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We believe that Western Australia stands as an extraordinary and globally iconic cultural location. It is a place in constant evolution which harnesses the imagination with spectacular and diverse natural attractions which inspire and transform everyone it touches.

We don’t simply assist to preserve the past. We work to define and advance our social and scientific heritage, both in Western Australia and on the world stage, now and for future generations.

We are the Foundation for the Museum of Western Australia.

Latest News

2019 FameLab Australia

Thirteen of the country’s best scientific minds entertained a captivated audience at the State Theatre Centre on Wednesday 8 May 2019 for the National Final of FameLab Australia 2019. The winner, Dr Paola Magni from Murdoch University, presented on Crimes, Critters & Clues and depicted a very informative, entertaining and meaningful interpretation of how a crime scene can be reconstructed to identify how marine critters can often be the first witnesses and how her research can help establish place and time of death! Paola will travel to the Cheltenham Science Festival to be held in the UK in June to compete at the FameLab International Final against other national finalists from around the world. She is the third female scientist in a row to win the National FameLab title (2017-2019) and represent Australia at Cheltenham.

Produced by the Foundation for the WA Museum in conjunction with International Partner, the British Council and Creative Partner Cheltenham Science Festival, the competition finds and mentors young STEM – science, technology, engineering, and mathematics – researchers, with a knack for communication, to share their stories with the world.

Jenny Allen, CEO, Foundation for the WA Museum was thrilled with the standard of creativity, research projects and presentation skills. “FameLab is unique in that it fosters serious and important scientific work introducing it to the world in a fun and informal way. 

“The winner, Dr Paola Magni, is in a position to make a real impact on forensic investigations of the future – we can all be proud that this initiative was created in Perth, by a woman, who will now represent Australia against the rest of the world.  I would like to personally congratulate Paola, along with Runner-Up Hayley and the rest of the finalists – they are the future of science”. 

Barry Marshall, Perth’s very own Nobel Laureate, Steven Tingay, distinguished astrophysicist and Director of the British Council in Australia and Executive Director of the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research and British Council Director Australia, Helen Salmon, were tasked with deciding who should be invited to move forward to the International Final. Their job was hard, but they were unanimous in their decision that Paola would represent Australia: she was also a very popular Audience Choice winner being voted most impressive by the 600+ strong audience.

Armed with only their wits and a few props, the thirteen brilliant researchers from around Australia took to the stage to deliver short and sharp tales of their work without the use of PowerPoint and scientific jargon: the whole contest was live-streamed on Australia’s Science Channel and acclaimed astrophysicist and science communicator Professor Alan Duffy hosted the prestigious event.

Runner-up, Hayley Teasdale from the University of New South Wales Canberra, described how she had created and patented The ball to prevent falls. Based on a piece of handheld technology which delivers real time spatial information, she is now able to assist in the rehabilitation of Parkinson’s disease symptoms. 

Supporting Australian science, FameLab helps researchers become storytellers and advocates where they have the opportunity to be playful and put an entertainment spin on their research presentations.


FameLab® is a competition owned and created by Cheltenham Festivals in the UK. The British Council has license to deliver the competition in over 30 countries overseas. Since its birth at the Festival in 2005, FameLab has grown into the world’s leading science communication competition. A partnership with the British Council since 2007 has seen the competition go global with more than 9000 young scientist and engineers participating to date.

The British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. They work with over 100 countries in the fields of arts and culture, English language, education, and civil society. Last year they reached over 65 million people directly and 731 million people overall including online, broadcasts and publications. They make a positive contribution to the countries they work with – changing lives by creating opportunities, building connections and engendering trust.

The Foundation for the WA Museum

The Foundation for the Western Australian Museum is the producer for FameLab Australia. The Foundation has been committed to securing the future of our state heritage since 1995. Our role is to cultivate and develop relationships with individuals, organisations, and community groups who understand the critical role that museums play in society to create a thriving WA Museum. We assist in delivering engaging community and educational programs, support ground-breaking scientific research and discovery, source funding for touring exhibitions, and acquire new items for our State’s collection.



WINNER Dr Paola Magni, Murdoch University – Crimes, Critters & Clues. A crime scene investigator’s job is to reconstruct the events of crime and identify the culprit, where insects, crustaceans, molluscs, microorganisms and plants were the first witnesses!


RUNNER-UP Hayley Teasdale, University of Canberra – The ball to prevent falls. Find out how a piece of handheld technology is delivering real time spatial information helping in the rehabilitation of Parkinson’s disease symptoms.


Amanda Tauber, Bond University – Slamming the breaks on metastatic cancer. In metastasis, cancer cells break away from where they first formed travel through the blood or lymph system. New research in medicinal chemistry is looking to slow the growth of these cells to improve our ability to tackle the disease.


Thimo Ruethers, James Cook University – The deadly danger of crocs on the plate. How do we tackle the problem of fish allergies with thousands of different fish varieties, and what can eating crocodiles or other reptiles teach us?


Catriona Nguyen-Robertson, The Doherty Institute, University of Melbourne – Exercise can take your immune system for a ride. We all know exercise is good for us…or that’s what we think. New research is tracks immune cells after exercise to look for changes in their function, making sure we don’t push our immune system to the point where it cannot cope.


Dr Dwan Price, Deakin University – Nuts and Guts. Nationally, 3.9 million Australians avoid foods due to allergy and intolerances. Researching the effects that peanut allergens have on gut leakiness and the routes peanut allergens take to cross the intestine could help people suffering from peanut intolerances.


Sathana Dushyanthen, University of Melbourne – The double-edged sword. Cancer is a constant battle between good versus evil. Certain immune cells possess the ability to penetrate into tumours locating these call villains. A new drug is out to attack and destroy.


Samuel Bladwell, University of New South Wales – A new spin on electronics. What does watching Rafael Nadal smash a topspin forehand at the Australian open have in common with the spin of the electron and fundamental quantum mechanical properties?


Dilan Seckiner, University of Technology Sydney – Forensic gait analysis: morphometric body assessment with associated CCTV image quantification. Surveillance cameras are become an important tool for minimising crime, but what if you can recognise a face? New research uses footage to analyse a person’s gait for identification.


Hossein Tavassoli, University of New South Wales – Mending the broken hearts using micro and nanotechnology. Understanding the interactions of different cells in the heart can provide insights into the development of new methods of heart repair through the use of 3D-printing and microfabrication technology.


Rebecca Wellard, Curtin University – Eavesdropping on killer whales. The transient and mobile nature of killer whales makes them difficult to study by traditional method. Using passive acoustic monitoring to focus on how different killer whales sound and what makes them unique – a way to eavesdrop on the ocean’s secrets!


Kit Prendergast, Curtin University – Flowers to keep the native bees buzzing. Investigating native bees in the ‘burbs’ of the biodiversity hot-spot of southwest WA. How do we protect native bees?



Etienne Rastoin-Laplane, Curtin University – What’s fishy about the Galapagos? Underwater video footage analysed to provide the crucial insights needed to bring about the long-awaited changes in the fisheries management of the Galapagos Marine Reserve. Ensuring long term conservation and avoiding the pitfalls of an iconic tourist destination.



Thank you to our valued Partners

Foundation for the WA Museum welcomes new partner DFO

The Foundation for the WA Museum is very excited to announce a new partnership with DFO Perth. Since opening to great aplomb in October last year, DFO offers customers a premium outlet shopping experience.

DFO, by association with the Foundation for the WA Museum, and the WA Museum, is Principal Partner of the Kylie On Stage exhibition which opened at the WA Maritime Museum in Fremantle last month and which runs until mid-June 2019. Sharing strong values and a genuine commitment to positively impacting the community, the partnership is a perfect fit for the Foundation and the Museum, and we hope, is the first of a long and fruitful alliance.

DFO Perth boasts 113 specialty stores including international designers, premium apparel, mainstream fashion, lifestyle and homewares at up to 70% off, all year round. With 24,000 square metres of modern retail space and a contemporary food offering, playground facilities and parking for more than 1,500 cars, it is a space for the whole family to enjoy.

DFO Perth Centre Manager Leanne Smith said the centre was a unique offering within the Perth market.

“We opened in October 2018 with a number of premium brands first to market in Western Australia, all at up to 70 per cent off,” Leanne said.

“We’re pleased to be able to offer such phenomenal value on the best brands to West Australians every day of the week.

“The DFO brand is iconic in retail and we are really excited to partner with the Foundation and the WA Museum to bring some of music’s most iconic costumes and stories to WA with the Kylie On Stage exhibition.”

Mandurah Crab Fest

The Channel Seven Mandurah Crab Fest is Western Australia’s largest free community event. Celebrating culture, lifestyle, food and of course the native Blue Swimmer Crab, the Mandurah Crab Fest is an annual must-do experience. Held over the weekend of 16 & 17 March, you will once again find the WA Museum at Crab Fest 2019! With the support of the Foundation for the WA Museum, the Museum in a Container, proudly supported by Santos will be open from 10am to 6pm!

The WA Museum is providing audiences with a wide range of offsite Museum experiences while the New Museum in the Perth Cultural Centre is under construction. During the Crab Fest weekend, the Museum in a Container will engage audiences in a variety of activities:

Find out about the Blue Swimmer Crab
Learn about the Museum’s research into WA’s amazing marine diversity
Talk to Aquatic Zoology curators who will answer all your crustacean questions and tell you about some fascinating specimens
Watch live taxidermy demonstrations and crab dissections
Create your own fish or crab and add it to our interactive aquarium