Jurassic Lounge Seasons 2 Opening

(7.30pm 2 August 2011, Australian Museum)

Thank you, Frank, and hello, everybody.

What a great turn-out tonight! I'd like firstly to acknowledge the traditional custodians of our land, and pay my respects to their Elders, both past and present.

I am so pleased to be launching Season 2 of Jurassic Lounge.

This has been an incredible initiative from the Museum, bringing a whole new dimension to our City at night, and a new audience to discover all the Museum has to offer.

Season 1 brought over 12,000 people into the Museum in the first 12 weeks and Season 2 is bound to bring even more.

There's so much happening - whether its burlesque or videos in the Skeleton Hall, terrific musicians and performers, artworks, drinks and ideas against the fantastic backdrop of this extraordinary collection. It is so cool!

You can check out the beautiful Birds of Paradise exhibition, or catch a film on the controversial Margaret Mead, or meet the scientists who can introduce you to the Tasmanian tiger or a vampire frog.

This week and next you can also record your experience of a random act of kindness in the video booth.

This will feed into the Acts of Kindness project being curated by Michael Landy.

It's a joint enterprise of the Kaldor Public Art Project and the City of Sydney and you'll see it across the City during September's Art & About.

It's a reminder that our cities are firstly about people, and in addition to the video booth here, you can also record your acts of kindness on the City's own website.

I congratulate Frank Howarth and all the museum staff for their contribution to a more diverse - and interesting! - night-life for Sydney.

We're a global city, yet for many years what passed for night-life in the City was characterised by a depressing sameness - a concentration of beer barns, and some alcohol related violence if you were unlucky!

After a long campaign, we got our small bars legislation through, we're now seeing our laneways enlivened by some really great small bars and specialty shops, and we're still working to improve and strengthen the mix and we want much more diversity in our city! (40 small bars in city)

So all power to the Museum - and to the Art Gallery of NSW - for providing these alternatives.

I hope all of you here tonight will spread the word that this is an alternative, happening venue - and it's great value being only $15 at the door, and that includes a free drink.

I hope you all enjoy checking out the coming programs at www.jurassiclounge.com and I have great pleasure in declaring Season 2 officially open.

Have a great night, everybody!