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The Executive Management Group comprising the Director, a Deputy Director and four Assistant Directors, provides strategic and operational leadership for the Museum, including the management of major projects and the forward exhibition program.

Katherine McMahon, Director

Katherine McMahon

Katherine McMahon was appointed Director of the National Museum of Australia in February 2024. Ms McMahon joined the Museum in 2017 and has served in roles including Assistant Director, Discovery and Collections and Deputy Director.

Ms McMahon led the delivery of the Museum’s major gallery renewal program, including the Great Southern Land environmental history gallery and the Discovery Centre for young visitors.

Ms McMahon has been instrumental in the Museum's major exhibition program, bringing significant international exhibitions to Australia. She also oversaw the acquisition of the Trevor Kennedy Collection, one of the largest and most significant privately owned holdings of Australian decorative arts and historical objects.

Ms McMahon has more than 20 years in senior leadership roles in the arts and cultural sector. Prior to joining the National Museum, she led a decade long program of major gallery renewal at the Australian War Memorial which included the delivery of the acclaimed First World War galleries.

Tel: +61 2 6208 5001
Fax: +61 2 8362 9626
Email katherine.mcmahon@nma.gov.au

Ruth Wilson, Deputy Director (Acting)

Portrait photo of Ruth Wilson.

Ruth Wilson commenced in the role of Assistant Director, Corporate Operations and Services at the National Museum in June 2020 and prior to that was Acting Assistant Director, Public Engagement. She was appointed Deputy Director (Acting) in December 2023.

Since joining the Museum in early 2016, she has also been Acting Assistant Director, Collections and Content and Assistant Director, Visitor Services and Development. Ms Wilson has an extensive commercial background and has been engaged in the Museum’s development of own-source revenue.

Under her guidance, the Museum has increased its own-source revenue to an average of 20 per cent of all operating revenues. Ms Wilson has previously held executive positions at the National Gallery of Australia and the National Portrait Gallery, following 15 years in the private sector.

Tel: +61 2 6208 5009
Fax: +61 2 8362 9626
Email ruth.wilson@nma.gov.au

Rohan Haslam, Assistant Director (Acting), Corporate Operations and Services

Rohan Haslam was appointed Assistant Director (Acting), Corporate Operations and Services in December 2023; prior to that he was appointed Chief Finance Officer in August 2021.

Rohan has over 20 years’ experience across finance, governance and corporate management roles, having held leadership positions in cultural institutions including the Australian National Maritime Museum, the Canberra Museum and Gallery, and the Canberra Theatre Centre. He has also served on the board of the PACT Centre for Emerging Artists and been a consultant with EY prior to joining the Museum.

Tel: +61 2 6208 5053
Fax: +61 2 8362 9626
Email rohan.haslam@nma.gov.au

Sophie Jensen, Assistant Director (Acting), Discovery and Collections

A woman wearing blue latex gloves is inspecting a collection of memorabilia. She is standing in an aisle of a large storage warehouse.

Dr Sophie Jensen was appointed Assistant Director (Acting), Discovery and Collections in June 2023. She is a senior curator who has led the Museum's Curatorial team since 2021. Prior to leading the Curatorial team Dr Jensen was responsible for the Collections Development and Information unit and the Collections Development team.

Dr Jensen was pivotal in negotiations for the acquisition of the Trevor Kennedy Collection of rare and remarkable Australiana and has worked with a range of significant donors over many years to develop the Museum's National Historical Collection.

Dr Jensen has curated a range of exhibitions including Rare Trades, Miss Australia: A Nation’s QuestHappy Birthday Play School and Trevor Kennedy Collection: Highlights and was part of the team that developed the Eternity gallery. In 2020, Dr Jensen won the Director’s Award for Excellence at the Museum.

Tel: +61 2 6208 5009
Fax: +61 2 8362 9626
Email sophie.jensen@nma.gov.au

Tracy Sutherland, Assistant Director (Acting), Digital and Public Engagement

Tracy Sutherland was appointed Assistant Director (Acting), Digital and Public Engagement from November 2023 to June 2024.

As Head of Communications, Marketing and Public Affairs at the Museum, Ms Sutherland led the delivery of multi-platform communications strategies across media, marketing and social media. Prior to joining the Museum in 2013, Ms Sutherland was a journalist specialising in political, international trade and energy reporting.

Tel: +61 2 6208 5009
Fax: +61 2 8362 9626
Email tracy.sutherland@nma.gov.au

Senior managers

Margo Ngawa Neale is the First Nations Executive Member. Ms Neale is an Adjunct Professor in the Australian National University’s Centre for Indigenous History and has published widely. She is the editor of the First Knowledges book series, which explores Indigenous knowledges and their application to the present and the future. Ms Neale has curated several major pioneering exhibitions, including the multi-award winning Songlines: Tracking the Seven Sisters, currently on tour internationally.

Belinda Carman joined the Museum in 2006 as its in-house legal counsel, having held prior legal roles in the Commonwealth’s health, education and employment portfolios. In 2020 she took on responsibility for the Museum’s governance program, overseeing corporate and business planning, departmental liaison, performance reporting and internal audit, as well as the provision of secretariat and policy support to the Museum’s Council and Committees and internal Executive Management and Corporate Management groups.

Jem Varova joined the Museum as Chief Information Officer in June 2022. He started his public service career in 2000 and has held several technical positions within the Department of Veterans’ Affairs and the Department of Communications and the Arts. Mr Varova has most recently been instrumental in leading the modernisation of systems at the Australian Research Council.

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