Executive Leadership Team & Management Group
Our management structure.
At the Australian Museum we have a two-tiered management structure, comprising:
- The Executive Leadership Team of six staff - the Director, the four Assistant and Associate Directors and the Executive Officer
- The Management Group - the six members of the Executive Leadership Team plus the Museum’s full complement of Branch Heads
The names of these staff and their short biographies are below. You can also see the Museum’s organisational chart.
Executive Leadership Team
Frank Howarth, Director, PSM
Frank Howarth trained as a geologist, completing a BSc in Geology at Macquarie University, followed by 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. He was Chair of ICOM Australia from 2010 to 2013, and a director of Museums and Galleries NSW from 2005 to 2013. Frank is also a director of the Somerville Collection Board, the Australian Museum Foundation and the Lizard Island Reef Research Foundation and a member of the Executive of the Council of Australasian Museum Directors. He became President of Museums Australia in 2013.
Steven Alderton, Assistant Director, Public Engagement & Culture
Steven has a background in growing audiences and producing innovative exhibitions, public programs and events supported by extensive community engagement. Steven 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 BA from Queensland College of Art, Griffith University, is currently undertaking a Doctorate of Social Sciences in Museum Studies at Sydney University, and has served on many boards including the Visual Arts Board of the Australia Council. Steven was appointed as Assistant Director, Public Engagement in February 2011.
Dr Brian Lassig, Assistant Director, Science & Learning / Head, Australian Museum Research Institute
Brian was appointed Assistant Director, Research and Collections in January 2010. His research background is in coral reef fishes 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 there he was a member of the team responsible for the establishment of the Cooperative Research Centre 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.
Ken Pope, Associate Director/Chief Financial Officer, Corporate & Knowledge Services
Ken 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. He took up his current position at the Museum in October 2001.
Kate Richardson, Executive Officer to Director
Kate has been in this role since January 2011 after joining the Museum as the Bequest Officer in June 2009. She commenced her career working for the Director of the Powerhouse, planning and integrating the exhibitions with which it opened in 1988. Kate has over 20 years continuous experience in the strategically related areas of marketing, philanthropy, communications, public affairs and program development in some of Sydney’s leading educational and cultural institutions. For 10 years she was Executive Director of the Foundation at two of Sydney’s leading girls’ schools, SCEGGS Darlinghurst and Wenona. Both were start up positions, where Kate integrated marketing and fund raising programs, including capital appeals, annual giving, one-off projects and bequest programs. Previously, Kate worked at the University of NSW (managing the Graduate & Alumni Office), the Powerhouse Museum and the Australian Bicentennial Authority, with senior roles in marketing, public affairs, communications and community relations. She also spent a year with Merrill Lynch Australia developing a CRM system. Kate has a BA (Hons) and a MComm (Marketing), both from the University of NSW.
Tehmi Sukhla, Associate Director, Development, Communications & Marketing
Tehmi was appointed Associate Director, Development, Communications & Marketing in August 2013. Prior to this she held senior positions working on sponsorship, philanthropy, marketing and communications projects and programs with internationally renowned arts and cultural institutions, including the Biennale of Sydney and the Australian Centre for Photography. Tehmi has presented on marketing and audience development in Australia and Europe and in 2011 was selected to the Australia Council’s Emerging Leaders Development Program. In 2007–8, she volunteered in Mongolia as an Australian Youth Ambassador for Development, working with a small business incubator to provide training and guidance to start-ups in marketing and business development. She has also worked as a management consultant for Accenture in the government practice area and as a freelance strategist and marketing consultant for arts and cultural clients. Tehmi has a BComm (Marketing and Accounting) and a BA (Hons) from the University of Sydney.
Alexandra Boyce, Head, Corporate Partnerships
Alexandra has extensive experience in business development, specialising in negotiating and managing partnerships for large-scale public events and stakeholder management. Combined with a background in event management, sponsorship and sales she has a track record in developing strategies to increase revenue. She joined the Museum in November 2012 and is responsible for managing the Museum’s corporate partnerships and strategic alliances. Before this she worked in both the public and private sectors including Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority, the NSW Department of Primary Industries, ABC, as well as leading public relations and event management consultancies. Alexandra has a BA from the University of Queensland.
Dr David Britton, Acting Head, Natural Sciences & Biodiversity Conservation
Dave has been Collection Manager, Entomology, since joining the Australian Museum in 2003, and Acting Branch Head of Natural Sciences since April 2013. Dave has extensive background in entomology covering research topics such as nutritional and behavioural ecology, insect conservation, and taxonomy of moths and pest management of insects in field crops. He has been active in internal Museum initiatives such as large scale, specialised collection storage improvements, collection digitisation, facilitating increased access to collections data and specimens, and communicating Australian Museum science. Dave has also been involved in external projects as a Museum representative, such as the BushBlitz program, Council of Heads of Faunal Collections, Council of Heads of Entomological Collections, Australian Faunal Directory and the Atlas of Living Australia. Dave has a B.Sc. (Hons.) Zoology (University of Melbourne), M.Sc. Zoology (La Trobe University) and a Ph.D. Agronomy and Soil Science (University of New England).
Christine Callen, Head, Marketing & Communications
Christine was appointed as the Head Marketing in October 2004 and is responsible for the Museum’s media, publications, tourism and marketing activities. Christine has over 20 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 represents the Museum on various tourism and marketing committees. She is currently a committee member of the Australian Marketing Institute, as well as member of the Marketing Association of Australia and New Zealand.
Glenn Ferguson, Acting Head, Program Delivery, Production & Design
Glenn has been acting Head of this branch since January 2013. He has worked in commercial and museum exhibition and museum design, project and program management for more than 30 years. Glenn has specialized in exhibition, program and business related development and contract management as well as national and international exhibition networking, negotiation and exchange. He has been an active participant on a number of local, national and international museum networks and committees, including; ASTEN, NAME, NSW National Science Week and ASPAC and has worked on numerous inter-museum collaborative developments. He studied graphic design and photography at TAFE through the National Art School Sydney, before gaining an Applied Arts Diploma at RCAE Wagga (Charles Sturt University).
Glenn Hodges, Head, Building & Security
Glenn has been Head of Building & Security at the Australian Museum since 2000 and is responsible for building upgrades and maintenance; major plant acquisition and systems maintenance; legislative compliance; energy management and most importantly the security of the Museum’s buildings and collections. He is a trained incident controller and is responsible for managing all major incidents, as well as coordinating emergency planning and evacuations. Glenn has over 39 years experience in State and Federal government agencies including the Sydney Opera House, Australian Nuclear and Technology Organization, Consumer Affairs and the Courts of Petty Sessions. He has held several senior management positions within the Central Corporate Services Unit, ANSTO Centennial & Moore Park Trust. He has extensive experience working with cultural agencies and has been the Trust Secretary to both the Sydney Opera House and Centennial & Moore Park Trusts. Glenn has qualifications in Accounting.
Dr Rebecca Johnson, Acting Head, Science Services & Infrastructure
Rebecca has a BSc (Hons) in genetics from the University of Sydney and a PhD in the field of molecular evolutionary genetics from La Trobe University. Rebecca has over 17 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 joined the Australian Museum in 2003 as Manager of the DNA Laboratory, later becoming Head of Research. She is now Head of the Australian Centre for Wildlife Genomics at the Australian Museum and Acting Head of Science Services & Infrastructure. Rebecca’s major interest is in the field of wildlife forensics and she has established the Museum as one of the global leaders in this field. Rebecca represents the Museum on a number of government and industry committees in her area of expertise.
Narendra Mehta, Head, Finance
Narendra is a qualified accountant and member of three recognised Professional Accounting bodies. He has over 25 years of experience in the development of management control systems, business analysis, financial and management accounting, process improvement, and delivering reliable and timely financial advice and information to facilitate strategic business management and meet legislative requirements. His qualifications include CPA and full membership of the Institute of Chartered Management Accountants (CIMA) UK. Previously he worked at Fairfield City Council and led a team in the implementation of PeopleSoft financial systems, introducing Project Costing throughout the business. He also won first prize at the NSW State Champions of Local Government Australasian Management Challenge. He took up his current position at the Museum in August 2008.
Dr Scott Mitchell, Head, Cultural Collection Conservation & Consulting
As Branch Head Scott is responsible for the Museum’s heritage and ecology services arm (Australian Museum Consulting), it’s ethnographic, archaeological and archival collections, and the Materials Conservation unit. He brings to the role a particular interest in cultural repatriation, collection digitisation and the introduction of more energy efficient collection storage. Previously Scott was Executive Officer to the Director of the Australian Museum, and he has also held management positions in the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory (Darwin) and the Strehlow Research Centre (Alice Springs). Scott joined the Australian Museum in 2008.
George Notman JP, Head, Human Resources
George has led the HR team since July 2002 after transferring from the then Historic Houses Trust of NSW. Before this he spent 14 years in senior roles in the Qantas Group of companies. George has tertiary qualifications and extensive experience in HR and Industrial Relations. He has overseen a significant number of major restructures and reforms in both the private and public sectors. George is responsible for ensuring the Museum’s human resource and industrial framework support the Museum’s corporate objectives, by providing advice, leadership and direction on Human Resources, organisational development and industrial relations issues to the Executive Leadership Team and Management Group. George is a management representative on the Museum’s Joint Consultative, Work Health and Safety and the Role Evaluation Committees. He is also a trained counselor and mediator and provides expert advice and support to staff at every level of the organisation on a range of sensitive and confidential matters.
Fara Pelarek, Head, Life Long Learning
Fara Pelarek was appointed Head, Life Long Learning in August 2013, managing the Museum’s substantial on and offsite education programs as well as Citizen Science initiatives and postgraduate students. Previously, Fara managed the Museum’s Visitor Services unit for 13 years and was responsible for visitor experience and expectation, program offerings and customer satisfaction. The programs she oversaw included the Museum’s Early Childhood program, the Information Centre, Search & Discover, the Volunteers Program and Museum events, as well as exhibition specific programs. She is committed to social inclusion and in providing access for people with special needs, and is currently Chair of the Accessing the Arts Group. Fara is also the Museum’s Grievance Manager, facilitating resolution of disputes and advising staff on grievance processes. Fara has a BSc (Biology) from The University of Sydney, a Postgraduate Diploma in Secondary Science Education from Charles Sturt University and a Master of Environmental Science from Macquarie University.
Dr Jodi Rowley, Acting Co-ordinator, Australian Museum Research Institute
Jodi Rowley is a biologist with a focus on Australasian amphibian diversity, ecology and conservation. Jodi completed her PhD at James Cook University. Since 2006, when she moved to Cambodia to work as a wildlife biologist for international NGO, Conservation International, she has been conducting amphibian research and scientific capacity-building in Southeast Asia. Jodi joined the Australian Museum in 2008, where her research continues to integrate ecological, behavioural, bio-acoustic, molecular and morphological data to uncover and document amphibian biodiversity, assess population trends, and inform conservation decisions. Jodi is currently a Tier I Member of the IUCN Amphibian Red List Authority and co-chair for Mainland Southeast Asia of the IUCN Species Survival Commission Amphibian Specialist Group.
Rosemary Swift, Head, Development
Rosemary Swift joined the Australian Museum in 2008. As well as having responsibility for individual philanthropic donations, community and direct fundraising and bequests, the Development branch includes Australian Museum Members. Rosemary has more than 20 years experience in communications, marketing and fundraising. Prior to joining the 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.
Jason Wong, Head, Digital Online & ICT
Jason joined the Australian Museum in May 2011. He previously held the role of Head of Information Technology in the Australian branches of Amnesty International and Médecins Sans Frontières. Jason also had a senior ICT role at the Macquarie Graduate School of Management and his early career was in the hospitality industry. His experience focuses on the optimal use of technology in education, academic and not-for-profit environments; for increasing efficiencies for internal operations and for engaging audiences in innovative, customer-centric ways. His technical background is in database design and administration, particularly CRM for marketing and fundraising. Jason has a track record of motivating and developing staff and establishing and maintaining positive relationships with all stakeholders. He has successfully transformed underperforming ICT teams into service-focussed, cost-efficient enablers of technology and the ICT function into one that is aligned with strategic business objectives. Jason’s qualifications are a BSc and MBA from Macquarie University.
Michael Hugill , Online Producer