To present varied and rich perspectives on history, we have a diverse and dedicated team. Some work for us as staff; many more as volunteers and supporters. Without their time, effort and energy, we simply could not do the work we do.
This dynamic mix of people, passion and ideas is held together with common purpose and direction through the guidance of our Board and executive team.
Our Board members are responsible for setting the general policies and strategic direction of Museums of History NSW. Appointed by the Governor of New South Wales on the recommendation of the NSW Minister for the Arts, the Board members bring a diverse range of expertise and experience in history, the archival profession, heritage, First Nations cultures and more.
Board members can be appointed for a term of up to three years and can serve a maximum of three consecutive terms.
Mary O’Kane AC
Mary O’Kane AC is Chair of the NSW Independent Planning Commission, a company director and Executive Chairman of O’Kane Associates, a Sydney-based consulting practice specialising in government reviews. She was NSW Chief Scientist & Engineer from 2008 to 2018; Vice-Chancellor of The University of Adelaide from 1996 to 2001.
Mary has served on several boards and committees in the public and private sectors, especially related to innovation, education, energy, engineering, health, Antarctica, ICT and research. She is currently Chair of the boards of Aurora Energy Pty Ltd and Sydney Health Partners and is a member of the boards of AEMO Services Ltd and the Silverchain Group.
Loretta Di Mento
Loretta Di Mento is a non-executive director and advisor holding multiple board and audit committee roles for government agencies and not-for-profit organisations, primarily in the health and education sectors.
Formerly an audit partner with Ernst & Young (EY) Sydney, Loretta brings more than 25 years’ experience, providing a range of professional services to listed, private and fast-growth companies. She has specific expertise in corporate governance, risk management and finance in not-for-profit and entrepreneurial organisations.
Loretta has a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of New South Wales, is a member of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand and a member of the Institute of Company Directors.
Loretta is a former member of the Sydney Living Museums Board of Trustees.
Anton Enus, a broadcast journalist for the past 40 years, has been presenting SBS world news bulletins since 1999.
He began his career at the South African national broadcaster SABC as a radio news reporter, later working as a parliamentary correspondent, current affairs producer, TV news reporter and TV presenter, sometimes anchoring the breakfast news show Good morning South Africa.
Anton was part of the team that covered South Africa’s historic return to democracy in 1984, and at the time of migrating to Australia he was presenting the prime-time national news.
In addition to SBS world news, Anton has also hosted the discussion forum Insight, as well as special broadcasts for the Sydney Harbour Bridge Walk for Reconciliation, the response to the Cronulla beach riots, and – for a decade – the Walkley Awards for Excellence in Journalism.
He is a regular host at the Sydney Writers’ Festival, Adelaide Writers’ Week and other literary events.
Anton is an ambassador for Bowel Cancer Australia and a patron of Out For Australia, which supports LGBTIQ+ in the workplace.
Chris McDiven AM
Now retired, Chris McDiven AM was a primary school teacher and small business owner. Currently she is a director, and immediate past-chair of Together for Humanity and is a member of the Rotary Club of Sydney.
Previously Chris was a trustee of Sydney Living Museums, chairman of the Schizophrenia Institute, president of the Kambala School Council and both state and federal president of the Liberal Party of Australia in addition to serving as a director of several other not-for-profit organisations and foundations.
Chris was awarded the Order of Australia (AM) in 2011 for service to the Liberal Party and the community through education and women’s organisations.
Dylan Mooney is a proud Yuwi, Torres Strait and South Sea Islander man from Mackay in North Queensland. He works across painting, printmaking, digital illustration and drawing.
Influenced by history, culture and family, Dylan responds to community stories, current affairs and social media. Armed with a rich cultural upbringing, he now translates the knowledge and stories passed down to him, through art. The digital medium’s backlit display allows the artist, who is legally blind, to produce a high-impact illustrative style with bright, saturated colour that reflects his experiences with keen political energy and insight. This blending of digital technology and social commentary is a uniting of the artist’s sense of optimism – pride within the works exude profoundness and substance.
Dylan is among artists who are rethinking digital technologies and artistic practices to consider contemporary issues around identity, desire and representation. Interested in the ways in which we can reframe the conversation around some of the voices that have been left out, the artist has made an important body of work that embodies a shift in representation of queer love among people of colour.
Professor John Maynard
Emeritus Professor John Maynard is a Worimi Aboriginal man from the Port Stephens region of NSW. He has held several major positions and served on numerous prominent organisations and committees including deputy chairperson of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) and the Executive Committee of the Australian Historical Association. He was the recipient of the Aboriginal History (Australian National University) Stanner Fellowship 1996, the New South Wales Premiers Indigenous History Fellow 2003, the Australian Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow 2004 and the University of Newcastle Researcher of the Year 2008 and 2012.
In 2014, John was elected a member of the prestigious Australian Social Sciences Academy, and in 2020 made a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities. He gained his PhD in 2003, examining the rise of early Aboriginal political activism. He has worked with and within many Aboriginal communities, urban, rural and remote.
John’s publications have concentrated on the intersections of Aboriginal political and social history, and the history of Australian race relations. He is the author of several books, including Aboriginal stars of the turf, Fight for liberty and freedom, The Aboriginal soccer tribe, Aborigines and the sport of kings, True light and shade and Living with the locals.
Professor Kirsten McKenzie
Kirsten McKenzie began teaching Australian history at the University of Sydney in 2002. She has a Bachelor of Art (Hons) and a Master of Arts from the University of Cape Town and completed her PhD as a Rhodes Scholar at Magdalen College, Oxford, in 1997. Kirsten moved to Australia in 1998, taking up a postdoctoral research fellowship at the University of Queensland and later teaching at the University of New South Wales. Kirsten researches broadly within British imperial history, specifically by connecting British, South African and Australian history in the period 1780–1850.
She employs the perspectives of cultural history to ask questions about the relationship between identity, social status and political liberties. Kirsten teaches units of study in 19th and 20th century Australian history as well as thematic units that situate Australia within broader British imperial developments.
In 2004, Kirsten was awarded the Crawford Medal by the Australian Academy of the Humanities. The medal is awarded every two years to an Australian-based scholar in the early stages of their career whose work contributes towards an understanding of their discipline by the general public. Kirsten’s book A swindler’s progress: Nobles and convicts in the age of liberty was shortlisted for the Prime Minister’s Prize for Australian History 2011 and the Nettie Palmer Prize for Non-fiction, Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards 2010.
Penelope Seidler AM, LFRAIA
Penelope Seidler is the CEO of the Sydney architectural firm Harry Seidler & Associates and is a generous supporter and patron of the arts. She was inducted as a Life Fellow of the Royal Australian Institute of Architects (RAIA) in 2010 and received an Honorary Doctor of Letters from the University of New South Wales in 2011. Penelope was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in 2008 and was the recipient of the Sydney Alumni Award for Cultural Contribution in 2017.
Penelope has sat on the International Council of the Museum of Modern Art, New York, since 1973 and was a director of the Biennale of Sydney from 2010 to 2019. Penelope served as a Sydney Living Museums Trustee, was a member of the Australian Commissioners Council for the Venice Biennale from 2005 to 2013, is a former member of the National Gallery of Australia (NGA) Council and has been a member of the NGA Foundation since 2006.
Sharon Veale is a partner and the Chief Executive at GML Heritage. With a background in urban planning and public history, she has extensive experience in heritage conservation and management, and interpretation of world, national, state and locally listed heritage places for public and private sector clients and communities. She is a sessional lecturer at the University of New South Wales and is a board member of the Greater Sydney Parklands Trust and Ausheritage.
Sharon is a former member of the National Parks and Wildlife Advisory Council and she served as a Sydney Living Museums Trustee from 2017 to 2021. She is a member of the Planning Institute of Australia and a full international member of ICOMOS.
Dr John Vallance FAHA
Chief Executive Officer
Work is currently underway to recruit the inaugural CEO of the Museums of History NSW. In the meantime, the State Librarian, Dr John Vallance FAHA, is supporting MHNSW as its interim CEO.
Chief Operating Officer
Appointed as Chief Operating Officer in April 2023, Martyn provides executive leadership and direction across Corporate Services, Commercial Services, Museum Operations and Visitor Services, Programming, Production and Audience, Projects, and Strategy and External Relations.
Martyn has over 35 years’ experience in the NSW Public Sector, most recently as the Director, Collections for our organisation. Martyn’s experience includes over 30 years of association with the NSW State Archives Collection and extensive government experience in the arts having worked in a number of roles at Arts NSW (now Create NSW) and other cultural institutions.
Director, Corporate Services
As Director Corporate Services, Danielle leads the key operational functions of our organisation across Finance, ICT, Capital Works, People & Culture, and Internal Communications. Danielle is responsible for leading the creation and implementation of strategies that enable and support day-to-day business operations, with a strong focus on strengthening corporate capability, planning and performance monitoring.
Danielle has over 16 years’ experience in senior roles within NSW government, in a wide range of corporate areas, including extensive experience in the strategic leadership of people and projects, driving the achievement of key organisational priorities as well as business critical operations. Danielle’s major achievements include leading the Service NSW response to the 2020 cyber breach and driving rapid policy change at a cluster and whole of government level as a member of the COVID taskforce at Transport for NSW.
Dr Penny Stannard
Penny is currently acting in the role of Director, Collections, leading oversight of the care, management, and accessibility of our collections, most notably the State Archives Collection, the Caroline Simpson Library & Research Collection and, the house museum collections.
Penny joined our organisation in 2016 as Senior Curator, Exhibitions and has over 25 years’ experience in the cultural sector, incorporating senior roles in government with responsibility for arts and culture portfolios. Penny holds a PhD from the University of Technology Sydney in cultural policy studies and history and is published in Australia and internationally.
Director, Commercial Services
Ben leads the commercial services division which operates the Government Records Repository (GRR), a world-class storage, digitisation, information processing and logistics service and facility for semi-active records created by NSW public sector bodies, including government agencies, local councils, public hospitals and universities. Ben’s division generates significant revenue that underpins the financial sustainability of the organisation.
Ben has over 25 years’ experience in records management service provision, with a focus on warehousing, logistics and digitisation services. Working across the public and private sectors, Ben has gathered deep experience in a number of roles, particularly in operations and systems areas, with over nine years at the general manager and director level.
Director, Strategy & External Relations
Kathryn leads the strategy and external relations division which is responsible for providing expert heritage, governance and procurement advice, and delivering strategic projects, memberships, philanthropy and corporate partnerships. Kathryn also acts as our Chief Audit Executive and Chief Risk Officer, monitoring the performance and compliance of our organisation.
Kathryn has a Bachelor of Law and Master of Law specialising in in-house counsel, and practised employment law for nine years prior to joining the NSW Public Sector. Since joining the organisation in 2018, Kathryn has led three different machinery of government transitions, developed internal audit capacity and increased compliance and risk maturity.
Director, Programming, Production & Audience
Rebecca leads the programming, production and audience division which is responsible for curatorial and research, digital and design, production and experiences, audience and marketing, and First Nations cultural engagement.
Rebecca has over 25 years’ experience working in the museum, arts and cultural heritage sectors. Working across a range of content, communications and creative production areas, she manages teams to deliver strong narratives and diverse techniques to ensure multiple perspectives, diverse experiences and broad audience appeal.
Rebecca joined Sydney Living Museums in 2017, and shortly after was appointed project director for the transformational Hyde Park Barracks renewal project, which redefined heritage interpretation for the organisation and had a significant impact in the sector.
Director, Museum Operations & Visitor Services
Susan leads a visitor-focused team in the sustainable management of MHNSW’s portfolio of 12 historic properties, museums and landscapes. The Museums, Operations and Visitor Services division focuses on the provision of information and access to enhance customer experience, enjoyment and knowledge of our properties. Susan leads MHNSW in the delivery of exceptional customer service, venue hire, retail, volunteer engagement and management, museum operations and horticulture to the highest standards.
Susan has over 20 years’ experience working in national and state museums and cultural heritage sites and has worked in operational and visitor services, exhibitions, publications, curatorial, registration, interpretation, collections and access, building maintenance, site presentation and asset management.
Beth is responsible for leading the delivery of the Parramatta Female Factory Project, an immersive museum experience for the 1821 Female Factory Precinct and related new cultural and educational facilities. Beth has over 20 years’ experience with the organisation, including a strong background in history, exhibition development and project management. Her major achievements include leading curatorial and content for the Hyde Park Barracks renewal project.
Andrea is a Project Director with significant experience in developing business cases for government agencies that deliver transformative initiatives and developing long-term strategies for capital works programs. She has an extensive background in the design and architecture sector, leading successful design strategies for major projects for national and international, private and government clients.
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