Western Australia’s new $400 million museum, now known as WA Museum Boola Bardip, officially opened today in the Perth Cultural Centre with thousands of Western Australians being introduced to the incredible exhibitions, experiences and stories on display in the spectacular new building.
Boola Bardip means ‘many stories’ in Whadjuk Noongar language. WA Museum Boola Bardip has been developed with a ‘People First’ approach, and its content and experiences have been informed by four Community Panels, the WA Museum Aboriginal Advisory Committee, the Whadjuk Content Working Group, and direct engagement with more than 54,000 people across WA.
As well as its Aboriginal cultural materials gallery Ngalang Koort Booja Wirn, the Museum features the stories and perspectives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples throughout.
The opening ceremony was held this morning with Western Australian Premier Mark McGowan and Culture and the Arts Minister David Templeman opening the doors to the public for the first time. They were accompanied by hundreds of lucky ticketholders who were randomly selected by public ballot, to be the first visitors through the doors.
About 7,500 people will spend about two hours each in the Museum today, enjoying the amazing new displays, looking for favourite objects, and learning more about WA’s extraordinary people and places, and their place in the world.
Designed and built by Managing Contractor Multiplex and international architectural consortium Hassell + OMA, WA Museum Boola Bardip integrates five renovated and revitalised heritage buildings with a spectacular new building, creating eight new permanent exhibition galleries, a 1,000metre2 special exhibition gallery, life-long learning studios, and retail, café and public spaces.
WA Museum Boola Bardip is among six national finalists for the 2020 Australian Construction Achievement Award, which showcases world-class solutions and excellence in construction projects. It won three awards at the WA Master Builders Bankwest Excellence in Construction Awards 2020, including Best Government Building over $100 million; Best Historic Restoration or Renovation over $100 million; and Best Public Use Building over $100 million.
General admission to WA Museum Boola Bardip is free for everyone for the first 18 months, while admission for children under 15 years will always be free.
WA Premier Mark McGowan noted “The new WA Museum Boola Bardip is simply spectacular. I have no doubt Western Australians will be blown away by its stunning architecture and fascinating exhibits.
“It is a world-class museum by any standard, and one that we can all be proud of. This is a public museum, built by Western Australians, for Western Australians, to share the extraordinary stories of this great State.
“The stunning, $400 million redevelopment of the Museum precinct in the Perth Cultural Centre will have significant social and economic benefits for all Western Australians.
“It will play a critical role in strategically positioning Perth as a centre for cultural excellence, and showcase Western Australia as an exciting and unique tourism destination.
Premier Mark McGowan added “I congratulate everyone involved in creating this extraordinary museum that I know will delight generations of Western Australians to come.”
WA Culture and the Arts Minister David Templeman noted “The new WA Museum Boola Bardip will play a vital role in our community as a vibrant centre of inspiration, learning and enjoyment for people of all ages.
“The name ‘Boola Bardip’ acknowledges that the Museum sits on Whadjuk Noongar land. It honours the cultural heritage of Australia’s First Peoples, and it reflects the shared cultural heritage of the 2.65 million people who call WA home.
“From the Museum’s genesis back in 1891 as a Geological Museum, through to the extraordinary achievement of today’s opening, I am thrilled the Museum is once again delighting visitors at the same place it has always stood, with the precinct’s five heritage buildings magnificently renovated and repurposed for a new era.”
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