Our corporate partners: Westpac

Australia’s first bank partners with Australia’s first museum

Kim McKay AO, Australian Museum, and Brian Hartzer, Westpac

Kim McKay AO, Australian Museum, and Brian Hartzer, Westpac
Photographer: Peter Blakeman – Diimex © Australian Museum

The Australian Museum (AM) has partnered with Westpac to showcase treasures from the AM’s collection, along with plans to restore the nation’s first museum gallery, the Long Gallery.

The $9 million project is jointly funded by Westpac, the NSW Government and the AM’s own philanthropic efforts. It includes the heritage restoration of the gallery, scheduled to open in 2017 when it will be renamed the Westpac Long Gallery. This will coincide with Westpac’s 200 year and the AM’s 190 year anniversaries.

The Westpac Long Gallery will be home to 200 Treasures of the Australian Museum and reveal the greatest showcase of the region’s history, people and cultures to the world. Treasures on display will include the rare and beautiful Kalani’opu’u cape collected by Captain Cook, the complete specimen of a thylacine pup and Australia’s first bank note, on loan from Westpac Group. Originally issued by the Bank of New South Wales (now Westpac) when it opened in April 1817, this note was integral to establishing the foundations of the Australian economy. There were no local bank notes in circulation in the colony before the Bank of NSW was established in 1817 and the issue of currency – guaranteed legal tender – represented stability and uniformity.

This historic partnership will enable current and future generations to discover the history of our nation and our region.

Alice Gage
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