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The functions of the Australian National Maritime Museum (ANMM) are set out in section 6 of the Australian National Maritime Museum Act 1990.

The ANMM is responsible for leading the promotion and conservation of Australia’s maritime heritage and culture. This is done through developing and sharing its collections, knowledge and expertise; motivating learning through research, educational programs and products; supporting community participation to retain Australia’s maritime heritage; and exploring contemporary issues of public interest and maritime relevance.

Our purpose is increased knowledge, appreciation and enjoyment of Australia’s maritime heritage by managing the National Maritime Collection and staging programs, exhibitions and events.

This purpose is elaborated in our Corporate Plan for 2018–2022 as follows:

  • develop, preserve and showcase collections to expand our knowledge of, and expertise in, maritime heritage and to share it with the Australian public and the world;
  • understand our audiences and communities, support their aspirations to express and protect their heritage, and include them in decisions about museum programs;
  • partner with communities, educational institutions, other museums and researchers to create and share knowledge about our maritime heritage and ongoing interaction with the sea and waterways;
  • identify and capitalise on entrepreneurial, media and marketing opportunities to drive a sustainable financial future;
  • collaborate with Indigenous communities and organisations to protect and promote their cultural heritage and to increase Indigenous participation in the museum’s activities;
  • work collaboratively with partners to increase our influence in decision making, deliver results to communities across the nation, and promote ourselves internationally; and
  • implement best-practice governance and continue to meet our budget.