by the institution. 
  2. Temporary/Travelling Exhibition
    A temporary physical or virtual interpreted presentation of materials owned or borrowed by the institution.
  3. Interpretation or Learning Initiative 
    Community development and education projects developed by the institution to interpret and communicate the collection and stories.
  4. Indigenous Project
    A project or program developed specifically for Indigenous communities or by Indigenous people. May include gallery or exhibition development or interpretive programming and learning projects.
  5. Research
    Projects including community research, curatorial/collections research, post-doctoral research, and ARC level or equivalent research. 




  1. Make sure your membership is up to date
  2. Preview the 2022 questions 
  3. Go to the awards entry form from 25 March
  4. Fill in the entry form - you can save and go back as many times as you like
  5. Submit the entry
  6. Your entry will be approved by AMaGA
  7. Wait for judging

Consider the following when completing the entry form:

  • Project achievements
  • What was the rationale behind the project? What issues are being considered?
  • How is the project innovative or original?
  • How is the significance of the objects conveyed?
  • How does the project utilise sustainable best practice to ensure conservation of objects and the broader environment?
  • How was the project received by the public?
  • How does the design of the project emphasise its meaning?
  • How does the project contribute to local or national cultural tourism, education or development?
  • Supporting documentary materials, including reports, visitor comments, media, exhibition books, education materials, etc (not counted in page limit)
  • Supporting graphic materials, including photos, plans, web pages, etc (not counted in page limit)
  • Any other information to support your entry

* We understand that not all project entries will address all example criteria equally.



The panel of judges will be selected from staff from a variety of organisations, including museums, galleries, libraries and educational institutions. The judging system includes an easy recusal system to avoid any conflicts of interest.

A call for expressions of interest will be sent out in February to build on the established pool of judges. 

Judges are asked to consider the following, where relevant, when evaluating each entry:

Judging criteria

  • Original and creative idea, innovative concept
  • Innovative approaches to collaboration including co-design, community outreach, crowd-sourcing
  • Innovative use of the organisation’s collection and other resources such as research
  • Adherence or consideration of National Standards, national or state curricula, Indigenous Roadmap, etc
  • Production quality and technical values
  • Successful incorporation of social engagement and networking/sharing opportunities
  • Evaluation methods used and results
  • Ethical presentation and communication of sensitive content such as Indigenous, military, ethnicity, etc.




  1. The MAGNA Awards are open to all non-commercial museums, galleries, zoos, botanical gardens, historical societies, libraries, keeping places, science centres and other cultural and collecting institutions who are members of Australian Museums and Galleries Association.
  2. The Indigenous category is open to members and non-members.
  3. Commercial galleries, auction houses and publishing interests are not eligible.
  4. Only members of AMaGA are eligible to enter the MAGNA Awards.
  5. The MAGNA Awards are free to enter.
  6. Organisations can enter as many submissions as they want but each project/program can only be entered in one category.
  7. The Awards are not open to International entrants.
  8. Entries must come from organisations, associations or not-for-profit companies.
  9. Entries by individuals are not eligible.
  10. Entrants may submit multiple entries in any categories, but these can only be entered in one category.
  11. An impartial judging panel drawn from relevant sectors, and including a member of the museum-going public, will judge the entries.
  12. The judging panel reserves the right not to make an award in a category if it considered no award is merited; or to make a joint award in a category.
  13. Entries will not be returned.
  14. The winner of each entry will receive an award and certificate, and acknowledgement on the AMaGA website.  Entries of high distinction will be recognised as Highly Commended.
  15. All entries will be credited as indicated on the entry form.  Ensure the details on the entry form are correct and legible.
  16. By submitting an entry, the entrant grants permission to AMaGA for the reproduction of winning entries for purposes of publicity and promotion at no charge; entrants must warrant they have the right to allow such use by AMaGA



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