The Victorian Museums & Galleries Forum is a one-day event dedicated to discussing trending topics in the museum and gallery sector. It takes place every other year in Melbourne, alternating with our State Conference in regional Victoria.

The inaugural edition of the Forum was held on Tuesday 15 September 2015 at Melbourne Museum. The event featured two morning plenary sessions with five speakers covering a variety of topics, including: adapting to change, innovating for success, public programming, and inclusive practice.

In the afternoon, three parallel sessions with nine speakers included a hands-on workshop on mapping the customer journey and talks on creating media-rich exhibitions, the international museum community, local museum practice, a curatorial fellow's experience at the Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Museum, and an artist’s guide to building a 15-minute CRM system.

The Forum concluded with a panel discussion on how to work with different audiences, sector advocacy, and ways to ensure that accessibility is an agenda for all of us.

Lunch was held on the Museum plaza with a selection of food trucks to choose from: Mr Burger, Taco Truck, and Lil’ nomnoms.

The program also included a special lunchtime networking event for students to meet like-minded people already working in the sector, and afterwards drinks at the Pumphouse Hotel to continue the conversation.

> Browse the 2015 Forum handbook (or view as PDF)

Plenary and Panel Session Speakers

Browse the Forum handbook (or view as PDF) for session descriptions and parallel session speakers.



Emily Sexton

Emily is a curator, producer, and festival director. She is currently Head of Programming for The Wheeler Centre, and a Sidney Myer Creative Fellow for 2015-16. From 2010-14, Emily was the Artistic Director of Next Wave, Australia’s leading contemporary arts organisation for emerging artists. According to The Age, Emily’s key achievements for Next Wave include a radical rethink of an arts festival model, which led to huge audience increases, greater representation of culturally diverse and Indigenous practitioners, substantial increases in funding, and the introduction of a significant international commissions program.




Janet Carding

A museum professional for over two decades, Janet obtained her degree from Cambridge University in History and Philosophy of Science. Her career in museums began with London’s Science Museum as a curator. She held a variety of positions there over 15 years, including playing a leading role in the building of the Wellcome Wing extension and major other projects across the Science Museum Group. In 2004, Janet became the Assistant Director, Public Programs & Operations, with the Australian Museum. In 2010, she was appointed Director and CEO of the Royal Ontario Museum in Canada. She returned to Australia in 2015 to take up her current role as Director of the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery in Hobart.



Brian Oldman

Brian is the Director of the South Australian Museum. He has held senior executive positions in some of London’s most respected cultural and scientific institutions, having worked in transformative roles at the British Museum, the National Maritime Museum, the Zoological Society of London, and Sir John Soane’s Museum. For five years, he was the Managing Director of the British Museum Company. He has successfully led dynamic programmes to increase visitor numbers, linked institutional research to community programmes, built collaboration within institutions, and developed commercial income streams.




Esther Anatolitis

Writer and curator Esther Anatolitis is Director of Regional Arts Victoria and a passionate advocate for the arts. She has led several of the state’s key arts organisations and consulted to numerous others on their strategic planning and programming. Esther’s past professional roles span craft and design, literary arts, multicultural arts, and publishing and broadcasting. She has presented sole and collaborative work around the world, has been published widely, and writes regularly for news and specialised media. In 2014-15, she is undertaking a self-directed creative professional development supported by the Australia Council Artistic Leadership fund.



Brett Dunlop

Brett is a 30-year veteran of the Australian museum sector. He joined the museum world in 1985 as an Education Officer on the Powerhouse Museum Project before moving into management roles including: Manager, Visitor Services, and Head of Education at the Australian Museum, and Manager at the Melbourne Museum. In 2013, Brett was appointed as Director Museums for the Sovereign Hill Museums Association in Ballarat. His responsibilities include Collections, Costume, Education, Interpretation and Volunteers.



Andrew Hiskens

Andrew Hiskens is the Manager of Learning Services at the State Library of Victoria and the current President of Museums Australia Education. His previous responsibilities include exhibitions, publishing, public programs, marketing, and literary programming. Andrew has also worked at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, and for the National Trust of Australia (Victoria).  He is interested in the intersection of libraries, learning, technology and ideas.


And also:

  • Dr Eddie Paterson, Lecturer, School of Culture and Communication, University of Melbourne & Akash Temple, Communications Officer, Arts Access
  • Veronica Pardo, Executive Director, Arts Access Victoria


Forum Sponsors and Supporters

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