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Auckland Museum wins inaugural Rainbow Excellence Award

Auckland Museum has initiated a number of ways to make a difference for the LGBTI+ community, and have been awarded the Supreme Winner of the New Zealand Rainbow Excellence Awards.

Words: Lara Wyatt

On 17 May 2019 at SKYCITY Auckland Convention Centre the inaugural Rainbow Excellence Awards were held. They’ve been created to celebrate workplace leadership, innovation, best practice and collaboration, as well as to mark five years of the Rainbow Tick.

At this year’s awards, the Supreme Winner was recognised as Auckland Museum. Here’s an example as to why they’ve received this recognition.

Auckland Museum’s new Tāmaki Stories Gallery will share the diverse stories of the people and places within Tāmaki Makaurau. Through their Diversity and Action Plan it’s ensured the new gallery will tell the stories of the Rainbow Community to reflect it as one of the many different communities of belonging that make up Tāmaki Makaurau.

Auckland Museum’s Pride Group was consulted on the inclusion of the Rainbow Community elements, and gave feedback that the gallery could be more representative by telling the story of marriage equality in New Zealand. MP Louisa Wall’s coat that she wore on the day that her Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Bill was passed will showcase in the gallery. In the lead up to Tāmaki Stories the museum has been working to collect more objects generally, which tell LBGTI+ stories and they will now be a part of their permanent collection.

Other initiatives that Auckland Museum was recognised for include:

  • Being the first cultural institution in New Zealand to achieve Rainbow Tick accreditation.
  • The museum is lit annually as a symbol of support for the Rainbow Community.
  • There are now non-gendered toilets for employees and visitors.
  • They formally created a Rainbow Museum’s Network across Auckland Museum, the NZ Maritime Museum, Auckland Art Gallery, MOTAT and Stardome. This saw the organisations march together at the 2018 Pride Parade and this year join together in a Pride BBQ.
  • The Museum will be seeking to create a nationwide Rainbow Museum’s network at the upcoming Museums Aotearoa Conference.

Supporting the awards, three Auckland landmarks will be lit up on the evening of 17 May: Auckland Harbour Bridge, Auckland Museum and Sky Tower.

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