Philanthropists Make Record Donation to Victorian Museum
4 August 2015 at 12:00 pm
One of Australia’s most prominent philanthropic families has made the largest ever individual gift to Museum Victoria.
The $1 million donation from Gandel Philanthropy, the private family foundation established by John Gandel and his wife Pauline, will be used to develop the new Children’s Gallery.
Minister for Creative Industries, Martin Foley, launched the project this week, which, when completed in December next year, will be named The Pauline Gandel Children’s Gallery in recognition of Mrs Gandel.
Museum Victoria CEO Dr Patrick Greene said it was important to acknowledge the contribution of the Gandels to the people of Victoria.
“Together with Victorian Government funding this partnership with Gandel Philanthropy enables us to develop a world-first exhibition gallery dedicated to fostering learning and creativity in children from birth to five-years-old,” Dr Greene said.
“Museum Victoria has consulted widely with early childhood educators and specialists, playground designers and health professionals to create a unique and innovative space that will focus on play-based learning."
The redeveloped Gallery will feature a Dinosaur Dig where children can “excavate” fossils, a Discovery Garden, museum objects and an immersive Camouflage Disco where they can turn into spotty and stripey zoological specimens.
Dr Greene said the opening of The Pauline Gandel Children’s Gallery in December 2016 was timely.
“This coincides with the 100 year anniversary of the first Children’s Gallery opening its doors at what was then the National Museum of Victoria," he said.
“Museum Victoria has had a successful and established tradition of providing access to young visitors for a century and we are excited about the experiences we are developing for the spaces in the new Gallery."
Pauline Gandel said she hoped visitors and their children would embrace the new gallery.
“Children are our future. The rich and varied experiences that they will encounter in the new Children’s Gallery will no doubt help them grow and develop into inquisitive, informed and creative people," Gandel said.
“I am very pleased to know that they will be exposed to a unique world of play and fun in a way that will help them learn, and hopefully say to their parents ‘I want to come to the children’s gallery again.'"
The Victorian Government provided a further $18 million over four years in the 2015-16 Budget to help fund exhibition renewal at all Museum Victoria’s venues, which include Melbourne Museum, Scienceworks and the Immigration Museum.