Invited Speakers

Genevieve Bell, Director of the 3A Institute

Professor Bell is the Director of the 3A Institute, Florence Violet McKenzie Chair, and Distinguished Professor at the Australian National University (ANU), as well as a Vice President and Senior Fellow at Intel. Prof Bell is a cultural anthropologist, best known for her work at the intersection of cultural practice and technology development. Prof Bell heads the 3A Institute, co-founded by the ANU and CSIRO’s Data61, tasked with building a new applied science around the management of artificial intelligence, data, technology and their impact on humanity. Prof Bell also presented the highly acclaimed ABC Boyer Lecture series for 2017.




Kate Burridge, Professor of Linguistics, Monash University (Conference Dinner Guest Speaker)

Kate Burridge is Professor of Linguistics at Monash University and a fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities. Kate has authored / edited more than 20 books on different aspects of language, focusing on grammatical change in Germanic languages, the Pennsylvania German spoken by Anabaptist communities in North America, the notion of linguistic taboo and the structure and history of English. She is a regular presenter of language segments on radio, has been a panelist on ABC TV’s Can We Help, and has given a TED Talk “Telling it like it isn’t”.




Simon Chaplin, Director of Culture & Society at the Wellcome Trust

Simon Chaplin is the Director of Culture & Society at Wellcome, where he leads work on public engagement, education, humanities and social science research and open research. He is also the Director of Wellcome Collection, the Trust’s free museum and library for the incurably curious. He joined the Trust in 2010 as Head of the Wellcome Library, where he led a major project to digitise 50 million pages of book and archive content relating to the history of medicine, and co-directed the creation of the Reading Room, an innovative public space linking Wellcome Collection’s public programmes with the library’s collections. Before joining the Wellcome he was Director of Museums and Special Collections at The Royal College of Surgeons of England where he oversaw the redisplay of the Hunterian Museum. His research interests include the history of anatomy and medical museums.

  @ExploreWellcome     /simonchaplin



Andrea Cunningham, Head of Learning at the V&A Museum of Childhood

Andrea Cunningham has strategic responsibility for Learning at the V&A Museum of childhood which encompasses programming, projects and interpretive content on-site and on-line. Currently MoC learning practice engages schools, hospital schools, community groups, families, adults, FE/HE and academia. The Museum is the largest of its kind, housing over 35,000 objects relating to childhood, and attracts 435,000 visitors per year. For many visitors, the Museum of Childhood provides a crucial first encounter; introducing younger audiences to art, design, history, and material culture. Andrea is motivated by the drive to widen cultural, intellectual and physical access to our national childhood collections and to put children’s voices at the heart.




Kaywin Feldman, Nivin and Duncan MacMillan Director and President

Kaywin Feldman has served as the director of the Minneapolis Institute of Art (Mia), one of America’s largest art museums, since 2008. During Feldman’s tenure, Mia’s attendance has doubled, with expanded programs and ambitious special exhibitions. Feldman has championed the use of digital technologies to support and enhance audience engagement; diversified staff, audience, and board; and strategically acquired major collections and works of art for the collection. She is a past president of both the Assoction of Art Museum Directors (AAMD) and the American Alliance of Museums (AAM).


  @KaywinFeldman     /kaywin-feldman


Viviane Gosselin, Curator and Director

Viviane Gosselin is Curator of Contemporary Culture and Director of Collections and Exhibitions at the Museum of Vancouver (MOV), Canada’s largest civic museum. Her work on historical and environmental literacy seeks to make the museum a more responsive, empathetic, and democratic public space that prompts people to recognize their own capacity to effect positive social change.

Viviane has led and co-curated several exhibitions that have been recognized nationally and internationally. She has authored several articles on participatory museology and intercultural curation and is co-editor of Museums and the Past: Constructing Historical Consciousness (UBC Press). Viviane is currently involved in developing sustainable exhibition design practices with a team of city staff, architects and designers committed to creating a no-waste city. Rather than talking about innovation, she prefers to focus on the power of small wins as a mean of furthering the social work of museums.


Brian Lobel, Performer and Curator

Brian Lobel is a performer, teacher and curator who is interested in creating work about bodies and how they are watched, policed, poked, prodded and loved by others. The New York-born, London-based performer has shown work internationally in a range of contexts, from medical schools to galleries, cabarets to museums, marketplaces to forests, blending provocative humour with insightful reflection. For over a decade, Brian has been a critical voice in the world of cancer care, patient experience and medical education, presenting keynotes talks and performances to thousands of students, doctors, researchers and patients. His works have been presented in over 25 countries and include BALL & Other Funny Stories About Cancer, Purge, You Have to Forgive Me (x3), and Fun with Cancer Patients. Brian is a Senior Lecturer in Performing Arts at University of Chichester, Co-Director of The Sick of the Fringe, an Associate Artist with Clod Ensemble’s Performing Medicine, a Core Member of Forest Fringe and a Wellcome Trust Public Engagement Fellow.



Lynley Marshall, CEO Museums Victoria

Lynley Marshall was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Museums Victoria in February 2017. Museums Victoria comprises the Melbourne Museum, Scienceworks and Immigration Museum, as well as the World Heritage-listed Royal Exhibition Building and IMAX Theatre at Melbourne Museum, attracting around 2 million visitors a year. There are over 700 staff and 500 volunteers.
Prior to joining Museums Victoria, Lynley was CEO of the International Division of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. She also served as Director of ABC Commercial and Director of ABC New Media and Digital Services. Before joining the ABC, Lynley held a number of senior executive positions, including at Director level, in radio, television and new media in New Zealand. She also served as a non-executive director of Questacon, the national science museum in Canberra.


Shonagh Marshall, Fashion Curator

Shonagh Marshall is an independent London-based fashion curator focusing on clothing’s role in contemporary culture. Shonagh began her career archiving the Alexander McQueen Collection for the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute’s exhibition Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty. Following this, she archived the Christian Louboutin Collection and the Isabella Blow Collection.

Appointed curator at Somerset House in 2013 she co-curated Isabella Blow: Fashion Galore! — the first exhibition to explore the late, great fashion editor’s clothing collection and life story.

An independent curator since 2016, Shonagh has curated Isabella Blow: A Fashionable Life at the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences in Sydney (11th May- 28th August 2016), Utopian Voices, Here and Now at Somerset House (6th July- 29th August 2016) and Hair by Sam McKnight at Somerset House (2nd November 2016 – 12th March 2017). Alongside this curatorial work Shonagh founded The Ground Floor Project in 2017 which works with brands on cultural projects. The first, in partnership with The Outnet, is a three part investigation into the changing role of gesture and pose in contemporary fashion photography. Comprising of exhibition Posturing: Photographing the Body in Fashion (1st – 12th November 2017), film commission ‘Learning to Transcend the Physical Body’ by Coco Capitán and book Posturing published by SPBH Editions.

Photograph by Jermaine Francis.


Kim McKay, Director, Australian Museum

Kim McKay AO, the AM’s first female Director, has led the transformation of the Australian Museum (AM) into one of the world’s pre-eminent natural history and cultural institutions. Since her appointment as Director and CEO, in 2014, her initiatives have included free general admission for children, the Australian Museum Centre for Citizen Science, the restoration of the Long Gallery (Australia’s oldest museum gallery) as well as building a new award winning, accessible entrance, Crystal Hall.

Kim co-founded the Clean Up Australia and Clean Up the World campaigns. She also co-created The Genographic Project, the world’s largest DNA population study, for the National Geographic Society.

Kim was made an Officer of the Order of Australia, in 2008, for distinguished service to the environment and the community. She is featured in the book The Power of 100…One Hundred Women who have Shaped Australia.


Karen Mundine, Chief Executive Officer, Reconciliation Australia

Karen Mundine is from the Bundjalung Nation of northern NSW.

At Reconciliation Australia, Karen leads the organisation in its vision to create a more just, equitable and reconciled Australia through key programs and initiatives, including Reconciliation Action Plans, Narragunnawali Reconciliation in Schools and Early Learning, and National Reconciliation Week.

Karen has more than 20 years’ experience leading community engagement, public advocacy, communications and social marketing campaigns. Over the course of her career she has been instrumental in some of Australia’s watershed national events including the Apology to the Stolen Generations, Centenary of Federation commemorations, Corroboree 2000 and the 1997 Australian Reconciliation Convention.



Richard Price, Head of Contemporary British Collections at the British Library

Dr Richard Price is the Head of Contemporary British Collections at the British Library, London. He leads the three inter-related Contemporary British teams – Publications, Manuscripts & Archives, and Sound & Vision. The department has been responsible for exhibitions including Punk: 1976-78 and Listen: 140 years of recorded sound. His background is in curatorship and strategy. He also has expertise in contemporary poetry, little magazines, and artist’s books. His publications include award-winning poetry; the selection of essays on poets, small presses, and artist’s books Is This A Poem? (2016); and, co-written with David Miller, British Poetry Magazines 1914-2000 (2005).





Ron Ramsey, Executive Director, Art Gallery Society of NSW

Ron Ramsey is Executive Director of the Art Gallery Society of NSW. He has a wealth of experience in art museums across three decades including three years at the National Gallery of Victoria, fourteen years at the National Gallery of Australia and seven years as Director of the Newcastle Art Gallery. Ron also served as Australia’s Cultural Attaché at the Embassy of Australia in Washington DC from 2004 to 2007.




Chris Saines, Director, QAGOMA

Chris Saines is Director of the Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA), Brisbane, Australia. He has worked for over 35 years in leading galleries in Australia and New Zealand. As Director of QAGOMA since 2013, he has overseen major exhibitions by top international artists Cai Guo-Qiang, David Lynch, Cindy Sherman, Yayoi Kusama and Gerhard Richter, driven a new presentation of the Gallery’s Australian collection and steered the eighth and ninth editions of QAGOMA’s flagship exhibition series, The Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art.

Mr Saines was Director of Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, New Zealand from 1996–2013, where he led a $125 million development project which opened in 2011 to record attendance and 22 national and international awards. Mr Saines is Chair of the Council of Australian Art Museum Directors and was a longstanding member of the Museums Australia National Council and foundation Chair of Museums Aotearoa. He was a member of Auckland’s Advisory Panel for Public Art, judged Australia’s largest sculpture prize, the McClelland Award, and has been a member of the selection panel for both Australia and New Zealand’s representation at the Venice Biennale.

Mr Saines holds a BA Hons (Art History) from La Trobe University, Melbourne, and is an alumnus of the J Paul Getty Trust’s Museum Management Institute.



Byron Scullin & Robin Fox, MESS

Based in Melbourne Australia, MESS is a unique not-for-profit organisation dedicated to the creation of electronic sound and music founded by Robin Fox and Byron J Scullin.
The heart of MESS is the MESS Studio, a fully functioning sound production workshop representing one of the most unique, eclectic and historically significant collections of electronic instruments in the world. Working from within the studio is the MESS School, a place for people to engage with the history, technique and artistry of electronic sound and music creation presented in a format that is flexible, affordable and artist driven. Work created at the studio and school is supported by MESS Show to promote unique performance events and recording releases reflecting the diversity of sound created at MESS alongside historical releases from the vault of Australian electronic music . Finally MESS Schematic not only maintains the instruments in the MESS Studio collection, it also offers a space for the development of new instrument ideas focussing on design, engineering and construction.



Nathan Sentance, Project Officer at the Australian Museum

Nathan Sentance is a Wiradjuri man who grew up on Darkinjung Country, NSW. He currently works as project officer in First Nations programming at the Australian Museum. Nathan works to ensure that the cultural and historical narratives conveyed by cultural and memory institutions, such galleries, libraries, archives and museums (GLAM) have First Nations perspectives and that First Nations stories being told are being told and controlled by First Nations people.  This is to balance the biases and misinterpretations of Aboriginal culture and people that has been previously set by GLAM institutions.




David Sequeira, Artist and Curator

Artist and curator Dr David Sequeira has extensive experience in working with diverse audiences to develop a place for art in their lives. David has held senior positions in the areas of curatorship, audience engagement, business development and cultural programming in a range of art museums and public institutions including the National Gallery of Australia, the National Portrait Gallery, the National Film and Sound Archive and Australian Parliament House Canberra. In 2015 he curated the highly acclaimed exhibition My Learned Object: Collections & Curiosities for the Ian Potter Museum of Art at the University of Melbourne. David is currently Director of the Margaret Lawrence Gallery, VCA, University of Melbourne.



Shane Simpson, Special Counsel, Simpsons Solicitors

Shane is Special Counsel at Simpsons Solicitors and is one of Australia’s most eminent cultural property lawyers. He is the author of ‘Collections Law: Legal Issues for Australian Archives, Galleries, Libraries and Museums’ and his firm advises many Commonwealth and State collecting institutions and NGOs in the cultural sector.

In December 2015 he was commissioned by the Commonwealth government to undertake an independent review of the Protection of Movable Cultural Heritage Act 1986. This report, “Borders of Culture”, was delivered to the Minister in September 2016.

He is also the author of many books relating to the interrelationship of the law and the cultural sector. He is Special Counsel at Simpsons Solicitors and was appointed Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for “service to the law and to the arts through leading roles in intellectual property and entertainment law, and as a contributor to a range of cultural organisations.”

Shane is Chairman of the Bundanon Trust, Chairman of Studio A (NSW’ supported studio for artists with intellectual disability), Chairman of the Advisory Council of the Faculty of Art + Design, University of NSW and the independent director on a number of NGOs and philanthropic foundations.


Angelita Teo, Director of the National Museum of Singapore

Angelita Teo was appointed as Director of the National Museum of Singapore (NMS) in July 2013 and was awarded the Public Administration Medal (Bronze) in 2014 for her contributions towards the development of a vibrant cultural and heritage sector in Singapore. Between 2014 and 2015, she helmed the Museum’s complete revamp of its permanent galleries, which reopened in September 2015.

Since 2012, Angelita has run the Festivals and Precinct Development Division of the National Heritage Board (NHB) and continues to be the festival director of the iconic Singapore Heritage Festival and Singapore Night Festival, which together reach out to over 2 million visitors annually. In 2016, she undertook the management of the Museum Roundtable Unit, which aims to build and facilitate a stronger museum-going culture in Singapore. Angelita is also the Director of Retail and Merchandising under the National Heritage Board.

Angelita started her museum career as an Assistant Curator in 1996. She pursued a Masters in Art Curatorship at the University of Melbourne in 2011, under a full government scholarship from the NHB.

Nick Thieberger, Director of the Pacific and Regional Archive for Digital Sources in Endangered Cultures

Associate Professor Nick Thieberger is a linguist who has worked with Australian languages and wrote a grammar of a language from Efate, Vanuatu. He helped establish the Pacific and Regional Archive for Digital Sources in Endangered Cultures (PARADISEC, a digital archive of mainly audio language and music records, and is now its Director. He built the Aboriginal Studies Electronic Data Archive (at AIATSIS) in the early 1990s. He is developing methods for creation of reusable data sets from fieldwork on previously unrecorded languages. He is an ARC Future Fellow at the University of Melbourne and a CI in the ARC Centre of Excellence for the Dynamics of Language.



Mathew Trinca, Director, National Museum of Australia

Dr Mathew Trinca is the Director of the National Museum of Australia and Co-Chair of the Australia Singapore Arts Group.

Under Dr Trinca’s leadership, the National Museum has developed strongly engaged national and international programs that focus on bringing alive the stories of Australia for audiences around the country and overseas. The Museum has partnerships and programs with a range of cultural institutions abroad, including organisations in Singapore, China, Japan, Vietnam, France and the United Kingdom. A major program of work with the British Museum saw the return of early Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander collections to Australia in 2015 – marking the first time they had been seen in Australia since their collection.

Mathew’s interests span the 20th century history of Australia, with a focus on the social and cultural relationships between Britain and Australia. He also has a professional interest in the historical and contemporary links between Australia and Asia. His publications include contributions to debates on museum theory and practice, the history of Australian travel to the United Kingdom, on convictism in Western Australia, and on that State’s constitutional history. He has also co-edited two books, Country: Visions of Land and People in Western Australia and Under Suspicion: Citizenship and Internment in Australia during World War II.

Dr Trinca worked as a history curator and manager of the MuseumLink program at the Western Australian Museum, in Perth, and as a consultant historian for public history projects, including work on conservation plans, exhibition developments and short documentary films. He has a PhD in history from the University of Sydney and is a graduate of the University of Western Australia. As well as his role in the Australia Singapore Arts Group, Mathew is an Executive Member of ICOM Australia, and on the boards of the Canberra Convention Bureau and Canberra Writers’ Festival.



Athanasios Tsakonas, Architect

Athanasios Tsakonas is an Australian architect and urban designer with extensive experience in Southeast Asia. He recently established the Melbourne design laboratory, ATA Architects, to explore the contemporary condition through new approaches to urban housing. The aim is to better understand space and place through local narratives and through the development of micro projects. He also serves as design principal and partner in Tan + Tsakonas Architects, a Singapore-based design practise with a portfolio in public housing, institutional and community projects.

Art and architecture are valuable tools for uncovering the many layers of urban experience that are often taken for granted. What we look for in a city tells us much about ourselves.



Gerard Vaughan, Director of the National Gallery Australia

Gerard Vaughan is Director of the National Gallery of Australia, which combines the national collection of Indigenous and Non-Indigenous Australian art with broad collections representing the visual culture of the Asia-Pacific, Europe and America. He was previously Director of the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne. From 1994-99 he was inaugural Director of the British Museum Development Trust in London. He has a doctorate in art history from Oxford University and as an art historian has always specialised in the history of taste and public and private collecting, public museology and the provenance of works of art.