Petitioning Newcastle city council and 2 others
This petition will be delivered to:
Newcastle city council
Member of the Legislative Assembly, Member for Wallsend, Shadow Minister for the Hunter
Sonia Hornery
Minister for Tourism, Minister for the Arts, Minister for the Hunter
George Souris (Minister for Tourism, Minister for the Arts, Minister for the Hunter)

Protect Newcastle Museum and Art Gallery

Protect our Culture - This Is What We Are Signing For!

 * Retain the roles of Directors of Newcastle Art Gallery and Newcastle Museum.

  * Provide the community with access to unbiased, unadulterated facts regarding the donation of the Brett Whiteley sculpture.

  * Block the introduction of admission charges to our Art Gallery and Museum.

  * Protect, support and invest in our cultural institutions to keep them safe now and for future generations.

The Threat


The planned restructure of Council proposed by the General Manager and approved by Council on 24 September 2013 effectively removed the roles of Newcastle Art Gallery and Museum Directors - this is despite informed professional advice to the contrary and without any successful models to base this decision on.



Within weeks the Art Gallery Director and Future City Director were both suspended for more than three months and subsequently sacked following a less than transparent ‘investigation’ over the acquisition of the Brett Whiteley Black Totem II sculpture.



Just prior to Christmas 2013 the General Manager instructed that admission charges to the Gallery and Museum must be included in the 2014/15 Council budget.



These acts of gross mismanagement and cultural vandalism followed on from the cancellation of the Art Gallery Redevelopment, and the embarrassment for Newcastle of having to return $7 million to the Federal Government.



For more information about these issues go to:

YouTube Video Interviews: http://www.youtube.com/user/NewiLEAKS

Interview Robert Henderson: http://youtu.be/qtMbiyTDYPM



What this means to us


The Art Gallery attracts on average 70,000 visitors per year and the redeveloped Museum approximately 150,000. They offer a wide range of educational programs, events and activities attracting a diverse cross section of the community, bringing new, quality exhibitions to our city.



These institutions are successful because they are/were led by professionally well regarded, talented and knowledgeable Directors who bring considerable Australian and international experience to Newcastle.



The loss or diminished role of the Gallery and Museum will have a significant negative impact on our visitor economy, social capital and community capability building, as well as the development of diverse revenue streams for the Council through cafes, merchandise, philanthropic private giving and grant funding.



Admission charges at the Gallery and Museum will deny public access, drastically reduce visitor numbers, diminish other revenue streams, and eventually allow the Council to justify further cuts in staffing, funding, and support based on cost and usage.
In short, what is happening today in Newcastle could destroy our cultural assets forever!



What we want to petition for:

* Retain the roles of Directors of Newcastle Art Gallery and Newcastle Museum.

* Provide the community with access to unbiased, unadulterated facts regarding the donation of the Brett Whiteley sculpture.

* Block the introduction of admission charges to our Art Gallery and Museum.

* Protect, support and invest in our cultural institutions to keep them safe now and for future generations.

What happens if we do nothing?


Not supporting the Newcastle Art Gallery and Museum will disconnect us from our roots as a community and leave future generations without an anchor on which to make sense of what was, or a foundation on which to build, create, innovate, change or evolve what is to be.


The State Government itself recognises and acknowledges the value of galleries and museums, preparing to launch its first state-wide Cultural Policy shortly.
Museums, galleries (and theatres) are the cornerstone of a civilised society and for the social and economic development of a world-city.


What kind of Newcastle do you want to live in? 


Make yourself heard. 


STAND UP For Your Museum and Art Gallery - Sign this petition now and tell all your friends to do the same.


Letter to
Newcastle city council
Member of the Legislative Assembly, Member for Wallsend, Shadow Minister for the Hunter Sonia Hornery
Minister for Tourism, Minister for the Arts, Minister for the Hunter George Souris (Minister for Tourism, Minister for the Arts, Minister for the Hunter)
Protect Newcastle Museum and Art Gallery