The highly anticipated WA Museum Boola Bardip officially opened over the weekend, with thousands of Western Australians getting their first taste of the incredible exhibitions, experiences and stories on display in the spectacular new building.
The opening ceremony was held on Saturday morning with 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 lucky ticketholders who were randomly selected by public ballot, to be the first visitors through the doors.
Approximately 7,500 people got to spend about two hours each in the Museum on Saturday, 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. The nine-day opening festival is expected to attract tens of thousands of visitors.
Boola Bardip means ‘many stories’ in Noongar language. The name Boola Bardip was selected in consultation with the WA Museum Aboriginal Advisory Committee and the museum’s Whadjuk Content Working Group. It was translated and approved by the Noongar Boodjar Aboriginal Language Centre.
The museum has been developed with a ‘people first’ approach, and features the voices of Western Australians sharing their stories.
It is a museum about WA – about its people, places and relationship with the world. It is a gateway to the State, giving visitors a taste of everything WA has to offer.
More than 50,000 people from across WA have contributed their thoughts to the development of Boola Bardip’s exhibitions, programs and stories.
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 1,000 square metre special exhibition gallery, life-long learning studios, and retail, café and public spaces.
WA Museum Boola Bardip is a $400 million Western Australian Government infrastructure project that created 3,300 jobs. It is among six national finalists for the 2020 Australian Construction Achievement Award, which showcases world-class solutions and excellence in construction projects.
It also 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.
Mr McGowan said 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,” he said.
“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.”
Premier McGowan said 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,” he said.
“This has been a major infrastructure project for the WA Government at a critical time in our economic history, creating 3,300 jobs and helping keep Western Australians employed during both a global economic downturn and a pandemic.”
“I congratulate everyone involved in creating this extraordinary museum that I know will delight generations of Western Australians to come.”
Culture and the Arts Minister, David Templeman, added that the new museum will play a vital role in the 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,” the Minister said.
“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.”