Media release: Deputy Premier Troy Grant and CEO Kim McKay announce Kids Free

Families across NSW benefit from Kids Free at the Australian Museum and Powerhouse Museum

SYDNEY, NSW; Wednesday 17 June, 2015: Deputy Premier, the Hon. Troy Grant MP, today announced a NSW Government initiative making general entry for children free (under 16 years) at both the Australian Museum and the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences (Powerhouse). To celebrate, both museums are throwing open their doors to ALL visitors for a Free For All weekend on Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 June.

“Kids Free is an exciting initiative of the NSW Government to create more opportunities for children and families to experience arts and culture,” Deputy Premier and Minister for the Arts, the Hon. Troy Grant said.

“With school holidays starting that weekend, visiting a museum is a great way to get the kids out of the house and into the arts’’ he said.

Director and CEO of the Australian Museum, Kim McKay AO, said that removing the entry charges for children would ensure access for every young person across the state.

“Museums are places of learning, wonder and discovery and I’m delighted that we are now able to remove general admission charges for children thanks to the State Government’s support. There should be no barrier for young people to learn and be inspired,” McKay said.

“Families will save as much as $8 per child per visit, which is a fantastic bonus, particularly for larger families, making a visit to museum significantly cheaper than one to the movies or other forms of entertainment. In addition to family entry, students attending the museums as part of a school excursion will also enjoy free general admission positively impacting hundreds of thousands of school students across the state,” she said.

Throughout the Free for All weekend on Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 June, visitors to the Australian Museum will be among the first to see the new indigenous exhibition, Bayala Nura (Yarning Country), which complements the recently opened Garriagarrang (Sea Country) and participate in activities including Aboriginal animal totem craft and make animal masks.

As a special bonus, admission charges to the Australian Museum’s popular Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition will also be waived over the weekend, a saving of $51.00 for a family of four. Favourite galleries such as Skeletons, Dinosaurs, Surviving Australia, Birds and Insects and Planet of Minerals will also be open along with the recently opened Pacific Spirit gallery, and visitors will be able to take a sneak peek at Wild Planet, a new animal gallery opening in August featuring some 400 animal specimens and biodiversity displays.

“Museums have a vital role to play in engaging children and their parents in our natural world - they explain who we are, and it’s those early museum experiences that become seared into our memories and help inform our decisions about the natural world in the future,” she said.

#ENDS#


Activities available for all visitors to the Australian Museum on 27 & 28 June, 2015.
The FREE for ALL weekend puts a spotlight on what happens daily at the Australian Museum.

Alongside favourites such as the Skeletons, Dinosaurs, Surviving Australia, Birds and Insects, Search & Discover and Planet of Minerals, visitors will be among the first to experience the brand new exhibition, Bayala Nura (Yarning Country) in the newly refurbished heritage gallery, First Australians. Bayala Nura complements the recently opened exhibition, Garrigarrang (Sea Country) highlighting Indigenous Australian culture.

In addition, the newly opened preview exhibition Pacific Spirit brings rare masks and other stunning objects from the Museum’s Pacific collection out on display.

These exhibitions draw on the Museum’s extensive collections to showcase the history, cultural diversity and resilience of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and provide a glimpse of the Museum’s extensive Pacific collection, one of the world’s largest.

While you’re here, remember to see striking photographs of wildlife and nature from the around the world in the ever popular Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition. The photographs celebrate an amazing array of animals and highlight pressing environmental issues such as animal extinction and the destruction of natural landscapes.

And as a special promotion for this weekend only, visitors can receive a 20% discount off the full price of membership. Members receive special benefits such as our Explore Magazine, discounts at our Shop and Cafe, Private Members Lounge, Free National Geographic Traveller magazine, 10% discount when you book with Adventure World holidays and giveaways and deals through the fortnightly newsletter.

Centrally located opposite Hyde Park in Sydney and a short walk from Museum Station, the Australian Museum was established in 1827 and has an international reputation in the fields of natural history and cultural studies, community programs and exhibitions.

Experience all this and more when you visit the Museum as part of FREE for ALL at the Australian Museum on Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 June.

KIDS ACTIVITIES, FREE FOR ALL WEEKEND, 27 & 28 JUNE:
• Come and learn about Indigenous Australian totems and make your own animal mask to take home at the Aboriginal animal totem craft on Level 2.
• Explore our wild planet in Surviving Australia and get up close and personal to some of our native Australian wildlife –snakes, baby crocodiles, lizards and skinks.
• Meet some legendary Australian creepy crawlies in Search and Discover.
• Discover Australia’s unique and abundant bird life in the Birds and Insects gallery.
• Budding palaeontologists can complete their museum expedition with a visit to the Dinosaurs gallery where they can touch 100 million year old dinosaur fossils.
• Come face to face with the Museum’s very own Muttaburrasaurus dinosaur, Winny-saur.
• Find out about Winny’s busy life at the Museum, as well as what life was like for Australian dinosaurs that lived millions of years ago, then have your photo taken with Winny-saur.
• As well as nurturing young imaginations, Australian Museum will also look after young tummies. The new cafe on Level 4 will offer healthy hearty food and drinks along with stunning views over the city for the whole family.

GALLERIES AND EXHIBITIONS OPEN FOR ALL VISITORS:

WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR
A stunning image of a bluebottle is among the 100 award-winning images of wildlife and nature that showcase the diversity and wonder of the natural world. Captured by Matthew Smith from Stanwell Park, NSW – one of two Australian photographers honoured in the international competition – the image encapsulates so many elements that demonstrate artistic and technical skill. UNTIL 5 OCTOBER, 2015.

SURVIVING AUSTRALIA GALLERY
How much do you know about the beautiful and bizarre animals that call Australia home? The Surviving Australia gallery reveals stories of Australia’s animal inhabitants and tales of their adaptation and survival over millions of years of changing climate and landscape. Investigate the strategies used by Australia’s most dangerous creatures to hunt, catch and kill their prey. Learn to recognise a Blue-ringed Octopus; see an Irukandji Jellyfish; name the ten most venomous snakes in the world; and, discover which sharks to avoid!

DINOSAURS GALLERY
Using digital age technology to bring a 230 million year old story to life, visitors can see, hear, touch and, even smell, the world of dinosaurs. With th 10 complete skeletons, eight life-sized models and high tech interactive displays come in and experience the wonders of the Meseozoic world. The dinosaurs gallery includes a palaeontology lab area where you can follow the journey of Centrosaurus fossils.

FIRST AUSTRALIANS GALLERIES
Families and children will be the first to see the new contemporary Indigenous exhibition, Bayala Nura (Yarning Country) in our newly refurbished First Australians galleries. Drawing upon the shared diversity of Indigenous Australians and Torres Strait Islanders, the new exhibition Bayala Nura (Yarning Country) complements the recently opened exhibition, Garrigarrang (Sea Country). The exhibitions are the first at the Australian Museum to tell Indigenous stories in their own words, from their own perspectives and in their own voices.

PACIFIC SPIRIT GALLERY
The new gallery, Pacific Spirit invites visitors to experience the colour, culture and artistry of one of the world’s most diverse regions: the Pacific. Many of the objects on display are extremely rare and include 23 elaborate and sacred Malagan masks from PNG dating from the 1800s, towering ceremonial poles from New Ireland, intricately carved door panels from New Zealand; Bird of Paradise head ornaments from the highlands of Papua New Guinea; Kava bowls and drums from Samoa; towering slit drums from Vanuatu; and delicate jewellery from Fiji. Visitors will discover how each object embodies the culture that continues to resonate in contemporary Pacific societies, including here in Sydney.

BIRDS AND INSECTS GALLERY
Did you know that birds are modern dinosaurs? Just like their prehistoric cousins they have fused collarbones, (wishbones) and most have four toes. The Birds Gallery looks at their evolutionary success.
Like it or not, we’re surrounded by creepy-crawlies; in our homes, in our beds, even on our bodies. The Australian Museum is home to over 6million Peer insdie an ant’s nest, look underground with a giant cockroach or examine a rainbow of butterflies in the Museum’s insect exhibitions.


Ms Jen Cork , Senior Digital Producer
Phone: +612 9320 6451
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