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Goal 4: Invest in People and Resources

  1. Value, support and invest in our people to create a highly-regarded and welcoming culture.
  2. Strengthen the Gallery’s financial resilience through further development of non- government income streams.
  3. Maintain the iconic Gallery building and its integrity.
  4. Explore the feasibility of extending the Gallery building.
  5. Commit to diversity, accessibility, safety and wellbeing.


source: National Portrait Gallery of Australia Corporate Plan 2019-20

Planned versus reactive maintenance undertaken: target 75%/25% outcome 89%/11%

Delivery of endorsed capital works program: target n/a, outcome $3.317 million in capital works projects delivered against a $3.550 million endorsed program.

Comply with legislation relevant to public art museums: target 100% outcome 100%

Staffing budget to ongoing professional development of staff: target 1% outcome 1%

Grow own source revenue achieved in licensing and venue hire: target $350,000 outcome $207,197


Financial resilience

The Gallery continued to focus on growing its non-government revenue from activities such as exhibition tickets, memberships, partnerships, publication sales and venue hire. The Foundation received donations and donated artwork in 2019- 20 at $637,093 and $185,500.

Create an empowered workforce and supportive internal culture

The Gallery’s Board and management are committed to creating a safe, productive and collaborative work environment, which encourages individual development and learning, supporting the achievement of the Gallery’s stated vision and mission.

Gallery staff are employed under the Public Service Act 1999, with remuneration and conditions set out in the Gallery’s Designated Enterprise Agreement 2017-20. A Determination providing employees with salary increases for the next three years under the terms of the Enterprise Agreement 2017-20 was signed by the Gallery Director on 22 June 2020.

The staff social club continues to support a collaborative, team-building environment in the Gallery, by providing raffles, lunches, and the end-of-year party.

Learning and development

The Gallery expended approximately one per cent of its payroll on the provision of staff training, a figure in line with the National Portrait Gallery’s Corporate Plan 2019-20.

Once again, the Gallery renewed its agreement with the Australian Government Department of Education, Skills, and Employment, offering access to Learnhub, an online learning management system providing employees with access to online training via Lynda.com, Skillsoft and GoodPractice, along with standard Government training courses. Work, health and safety training was offered to all employees including covid-19 specific training through the Government Department of Health website as well as industry-specific development opportunities.

Performance management

All Gallery employees, including casuals, are subject to the Gallery’s performance management system – Workplace Conversation. The ‘no- surprises’ based system consists of formal performance discussions between employees and their managers at least once every six months.

Performance management provides a means of systematically improving Gallery outcomes by linking team and organisational objectives and results. Discussing, setting and assessing individual goals and performance forms an important part of the performance framework.

The Gallery’s Performance Management framework also provides a means of recognising effective performance and managing underperformance. It helps to identify individual and group learning requirements, and future career pathways.

The Gallery is committed to conducting performance management with honesty and integrity and in accordance with principles of natural justice, transparency and fairness.

Consultative Committee

The establishment of the Consultative Committee is a condition of employment covered in the Gallery’s Enterprise Agreement 2017-2020. It exists to provide a consultative mechanism for employees, and a forum for work- related issues to be raised with management.

The Committee ensures the Gallery meets its obligations under the Public Service Act, 1999, to foster workplace relations that value communication, consultation and cooperation.

Volunteer program

The Gallery is fortunate to operate a small, professionally focused research collection library which is tightly aligned to the Gallery’s raison d’être of portraiture. The library is staffed by three voluntary art librarians who, between them, have 140 years of library and research experience.

Maintain and enhance our signature building

The Gallery has a Strategic Asset Management Plan (SAMP) to guide activities related to maintaining, preserving and upgrading the building and facility through its designed life. The SAMP works alongside the 40-year Lifecycle Plan to ensure that key building elements are maintained and upgraded, aligning with original manufacturer’s specifications and the designed life of individual assets.

Asset management

The Gallery’s computerised asset management system, MEX, records all scheduled and reactive maintenance to the building’s infrastructure, as well as Capital Works. MEX enables monitoring of contractor responsiveness to work orders in terms of cost, number of work orders processed and the timeliness of each service provider’s delivery. Scheduled maintenance of the Gallery’s plant and equipment is overseen by Gallery staff, with all works undertaken through outsourced maintenance contracts in various disciplines.

These include mechanical and fire; electrical and audio visual; and lifts, security system and landscaping.

Delivery of endorsed capital works program

The Gallery’s capital works program is determined by the requirements of the 40 Year Lifecycle Plan and is ratified by the Board. All works in the 40 Year Lifecycle Plan are reviewed periodically to ensure the appropriate allocation of funds to those projects deemed to be of the highest priority or risk. All projects undertaken meet the compliance requirements of the Building Code of Australia and any other applicable statutory requirements, and always abide by principles of ecologically sustainable development.

In 2019-20 approved capital works undertaken included:

  • Mechanical upgrades: Upgrade of the reverse osmosis water system used for the humidification system and AHU valve set replacement;
  • Digital signage: Installation of a video wall for use within the Gordon Darling Hall;
  • Hydraulic: Café drainage upgrade;
  • Passenger lifts: Lift cars where upgraded with new doors to allow for better access when transporting equipment;
  • Roof membrane: Installation of new PVC membrane above the Gallery spaces;
  • Roof flashing: Installation of new seals and window flashings above the clerestory window throughout the building; and
  • Car park pedestrian access: Removal of concrete islands and installations of new drainage system.

Comply with all relevant legislative requirements

Relevant legislative requirements not discussed elsewhere in the report include:

  • Protective Security Policy Framework (PSPF): the Gallery maintains substantive compliance with government mandated PSPF; and
  • Building Code of Australia (BCA): all capital projects undertaken complied with the current Building Code of Australia requirements.