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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 May. 

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:       14 February 2019
Entries close:          25 March 2019 - Close of business
Judging:                  April
Finalists notified:     End April
Awards ceremony:  National Conference 15 May 2019, Alice Springs


Entry Levels


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




  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, Learning and Audience Engagement
    Community development and education projects developed by the institution to interpret and communicate the collection and stories.
  4. Indigenous Project or Keeping Place
    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.


How to Enter


  1. Preview the 2019 questions or go straight to the entry form (you can save and go back to the entry form as much as you need)
  2. Go to the awards entry form from 14 February 
  3. Fill in the entry form - you can save and go back as many times as you like
  4. Submit the entry
  5. Your entry will be approved by AMaGA
  6. Wait for judging




The panel of judges will be selected from staff from a variety of organisations, including museums, galleries, libraries and educational institutions.


Conditions of Entry


  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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