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A Look Back on 2018, A Big Year For ENHM

Saturday, December 08, 2018

This year has been a year of firsts for the museum. Including receiving our first ever federal funding, more employees than ever before and opening our dinosaur dig up to the public for the first time. With the most exciting of all being the completion of our first fully prepared dinosaur, 'Cooper'. All of which have been major steps for getting us ready for moving into our next stage of development, with stage 2 tracking quickly there is a lot of excitement building within the people of the museum and the Outback in general. 

Activities and Employment

We began our 2018 tourist season by welcoming two new staff members to our team. The two new employees filled the positions of reception, tour guides and housekeepers for Cooper's Country Lodge. As we had our busiest year since opening, the two new female employees had their work cut out for them. 

Not only did we have the new staff we also saw an increase across all of our tours and experiences. The most exciting advancement this year was the opening of our dinosaur dig to the public for the first time. And we were overwhelmed with the response and had two great sets of participants over the two weeks. We are now planning and looking forward to next years dig, with positions still available. For bookings please check out our website. 


Although not the best of timing our first major media event for the year arose when the museum was asked by Outback Queensland Tourism Association (OQTA) and Tourism and Events Queensland (TEQ) to be ambassadors for Outback Queensland Tourism. The task ahead was for staff from ENHM to travel to the Gold Coast during the Commonwealth Games in April 2018 and appear on the popular Channel 7's morning news program Sunrise. This opportunity although exciting was as the common phrase would suggest a logistical nightmare. Travelling by air with a 1.9m long replicated leg bone and two smaller bones is not as easy as it may sound. As if the looks from people passing by were not enough we also had the issue getting in lifts and doors. Once arriving on set at Sunrise a protest kept us in limbo to where we were then notified that we would not be on the show due to disruptions. This was then reversed later in the evening when we were to participate again the following morning, same timeslot and routine. Sunrise was a great experience although the nerves were shot by the time we got on, we were very lucky to be on morning television on the Gold Coast. 

Fast Forward to the May Dinosaur Dig where National Geographic filmed the dig team, participants and museum staff for 5 days for a new documentary being released early next year titled, Only in Australia. Make sure to check it out when it is released. 

The year finished with a bang where we were featured across a variety of different media types from a two-page article in the popular newspaper The Australian to ABC News story and finishing with a feature on unknown adventures available in our own backyard in the Qantas Travel Insider Magazine. 

Funding and Development 

2018 has been our biggest year in terms of funding and developments we have seen the building of our new commercial kitchen, laundry and dining facility be constructed at Cooper's Country Lodge. For the development of our next stage all thanks to the funding that we received in July 2018. 

The funding received was the amount of $3.615 million through the Federal Government funding program, Building Better Regions Infrastructure Fund. This amount was attained by utilising the already pledged $3 million from our State and Local Governments ($2.4 million from State and $600,000 from Quilpie Shire Council). Bringing the total funding to 6.615 million for the development of a new home for Cooper. 
This funding was later extended again by the museum being awarded another $950,000 in the Outback Tourism Infrastructure Fund. This additional funding will help us to develop our interpretive design to the best we possibly can. 

We thank everyone for their ongoing support with an extra acknowledgment of those smaller funding pools that help us on an operational level.





Frequently Asked Questions

What should I do if a fossil site is discovered?

After looking at the fossils ensure all fragments are left where they were found in the field as this is crucial to discovering more bones in the same area. Do not disturb site but take a GPS reading and photos. If possible mark the site with a star picket and contact the Eromanga Natural History Museum for a scientific analysis.

Look at the ENHM on-line resources ‘How to recognise dinosaur sites in the Cooper Basin’.

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