SUSTAINABILITY: ORGANISATIONS WITH PAID STAFF
WINNER: Qantas Founders Museum for Powering on Sustainably
Five years ago, Qantas Founders Museum in Longreach recognised that the issue of sustainability was crucial on a number of levels. There was an overarching need to protect and preserve the Museum’s exhibits, but also a general concern for the environment and a recognition that one of the major costs to the Museum each year was power, which had the potential to threaten its financial sustainability.
A decision was made to convert, as much as possible, to solar power and LED lighting as a staged process. Most directly and urgently, the Museum’s 1959 Boeing 707, the first civil jet registered in Australia and a highly significant collection object, needed protection because of the ‘VIP’ treatment of timber and leather used extensively throughout the interior. A major challenge for the Museum was getting these new power sources inside the aircraft without causing any damage to the structure.
Qantas Founders Museum was the first establishment of its kind in western Queensland to adopt solar power and LED lighting. The project was planned in stages to enable the Museum to ‘feel’ its way into the new technologies and to ensure that all expenses were kept within operating budgets. Expert advice was obtained for each step and grants assisted with the cost of installing the Stage 2 LED lighting.
The project has delivered greater certainty to the well-being of the Museum’s existing collection, while significantly reducing power and maintenance costs, and Museum staff have developed a greater understanding of solar and LED technologies.