International Museum Day

The day is an occasion to raise awareness of how important museums are in the development of society. It is marked annually on or around 18 May.

It was established by ICOM internationally in 1977 and each year has a different theme.

International Museum Day ICOM international


2018 university student essay competition

ICOM Australia is marking International Museum Day in 2018 with a student essay competition. Students studying tertiary degrees in museum studies, cultural heritage and related disciplines are invited to write a 2000-word essay on the International Museum Day topic Hyper-connected museums: New approaches, new publics.

The objective of International Museum Day is to raise awareness of museums as 'an important means of cultural exchange, enrichment of cultures and development of mutual understanding, cooperation and peace among peoples.' The day is organised on and around 18 May each year. See International Museum Day 2018  for more information.

Essay question

What is a 'hyper-connected museum'? Critique this concept and use a case study of a museum exhibition to discuss its potential to engage with new audiences. You should draw on the work of scholars and commentators, but your own views and suggestions are also encouraged.


A panel of judges from the Executive Board of ICOM Australia will select the best essay, which will be posted on the ICOM Australia web site. The winning student will also receive a one-year student membership of ICOM and a $150 book voucher.

Entry details and deadline

Essays need to be submitted to ICOM Australia through tertiary course coordinators.

The deadline for submissions is 1 May 2018. Contact your course coordinator about participating.

Information for course coordinators

The essay can be offered as an assignment, or individual students can write extra-curricular essays, submitted to their museum studies, cultural heritage and related disciplines course coordinators. Coordinators should select the best three for submission to ICOM Australia.


Please submit the essays to: ICOM Australia Essay Competition 2018.

The final date for submissions is 1 May 2018.


For further information please contact: IMD essay competition queries

Winner 2017 student essay competition

The winner of the 2017 competition was Justin William Croft of Deakin University’s Masters of Cultural Heritage program in the subject area of Museums, Heritage and Society.  The topic for 2017 was Museums and contested histories: saying the unspeakable in museums.

The views expressed in the essay are those of the author. Publication of the essay does not indicate an endorsement of those views by ICOM Australia.

2017 winning essay by Justin William Croft  (270kB)



ICOM Australia Awards Copyright Roger Garland