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Our 11 Trustees play a valuable role in monitoring the performance of the Museum, assisting with strategic planning processes and acting as advocates for the institution. They are appointed for three year terms with a maximum of 10 consecutive years of service. The Governor of NSW, in consultation with the Minister for the Arts Don Harwin, appoints our Trustees.
David was appointed President of Trustees in January, 2018 after appointment as a Trustee of the Australian Museum Trust in January 2014. David is a chartered accountant and non-executive Director of the National Australia Bank. He is a Director of the Opera Australia Capital Fund, the Museum’s Lizard Island Reef Research Foundation and the George Institute. David was a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) for 24 years, specialising in providing professional services for financial services organisations throughout his career and has lived and worked in London and New York. He has a BBus (UTS) and is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia.
Jennifer Bott AO
Jennifer Bott is a professional mentor, board member, project manager and consultant. She is currently Senior Consultant, Innovation and Development at the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House, Chair of the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA), Director of the NIDA Foundation Trust and Artistic Director of the Canberra Writers Festival. She is also a board member of the Sydney Orthopaedic Research Institute and the Bundanon Trust.
Previously, Jenny served as Acting Director and then Special Advisor at the National Portrait Gallery of Australia, CEO of the Australia Council for the Arts from 1999-2006 and Chief Executive of the University of New South Wales Foundation. Jenny was awarded an AO in 2012 for distinguished service to the arts through executive and leadership roles in national cultural organisations and to the development of policy reform initiatives promoting funding and best practice. She was appointed to the Trust in January 2015.
Professor Merlin Crossley
Merlin Crossley is the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Education at the University of New South Wales (UNSW). Prior to taking that position he was Dean of Science at UNSW. A molecular biologist by training, he studied at the Universities of Melbourne and Oxford (as a Rhodes Scholar) and has researched gene regulation and genetic disease at Oxford, Harvard, Sydney and UNSW. His awards include the Australian Academy of Science's Gottschalk Medal, the Royal Society of NSW's Edgeworth David Medal, the Australian Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology's Roche Medal and the Lorne Genome Conference's Julian Wells Medal. He is a committed undergraduate and post-graduate teacher and has received a Vice-Chancellor's Award for Higher Research Degree Supervision. He was appointed to the Trust in January 2012.
Steven Gregg is a member of the Grant Samuel non-executive Advisory Board and a non-executive Director of Tabcorp Holdings Ltd (since 2012), Caltex Limited (since 2015), Challenger Ltd and Challenger Life Ltd (since 2012) and William Inglis & Son Ltd. He is currently Chairman of The Lorna Hodgkinson Sunshine Home. His past roles include non-executive Chairman of Goodman Fielder (2010-15) and Chairman of Austock Group Limited (2009- 12). Steven has extensive Australian and international executive experience, with ABN Amro (as Senior Executive Vice President and Global Head of Investment Banking), Chase Manhattan, Lehman Brothers and AMP Morgan Grenfell. His most recent executive role was as Expert Partner (corporate finance) at McKinsey & Company in Australia and the US. He worked in the USA and UK resulting in an extensive executive career in management consulting and investment banking. He has a BComm (UNSW) and was appointed to the Trust in January 2014.
Dr Elie Hammam
Dr Elie Hammam is a neurophysiologist with an awarded doctoral thesis from Western Sydney University (WSU). His research in integrative physiology is conducted at the School of Medicine, WSU and abroad at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST). During his training, he was awarded several scholarships from national and international bodies including the International Brain Research Organisation (IBRO). Elie is also a passionate higher education teacher with a special interest in Indigenous students’ medical education.
Since 2006, Elie has been a dedicated advocate for community welfare and led outreach programs to promote higher education and health in Western Sydney, for which he was highly commended by the Vice-Chancellors Excellence Award in Engagement. From 2013 to 2015, Elie was elected as the postgraduate member to the Board of Trustees, WSU (2013-2015) and in 2015 as a councilor of the Australian Medical Association (NSW). He graduated from the Australian Institute of Company Directors, having completed the Company Directors Course. Elie was appointed to the Trust in January 2016.
Shauna Jarrett is an experienced senior executive and non-executive director across the educational, legal, arts and community sectors. She is a practising solicitor and owner of the legal practice SJ Governance Services & Solutions, specialising in governance advice and implementation. She also serves on the boards of dance theatre company Force Majeure and Seton Villa, an accommodation and support service of the Daughters of Charity of St Vincent De Paul, for women with intellectual disabilities. From 2008-15, Shauna advised the University of Sydney on strategic governance and management of its entities and projects, including the restructure of the University’s fundraising Foundations. She has a long record of experience working with legal and cultural bodies, including her roles as Chair of the Public Interest Advocacy Centre, Director of Creating Australia and the Arts Law Centre of Australia, Vice-President and Councillor of the NSW Law Society and a Director of LawCover, Professional Indemnity insurers . She has a BA(Hons) from the University of Sydney and LLB from the University of Technology. Shauna was appointed to the Trust in January 2018.
Dr Rod Kefford AM, FACE
Dr Rod Kefford was previously Headmaster of Barker College (1996 – 2013) and of Wesley College, Perth (1984-96). Dr Kefford was NSW/ACT Branch Chair of the Association of Heads of Independent Schools Australia (AHISA, 2006-07), and a member of its national Board (1998-99 and 2006-07). In recognition of his contribution to AHISA and independent school leadership, he was made an Honorary Member of AHISA. As the inaugural Chair (2007-12), he played a key role in establishing the Independent Schools Teacher Accreditation Authority. He was also President of the Association of Independent Schools of Western Australia (1991-92) and Chair of the WA Chapter of the Australian College of Educators (1990-91). Dr Kefford was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in 2008 for service to primary and secondary education through administrative and teaching roles. He is a Fellow of the Australian College of Educators (FACE). His qualifications include BA (Hons), and MA (University of Sydney); MA (Hons) (Macquarie University); and Dip Ed, MEd Administration and PhD (University of New England). Dr Kefford was appointed to the Australian Museum Trust in March 2014.
Josephine Sukkar AM
Josephine is a professional company director who works across a range of industries, including property, construction, finance, sport, the arts, medical research and social services.
A former scientist and teacher (BSc, (Hons), Grad. Dip. Ed.), she established Buildcorp with her husband 29 years ago, which employs over 300 staff and has revenue of $500 million.
Josephine serves on a number of private, public, government and not-for-profit boards, including Growthpoint Properties Australia, Parramatta Park Trust, Opera Australia, Centenary Institute of Medical Research, Melbourne University Infrastructure Advisory Board and the Australian Rugby Foundation. She is President of Australian Women’s Rugby and through Buildcorp has been a major sponsor of rugby in Australia for nearly 30 years.
She has previously served as a director of The Trust Company, and was Co-President of the YWCA NSW.
In 2017 she was recognised for her services to the community, the arts and sports in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list. Josephine was appointed to the Trust in January 2019.
Sara Watts has been an executive and non-executive director for more than a decade, with key strengths in financial management, technology deployment and governance. She is an independent director of BagTrans Group, Vision Australia Limited and the Vision Australia Trust. Sara is chairwoman of the audit and risk committee for the Victorian Auditor General’s Office, and a member of the Independent Broad-Based Anti-Corruption Commission’s audit and risk committee. She has also served as non-executive chairwoman of the Sydney Philharmonia Choirs. Over the past ten years, Sara’s executive roles have included interim CEO of City West Housing, Vice-Principal (Operations) of The University of Sydney, and executive director and Chief Financial Officer of IBM Australia/New Zealand. She is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and of CPA Australia. In 2013, she was awarded a Women in ICT Achievement Award for her leadership skills and commitment to women in the Australian ICT Industry. She has a BSc (The University of Sydney) and MBA (Macquarie University). Sara was appointed to the Trust in January 2018.
Australian Museum Trust Act
The Act constitutes the Australian Museum Trust as a corporation with the corporate name “Australian Museum Trust” (see Section 5) and defines its powers, authorities, duties and functions.
The Museum is principally funded by the New South Wales Government.
The objectives of the Australian Museum Trust Act are to propagate knowledge about the natural environment of Australia and to increase that knowledge, particularly in the natural sciences of biology, anthropology and geology. Under the Act the Museum is governed by an 11 member Trust, appointed by the Governor on the recommendation of the Minister. One member of the Trust must have knowledge of, or experience in, science, one must have knowledge of, or experience in, education, and one must have knowledge of, or experience in, Australian Indigenous culture.