Freedom of information

State Records of South Australia provides an overview on Freedom of Information in South Australia. Under the Freedom of Information Act 1991, members of the public have a legal right to access documents held by the South Australian Museum (the Museum), subject to certain exemptions.

Structure and function

The Museum is dedicated to the conservation, study and appreciation of nature and culture for the benefit and enjoyment of current and future generations.

The Museum is governed by a Board with the strategic direction implemented by the Executive with support from the Department of the Premier and Cabinet.

Public impact and policy contribution

The Museum is committed to public engagement, and provides tours, programs, displays and exhibitions that foster lifelong curiosity. The Museum’s exhibitions, collections, programs and science research activities contribute to global understanding of human cultures and the natural world, as well as supporting life-long learning in the community.

The Board of the Museum is appointed by His Excellency the Governor, with members nominated and appointed from within the general public with the necessary skills or knowledge. This provides an avenue for public participation in policy formulation.

Documents held by the Museum

Through the management and implementation of the strategic direction, the Museum holds a range of documents which fall broadly into the categories of:

  • Collection Management: Documents relating to the acquisition, research, interpretation and preservation of objects and specimens.

  • Public Engagement:  Documents relating to the function of increasing knowledge and understanding of our natural and cultural heritage through education, exhibition, promotion, outreach and visitor services.

  • Administration: Documents relating to the preservation of our corporate memory such as policies, procedures and guidelines, minutes of meetings, and correspondence.

  • Governance: Documents relating to board minutes and papers.

  • Research: Documents relating to the function of communicating specialised scientific knowledge to the community and contributing to a better understanding of Indigenous cultural diversity, biodiversity and geological diversity. Includes the investigation, interpretation, analysis and presentation of Museum and collaborative research projects.

 Public access to agency documents

The Museum’s website provides a range of information regarding policies, operations and management.

State Records of South Australia provides information on making an FOI application.

Procedures of the agency

Any queries related to FOI at the Museum can be directed to:

Disclosure log

From 1 October 2017, State Government Agencies are required to publish on their website details and documents that have already been disclosed under the Freedom of Information Act 1991 that:

  • Are not related to the personal affairs of an individual;

  • Could not be claimed as exempt under Schedule 1 of the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act when publicly released; and

  • Could not be considered defamatory or a breach of confidentiality or reasonably be anticipated to cause harm to a person.

Please note that some determinations available for public access may have additional information removed. For example, information relating to the personal affairs of an applicant may be redacted, prior to public release.

Reference No.
Date of Determination: 25 May 2021
FOI Request: Access to the full necropsy report of a dolphin named 'Mariana'

Reference No.
Date of Determination: 9 February 2023
FOI Request: Access to copies of the SA Museum Board minutes for all meetings from 20 March 2022 to 16 January 2023

Reference No. SAM23-02
Date of Determination: 30 March 2023
FOI Request: Access to the Board Minutes, Agenda and papers for all meeting from 16 January to 28 February 2023

Reference No. SAM24-01
Date of Determination: 18 March 2024
FOI Request: Various documents relating to the South Australian Museum Board review of Research and Collections


Reference No. SAM24-02
Date of Determination: 18 March 2024
FOI Request:  Agendas and minutes of the South Australian Museum Board for all meetings from 1 March 2023 to 21 February 2024.

Reference No. SAM24-04
Date of Determination: 8 May 2024
FOI Request: Documents relating to the South Australian Museum Board review of Research and Collections.

Reference No.
Date of Determination: 16 May 2024
FOI Request: Correspondence between Museum senior executives and the Premier or the Minister of Arts between 01/09/2023 – 05/04/2024.

For a copy of the documents listed above please contact

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