History of Museum Members
Australian Museum Members began as 'The Australian Museum Society'.
Australian Museum Members began as 'The Australian Museum Society'. It was announced within 'The Australian Newspaper' of 26 February 1972 in an article headlining 'A Plan to Put People in Museums'
"... A trendy new wind is blowing past the Tyrannosaurus Rex and the Megaterium at the Australian Museum. On March 22, foundation members of The Australian Museum Society (TAMS) will stand beneath the Museum foyer's well-loved sperm whale skeleton and toast their future success from two, 18-gallon kegs of champagne."
At this time the Museum's director, Dr Frank Talbot, was quoted in The Sydney Morning Herald, stating
"... The Museum is to give the public what it wants ... The Society will organise lectures, seminars, field trips, excursions, previews of exhibitions, luncheon talks and concerts for its members ..."
Here, Dr Talbot requested Carol Serventy to chair the first interim planning committe which she launched with 5,000 letters of invitation.
The Opening Celebrations
The inaugural night of The Australian Museum Society was held that March, along with an exhibition preview and a talk by the Museum's Dr Jim Specht. This was followed by the Assistant Curator of Fossils, Dr Alex Ritchie, who gave the first Members lecture. Soon after, the first official Members event was held, The Chusan Ball. This was Sydney's second Chusan Ball exactly 120 years after the first (which was also held at the Museum in 1852). The original ball celebrated the first regular mail service from Britain and so was named after the P&O steamship of the day.
Changing our Image
Over the years, the image and the reputation of The Australian Museum Society has remained strong as we have progressed through some major transformations. At the beginning of 2006 we evolved once more to move with the times and changed from 'The Australian Museum Society (TAMS)' to 'Australian Museum Members'.
Along with the name change, we created a new magazine, Explore which showcases some of the Museum's scientific research, along with special activities for Members.
Kate Murray , Executive Officer