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

Our Board members are responsible for setting the general policies and strategic direction of Museums of History NSW. Appointed by the NSW Governor 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

Chair

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 2008-2018; Vice-Chancellor of the University of Adelaide from 1996-2001.

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

Deputy Chair

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 NSW, 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

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 such as the 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, the 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 she 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

Dylan Mooney is a proud Yuwi, Torres Strait and South Sea Islander man from Mackay in North Queensland working across painting, printmaking, digital illustration and drawing.

Influenced by history, culture and family, Mooney responds to community stories, current affairs and social media. Armed with a rich cultural upbringing, Mooney now translates the knowledge and stories passed down to him, through art. Legally blind, the digital medium’s backlit display allows the artist 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 with 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 New South Wales. He has held several major positions and served on numerous prominent organizations 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, Australian Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow 2004, University of Newcastle Researcher of the Year 2008 and 2012.

In 2014 he 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.

Professor Maynard’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 BA (Hons) and an MA from the University of Cape Town and completed her DPhil as a Rhodes Scholar at Magdalen College, Oxford in 1997. She moved to Australia in 1998, taking up a post-doctoral 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 nineteenth and twentieth century Australian history as well as thematic units that situate Australia within broader British Imperial developments.

In 2004 Kirsten McKenzie 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. 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 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. She 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 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

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 Aboriginal and historic cultural heritage assessment, management and heritage conservation for public and private sector clients. Sharon teaches Heritage Planning at the University of NSW, has published three books and regularly contributes to peer-reviewed journals.She is a member of the National Parks and Wildlife Advisory Council, is on the Editorial Board of the Australia ICOMOS refereed journal, Historic Environment, and is a member of the ICOMOS International Scientific Committee on the Interpretation and Presentation of Cultural Heritage Sites.

Sharon is a former Trustee on the Board of Sydney Living Museums and the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service Advisory Council, and is a current board member of Ausheritage.

Our executive team

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.

Danielle Toga

A/Chief Operating Officer

Acting in the role of Chief Operating Officer since April 2022, Danielle leads the operations branch of our organisations providing executive leadership and direction to to Museums & Visitor Services, Corporate Services, and Commercial Services divisions. This diverse portfolio provides the operational functions across our organisations, including Finance, ICT, People & Culture, Buildings and Facilities, Business Assurance, Venue Hire and Retail teams.

In November 2021, Danielle joined joined Sydney Living Museums and State Archives & Records Authority of NSW as Director, Corporate Services, responsible for driving corporate processes and procedures, standards and policies, ensuring they meet compliance obligations under the applicable legislation. In this role there was a strong focus in strengthening corporate capability, facilitating corporate planning and performance monitoring.

Danielle has over 16 years’ experience in senior roles within NSW government, in a wide range of corporate areas. Danielle has extensive experience in the strategic leadership of people and programs, driving the achievement of key organisational priorities as well as critical-to-business operations. Her 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.

Martyn Killion

Director, Collections

Collecting History

As Director, Martyn has oversight of the care, management and accessibility of our collections, most notably the State Archives Collection, the Caroline Simpson Collection and house museum collections. This involves ensuring the proper transfer of material including transfer of records into the State Archives Collection and their documentation; their care through conservation; and providing services for the public to access the collections.

This division is supported by key business units – Access Services, Collections Care, and Collection Services.

Martyn has over 35 years’ experience in the NSW Public Sector. This includes a long association with NSW State Archive and extensive government experience particularly in the area of culture and the arts having worked in a number of roles at Arts NSW (now Create NSW) and in cultural institutions.

Ben Alexander

Director, Commercial Services

Supplementing History

As Director, Ben leads the Commercial Services division with oversight of Digitisation, Information Processing, Logistics, Venues and Leaseholds. The Commercial Services division performs under the Chief Operating Officer and supports the financial stability of our organisations generated by our commercial offerings.

Ben has over 24 years’ experience in Records Management service provision, with a focus on Warehouse, Logistics and Digitisation services. Working across the public and private sector Ben has gathered deep experience in a number of roles, particularly in operations and systems areas, with over 9 years at the General Manager/Director level.

Kathryn Natoli

Director, Strategy & External Relations

Aiding History and Securing History

Kathryn as our Director, Strategy & External Relations leads the division that is responsible for providing expert advice, monitoring the performance and compliance of our organisations and directly supporting the work of MHNSW through valuable corporate partnerships and philanthropy. The heritage advice, strategic projects, procurement, governance, philanthropy and corporate partnerships functions all form part of the division she leads. In this role, Kathryn also acts as our Chief Audit Executive and Chief Risk Officer.

Kathryn practiced employment law for 9 years and has a Bachelor of Law and Master of Law specialising in In-House Counsel. Since joining the State Archives & Records Authority of NSW in 2018 Kathryn has led three different machinery of Government transitions, developed internal audit capacity and increased compliance and risk maturity.

Rebecca Bushby

Director, Programming, Production & Audience

Communicating History

As Director, Rebecca leads the Programming, Production and Audience division supported by key business units – Curatorial & Research, Digital & Design, Production & Experiences, Audience & Marketing and First Nations Cultural Engagement. Rebecca joined Sydney Living Museums in 2017, and shortly after was appointed Project Director for the transformational Hyde Park Barracks Renewal project. A project which redefined heritage interpretation for the organisation and had a significant impact in the sector.

Rebecca has over 20 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 broad audience appeal.

Her key achievements align with the development of business cases, securing funding, developing strong partnerships, stakeholder management, communications, creative development, production, and digital engagement.

Rebecca has a strategic approach to commissioning and development which enables the activation of many delivery platforms - exhibitions, installations, events, public programs, learning programs, publications and digital. She is responsible for ensuring deep understandings of place, collections and history to inform contemporary curatorial practices, the delivery of multiple perspectives, learning outcomes and broad audience reach.

Joy Hiley

Director, Corporate Services

Supporting History

Joy is currently acting in the role of Director Corporate Services leading the key operational functions of Finance, ICT, Capital Works and People & Culture. The Corporate Services division performs under the Chief Operating Officer and supports business operations by ensuring appropriate procedures and compliance are in place.

Joy joined the organisation as Head of People and Culture in 2020 and has over 15 years experience in leadership roles in the NSW Public Sector, including those covering workforce strategy and support. Joy is a Certified Practising Fellow of the Australian Human Resources Institute and has a Master’s of Public Administration.

Susan Sedgwick

Director, Museum Operations & Visitor Services

Visiting History

As the Director, Museum Operations & Visitor Services, Susan leads a customer-focussed team in the sustainable management of Museums of History NSW’s portfolio of 12 historic properties, museums and landscapes. Her team focusses on the provision of information, and access to enhance customer experience, enjoyment, and knowledge. She leads MHNSW teams in the delivery of exceptional customer service, onsite and online 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 Hise

Project Director

As Project Director, Parramatta North, 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 Ehlers

Project Director

Andrea was appointed in May 2022 as the Project Director for the New Museum Sydney.

Andrea has 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.

A visitor listening to audio clips as part of the Unrealised Sydney exhibition at the Museum of Sydney

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