Dr Sophie Jensen has made a major contribution to the life of the National Museum of Australia and to the National Historical Collection more broadly, since she first joined the Museum in 1995.
One of the early successes in Sophie’s career was as a crucial part of the team which developed and delivered the Eternity gallery. This gallery was one of the Museum’s initial permanent exhibitions and brought a revolutionary interpretative approach to the emotional and experiential representation of Australian history. Sophie was then able to use this approach to other permanent galleries which she managed for a number of years.
Sophie has been responsible for curating of a number of exhibitions which have established the Museum’s reputation and set the benchmark for much of the work which followed. These have included Rare Trades, which was the first in-house major exhibition developed by the National Museum; In Search of the Birdsville Track: An Artist in the Outback; Miss Australia: A Nation’s Quest, which toured domestically; and Hickory Dickory Dock; our initial Play School exhibition and Happy Birthday Play School: Celebrating 50 Years; one of our domestic touring triumphs.
Sophie is particularly skilled in working with external interests, a prime example of which was her work with the Chamberlain family. She has also led public events focused on this remarkable collection which speaks directly to the contemporary history of our nation.
Most recently, Sophie has been pivotal in negotiations for the successful acquisition of the Trevor Kennedy collection, an unrivalled collection of rare and remarkable Australiana.
Sophie has ably represented the Museum and is always willing to share her knowledge and expertise with colleagues and the public. Her passion and enthusiasm are inspirational.
The Director’s Award for Excellence recognises the quality of professional practice and achievement of a Museum staff member. This award celebrates Sophie’s outstanding contribution as a curator at the National Museum of Australia and her commitment to the wider community in all her work.