Gandel Foundation partners with National Museum in multimillion dollar initiative

National Defining Moments Digital Classroom

Prominent Australian philanthropists John Gandel AC and Pauline Gandel have donated $1.5 million in a partnership with the National Museum of Australia, Canberra to support an unprecedented $6.5 million Defining Moments Digital Classroom initiative to take Australian history into classrooms nationwide.

The National Museum’s headline Defining Moments project explores key moments which have shaped Australian culture and identity. The revolutionary Defining Moments Digital Classroom will allow students to explore this history via interactive smart boards, iPads, videos, virtual tours, 3D scans and trivia quizzes.

Gandel Foundation has generously contributed $1.5 million to the initiative, in addition to the funding from the National Museum and the Federal Government. In acknowledgement of this gift the National Museum’s Main Hall is being relaunched as the Gandel Atrium. The gift from Gandel Foundation has also assisted with the acquisition of a contemporary aerial sculpture Bogong Moth by acclaimed Victorian based Indigenous artist, Reko Rennie. The neon coloured artwork is suspended from the Atrium dome.

This is the largest philanthropic gift the National Museum has ever received and it is the first time the National Museum has instituted naming rights in acknowledgement of a gift.

National Museum chair, David Jones, thanked the Gandels for their significant gift and their passion for the Defining Moments Digital Classroom, which will provide every Australian student with the opportunity to access and explore pivotal moments and objects from Australia’s past.

“Gandel Foundation’s vision and far-sighted investment in the understanding of Australian history underpins the Defining Moments Digital Classroom, which will enable the National Museum to build a world class interactive educational resource for teachers and students nationally,” said Mr Jones.

National Museum director, Dr Mathew Trinca, said that the support of John and Pauline Gandel was critical to ensuring this project became a reality.

“The Defining Moments Digital Classroom is a classroom of the future: it will empower teachers with information at their fingertips, while at the same time inspiring young people to embrace history and engage with the nation’s story in new and innovative ways,” said Dr Trinca.

We are proud to support the NMA’s initiative to deliver history and culture through this transformative, national education program. The Defining Moments Digital Classroom will connect children in every corner of Australia with our shared past, inspiring their future endeavours,” said John Gandel AC and Pauline Gandel.

The Defining Moments Digital Classroom will be aligned to the national curriculum, tailored to year groups and made accessible to classrooms nationally FORM 2020.

The initiative is the first nationally comprehensive digital resource that provides custom-designed versatile Australian history lessons plans to classrooms across the country.