Our History

Since its inception, the Foundation for the WA Museum has harnessed corporate support for a significant number of major WA Museum projects.

Highlights include:

  • Marine biology survey, collection research and Kimberley research projects supported by Woodside
  • Operation Bigfood and Project Leo, supported by Rio Tinto
  • Wungong Project and cockatoo research supported by Water Corporation
  • Bundera Sinkhole research supported by the Department of Defence
  • Alcoa FrogWatch
  • Museum in a Container, supported by Quadrant
  • WA Maritime Museum Shell Ocean Experience Theatre


1995 Founded as the Western Australian Museum Foundation.
First staff member appointed. Prior to this, staff was shared with the Perth Theatre Trust.
Secured Kailis Family as Naming Rights Partner of the WA Maritime Museum’s Boardroom.
Secured North West Shelf Shipping as Naming Rights Partner for the WA Maritime Museum Theatre. Partnership renewed in 2010, 2015 and 2020.
Discovery Endowment Fund established with a FMG share donation from Nicola and Andrew Forrest.
Supported a project to investigate, photograph and film the World War II wrecks of HMAS Sydney (II) and HSK Kormoran. 
Secured Woodside as Naming Rights Partner for the WA Maritime Museum WA Down Under Gallery. New wet stores at the WA Museum Collections and Research Centre named in honour of Harry Butler and his bequest to the WA Museum. 
Heavily involved in harnessing corporate and philanthropic support for the new WA Museum Boola Bardip, with major partnerships signed with Woodside, Tianqi Lithium, Stan Perron Charitable Foundation, Rio Tinto, Wesfarmers and Water Corporation. 
Established as an independent not-for-profit entity named “Foundation for the WA Museum”, with focus on growing the principal of its Discovery Endowment Fund. Took on management of the Brig Amity refurbishment in Albany.
Commenced issuing Minderoo Grants to the WA Museum to fund low cost, high impact projects across the museum. 
First year as official producer of the science communication competition FameLab Australia.
First international exhibition – Dinosaurs of Patagonia - supported by the Foundation’s International Exhibition Fund Donors. 
First significant annual grant issued to WA Museum as part of the newly established regular annual grant distribution, which funded the WA Museum’s purchase of the Red Rock Art Collection and Archive.

Marine Sustainability Fund established.