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Director’s Award for Excellence 2021

Tracy Sutherland has displayed excellent judgement in her management of media affairs, public relations and marketing at the National Museum of Australia. More recently, when the Museum confronted the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic, she excelled in providing coordination and leadership in refocusing the Museum’s online delivery of programs and content.

Since 2013, Tracy’s oversight of the Museum’s communications has been a fundamental to the success of major exhibitions and related programs, such as Encounters, Defining Moments and Endeavour Voyage. Her calm and considered approach to challenges the Museum faced during these and other key programs has helped to communicate the scope of the organisation’s ambitions while ensuring it dealt effectively with reputational risks. Much of this work has been relatively unnoticed precisely because she has dealt with and managed threats in a nuanced and sensitive fashion.

Tracy is highly-regarded by her peers in the Corporate Management Group and is a collaborative colleague who seeks to promote effective cross-institutional projects. A measure of her standing across the Museum is the fact that her views and advice are often sought by others. She is also an engaged and thoughtful contributor to wider Museum discussions who is strongly engaged in strategic planning efforts. While her work has been largely focused on messaging and public communications, she has also initiated relationships and projects with key external interests.

There is no doubt Tracy has worked tirelessly in support of staff and colleagues at the Museum for many years. She is a highly effective manager who displays genuine leadership while maintaining a great sense of collaboration and cooperative effort with her colleagues. For her exceptional contribution to the Museum and its standing, Tracy Sutherland is a very worthy winner of the Director’s Award for Excellence in 2021.

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