The Museum's Executive consists of a Director and two Assistant Directors and representatives from all branches. The Executive structure is shown in the organisation chart.
- Frank Howarth, Director
- Steven Alderton, Assistant Director, Public Engagement
- Dr Brian Lassig, Assistant Director, Research & Collections
- Michael Harvey, Head, Exhibitions and Creative Services
- Rosemary Swift, Manager, Development
- Dr Penny Berents, Head, Natural Science Collections
- Dr Rebecca Johnson, Australian Centre for Wildlife DNA
- Christine Callen, Manager, Marketing
- Julie Garradd, Head, Visitor Programs & Services
- Dr Lynda Kelly, Manager, Online, Editing and Audience Research
- Noella Lopez, Head, Commercial Services
- Ken Pope, Head, Corporate and Knowledge Services
- Kate Richardson, Executive Officer to Director
Frank Howarth, Director
Frank Howarth trained as a geologist, completing a Geology Degree at Macquarie University, and followed that with a Master of Science and Society from the University of NSW, focusing on science and biotechnology policy. Frank joined the NSW Government in 1981 and has held positions with the Department of Industrial Development and Decentralisation, NSW Science and Technology Council, the Public Service Board, and the Roads and Traffic Authority. In 1996 he became Director and Chief Executive of the Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust. In September 2003 Frank spent six months as Executive Director, Policy and Science at the NSW Department of Environment and Conservation, before taking up his current role in February 2004 as Director of the Australian Museum. Frank was appointed as the Chairperson of ICOM (International Council of Museums) Australia in May 2010.
Steven Alderton, Assistant Director, Public Engagement
In February 2011, Steven Alderton was appointed as the Assistant Director, Public Engagement. He has a background in growing audiences and producing innovative exhibitions, public programs and events supported by extensive community engagement. Steven has worked closely with Western Sydney and regional communities as the Director of Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre, Director of Lismore Regional Gallery, Director of Bundaberg Arts Centre, and Director of Redland Art Gallery. Steven led the strategic planning and programming for these organisations and has a strong understanding of working with young people through his role as Executive Officer of Hands On Art Children’s Arts Centre, Brisbane. In 2010 Steven worked with Sydney’s Pacific community to develop Body Pacifica – an exhibition, three-day festival and series of public events. Steven has a Bachelor of Arts from Queensland College of Art, Griffith University and has served on many boards including the Visual Arts Board of the Australia Council.
Dr Brian Lassig, Assistant Director, Research and Collections
Brian was appointed Assistant Director, Research and Collections in January 2010. He has a coral reef fish research background with extensive field experience on the Great Barrier Reef through his post-graduate projects based at the Heron Island and Lizard Island Research Stations. Following his PhD from Macquarie University Brian moved to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority in Townsville where he led the multi-disciplinary crown-of-thorns starfish research program. While based in Townsville Brian was a member of the team responsible for the establishment of the Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) for Ecologically Sustainable Development of the Great Barrier Reef. Before joining the Museum in 2005 Brian held a variety of positions in the Department of the Environment and Heritage in Canberra with responsibilities including development of coastal monitoring programs, coordination of scientific input into Australia’s Oceans Policy, leadership of environmental decision support system teams and management of workforce performance across the Department. Brian has been a member of national and state committees and advisory groups in the areas of marine science, environmental management and climate change.
Michael Harvey, Head, Exhibitions and Creative Services
Michael Harvey has worked in the science communication field for over fifteen years, primarily in museums and science centres. He has worked at Questacon as co-ordinator of the Shell Questacon Science Circus and as the manager of science programs for the British Council in Australia. Most recently, Michael spent over six years in the UK, working at the Natural History Museum (NHM), London. At the NHM he occupied two posts, establishing and running the Darwin Centre Live program of scientist talks and webcasts, and carrying out strategic planning and concept development for new permanent galleries at the Museum. He also worked as a distance learning tutor and occasional guest lecturer at the Department of Museum Studies at the University of Leicester. Michael is also a former staff member at the Australian Museum – working here as an Information Officer in Search & Discover and contributing to the development of the successful Spiders exhibition. He returned to the Museum after an absence of over nine years to take up his current post in February 2009.
Rosemary Swift, Manager, Development
Rosemary Swift was appointed Development Manager in July 2008. The Development Unit is responsible for individual philanthropic donations, community and direct fundraising, corporate sponsorships and bequests. Rosemary has more than 20 years’ experience in communications, marketing and fundraising. Prior to joining the Australian Museum, she was Public Appeals Manager at the Taronga Foundation, which raises funds to support Taronga and Taronga Western Plains Zoos. Her background includes marketing positions with ABC Local Radio and ABC Classic FM and senior client service positions at marketing and promotional agencies. Rosemary has also worked as a freelance communications consultant with education, environmental, arts and corporate clients and is a Member of the Fundraising Institute of Australia.
Dr Penny Berents, Head, Natural Science Collections
Penny Berents was appointed Head, Collections, in 2005 and has extensive experience in collections management and research at the Australian Museum. Penny's museum career of more than 30 years has included all aspects of collections management including database development, commercial projects, public programs, field work, teaching and collections development and maintenance. Penny was responsible for collections and database enhancement as a part of the NSW State Biodiversity Strategy, the implementation of the KE EMu database and science input to the Biodiversity: life supporting life gallery. Penny has a research interest in crustacean systematics and is working on the systematics of cerapodine amphipods.
Dr Rebecca Johnson, Australian Centre for Wildlife DNA
Rebecca Johnson has a Bachelor of Science with honours in genetics from the University of Sydney and a PhD in the field of molecular evolutionary genetics from La Trobe University. Rebecca joined the Australian Museum in 2003 as Manager of the DNA Laboratory and then as Head of Research from June 2010 to December 2011. She has over 16 years experience as a molecular geneticist, including as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Sydney, James Cook University, Townsville and Tufts University, Boston USA. Rebecca’s major interest is in the field of wildlife forensics and has established the Museum as one of the leaders in this field. Rebecca represents the Museum on a number of government and industry committees in her area of expertise.
Christine Callen, Manager, Marketing
Christine Callen was appointed as the Marketing Manager in October 2004 and is responsible for the Museum’s media, tourism and marketing activities. Christine has over 16 years experience in cultural and academic environments, including work with publications, graphic design and marketing. Before joining the Australian Museum, Christine was Marketing Manager at the Historic Houses Trust of NSW. Academic qualifications include a Bachelor of Graphic Design, and a Graduate Diploma in Art History and Curatorship from the Australian National University. Christine is currently a committee member of the Tourism Industry Council’s attractions and activities working group and a member of the Australian Marketing Institute, as well as member of the Marketing Association of Australia and New Zealand.
Julie Garradd, Head, Visitor Programs & Services
Julie Garradd has an extensive background in visitor programs and services in a number of settings including sport and recreation, tourism, local council and the arts sector. Prior to joining the Museum, Julie was Head of Visitor Programs and Services at the Powerhouse Museum, where she was responsible for introducing their highly successful and innovative public programs for children, families and adults. Other management positions Julie held included Manager, Regional Programs; Manager, Student and Volunteer Programs; Olympics Coordinator. Julie has worked on various special projects, the most recent being the new exhibition commissioning process. Julie’s background also includes staff training and development, recreation facilities planning, and community development at a number of government departments including Sport and Recreation, Tourism, Education, and Minerals and Energy. She has a degree in Applied Social Science and a diploma in Leisure Studies. Julie commenced her position with the Australian Museum in January, 2006.
Dr Lynda Kelly, Manager, Online, Editing and Audience Research
Lynda has published widely in museum evaluation and the impact of social media/Web 2.0 on contemporary museum practice. She is particularly interested in visitor experiences and learning and how these can be measured, young children’s learning, online learning as well as the strategic uses of audience research and new technologies in organisational change. Lynda is happily obsessed with all things Web 2.0 and curious to see how this will change the world that museums operate within and the ways people learn. Lynda is also the Director of Museum3, a not-for-profit social network site for museum professionals, with an active, global membership of over 3,000. In 2007 she completed her PhD in museum learning and visitor identities, and in 2010 released, Hot Topics, Public Culture, Museums, co-edited with Dr Fiona Cameron, University of Western Sydney.
Noella Lopez, Head, Commercial Services
Noella Lopez has a background in the commercial sector in Europe and in Australia with extensive experience in the management of small and large teams and growing businesses, both in hospitality and retail. Noella trained as a manager specialising in the hospitality industry, completing a Diploma of Management at the Lycée Hotelier de Bordeaux in France. She recently completed a Master of Business Administration majoring in Arts Management at the University of Technology Sydney and the College of Fine Arts. Before joining the Museum, Noella was Marketing and Development Manager with the largest Australian retail chain dedicated to art, graphic and craft supplies. She was responsible for all marketing and development aspects of the company including supplier negotiations, product management, sourcing and development, store merchandising and the creation of a retail concept. She was on the board of Directors of the National Association for the Visual Arts between 2006 and 2008.Noella joined the Museum in November 2005.
Ken Pope, Head, Corporate and Knowledge Services
Ken Pope has a background in senior administration with both the state and federal governments. Before joining the Museum, Ken spent six months with the Olympic Co-ordination Authority delivering sponsor-related showcasing, media, retailing and general services at Sydney Olympic Park during the Sydney Olympics and Paralympics. Between 1997 and 2000, Ken held the position of Director, Corporate Services with the Department of Ageing and Disability where he was responsible for a number of corporate reforms including implementing the department’s data rationalisation project, implementing a new finance system and departmental structural change. From 1986 to 1992, Ken was Administration Manager with the Civil Aviation Authority. Ken took up his current position in October 2001.
Kate Richardson, Executive Officer to Director
Kate Richardson has been acting Eceutive Officer to the Director since January 2011. She joined the Australian Museum as the Bequest Officer in June 2009, to promote and encourage individual philanthropy through bequests to the Museum's Foundation. Kate has 10 years experience in philanthropy and fund raising in education, as Executive Director of the Foundation at two of Sydney’s leading girls’ schools, SCEGGS Darlinghurst and Wenona. Both these roles were start up positions where Kate established wide ranging and integrated marketing and fund raising programs within 3-5 years, including capital appeals, annual giving and of course Bequest Programs. Previously, Kate worked at the University of NSW (managing the Graduate & Alumni Office), the Powerhouse Museum and the national office of the Australian Bicentennial Authority. Her roles were in marketing, communications, community liaison and public affairs. She commenced her career at the Powerhouse, providing executive support to the Director and Deputy Director, planning and integrating the exhibitions with which it opened in 1988. Kate has a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) and a Master of Commerce (Marketing), both from UNSW.