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5 November 2021

National Museum of Australia welcomes the appointment of the Hon Warwick Smith AO as its new Council Chair

The National Museum of Australia welcomes the appointment of Warwick Smith AO as the new Chair of the Museum’s Council.

Mr Smith has had an outstanding career in public life including as a member of the Australian Federal Parliament and is one of Australia’s most recognised and respected voices on trade and international business.

Mr Smith said, ‘I look forward to working with this significant Australian institution to further the 20-year record of reflecting Australia’s history, culture and opportunity.’

National Museum Director Dr Mathew Trinca said, ‘We’re delighted to welcome Warwick Smith as the new Chair of the Museum’s Council.

‘Mr Smith comes to us with a long list of accomplishments in trade and international business and has made a remarkable contribution to public life in politics, business and international relations.

‘I believe he is the perfect person to take the Museum to the next stage of its development after what has been a challenging two years during the Covid-19 pandemic.’

Mr Smith is currently Chairman of the Advisory Board Australian Capital Equity, Ord Minnett and the Global Engagement Committee with the Business Council of Australia. He is a Board Director of Seven Group Holdings Ltd and Estia Health Ltd. Other corporate roles have included Executive Director of Macquarie Bank and a Senior Managing Director of ANZ Banking Group. He was previously Chairman of Bundanon Trust, Chairman of the Australian Sports Commission, and Australia's first Telecommunications Ombudsman. He also served four terms in the Australian Parliament and was the Minister for Sport, Territories and Local Government when the Howard Government announced in December 1996 that design work could begin for the National Museum of Australia. Mr Smith was also Minister in the House of Representatives for Communications, the Information Economy and the Arts and Environment.

Mr Smith has received a Centenary Medal and has twice been awarded an Order of Australia for his services to the promotion of international trade and tourism, philanthropy through a range of charitable and community organisations, and to the community.

Mr Smith replaces David Jones who was Chair of the Council for six years. Mr Jones was appointed Chair of the National Museum in June 2015 and received a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in June 2021.

Dr Trinca thanked Mr Jones, who he said had overseen one of the most significant periods in the Museum’s history. ‘David served as chair through a period of real growth at the National Museum, overseeing the institution’s major gallery redevelopments and applying his considerable business acumen to the running of the organisation and its critical digital strategy development,’ Dr Trinca said.

‘We would also like to thank Ben Maguire who graciously stepped in as acting chair until Warwick’s appointment’.

Media contact: Diane Morris 02 6208 5497 or

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