At the 3 June 2011 Members' General Meeting, discussion occurred about splitting the Museum into two organisations, with the Port Dock Station Railway Museum’s railway collection assets held in a separate Trust. The proposal was to prevent or reduce the risk of the Museum-owned assets/exhibits being taken over by a Receiver if the Museum ever got into financial difficulties. All of the necessary steps and the creation of the separate entities was endorsed by the general membership at a Special General Meeting on 28 March 2014.
The Trust (Port Dock Station Railway Trust) is an independent not-for-profit Trust founded in accordance with South Australian state law by Port Dock Railway Station Museum (SA) Incorporated) with the approval of the Board of the Museum. The Trust is required to consist of a minimum of three trustees and at its commencement, four persons formed the Trust. The principle purpose recited in the Trust Deed is:
“….. to acquire and to hold items (including Intellectual property and items of movable cultural heritage) to enable the promotion and protection of those items for use in Australian museums for the benefit of the public.”
As an independent entity, the Trust and Trust Deed does not refer to, and is not bound by the National Railway Museum Incorporated (NRM). However the working relationship between the Trust and NRM is enshrined in a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) acknowledged by both parties. The MOU identifies the agreed processes that will exist between NRM and the Trust and specifies that:
“Collection Material” (as identified by the NRM Board) will be transferred progressively over time, as a gift to the Trust who will accept and assume ownership of the items. All Collection Material items gifted will immediately be loaned back to the NRM for display and interpretation. The NRM will continue to be responsible for display, maintenance, and restoration of those items. Should the Trust wish to dispose of a Collection Material item, and pursuant to the MOU, it must first consult with the NRM, but the Trust retains the legal right to make the final decision. The Trust will not for the foreseeable future accept gifts from other parties. This does not preclude the NRM acquiring other items and placing them in the category of “Collection Material” to be gifted and re-loaned.
The Trust receives Collection Material gifts (by way of defined Schedules) from NRM, to which it then loans those assets back to NRM to manage on its behalf. The Trust is an entity in its own right – and operates under a Trust Deed in accordance with Trust laws and regulations.
The MOU outlines the working relationship between the Trust and the NRM. It is a collaborative and open arrangement – where the prime focus is on protecting the Collection Material and discussing matters in a mutually beneficial manner. The key goal is to achieve the best outcome for the preservation of the Collection Material.
This annual report is listed on the National Railway Museum’s website with the agreement of the Port Dock Station Railway Trust, a separate entity from the National Railway Museum.