The Western Australian Museum is the state museum for Western Australia. It has six main sites: in Perth within the Perth Cultural Centre, two in Fremantle (Maritime and Shipwreck Galleries), and one each in Albany, Geraldton, and Kalgoorlie-Boulder. The Western Australian Museum is a statutory authority within the Culture and the Arts Portfolio, established under the Museum Act 1969.
Established in 1891 in the Old Perth Gaol, it was known as the Geological Museum and consisted of geological collections. In 1892 ethnological and biological exhibits were added, and in 1897 the museum officially became the Western Australian Museum and Art Gallery. During 1959 the botanical collection was transferred to the new Herbarium and the Museum and the Art Gallery became separate institutions. The museum focussed its collecting and research interests in the areas of natural sciences, anthropology, archaeology and in Western Australia's history. Over the 1960s and 1970s it also began to work in the then emerging areas of historic shipwrecks and Aboriginal site management.
Permanent exhibitions on display at the Western Australian Museum - Perth include:
WA Land and People: This exhibition tells the story of Western Australia from the prehistoric times of dinosaurs, to indigenous beginnings, and through to the environmental issues of the present day.
Diamonds to Dinosaurs: An exhibition exploring 12 billion years of WA's history, featuring specimens such rocks from the Moon and Mars, pre-solar diamonds and dinosaur skeleton casts.
Katta Djinoong: This exhibition depicts the history and culture of the Aboriginal peoples of Western Australia from past to present.
Dampier Marine Gallery: This exhibition explores the biodiversity of the waters around the Dampier Archipelago.
Mammal, Bird and Butterfly Galleries: These galleries contain extensive collections of various animals.
The Western Australian Museum — Perth also features the Discovery Centre, designed to help children and adults interact and learn about the Museum's collections and research.
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