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National Museum of Australia Chair, David Jones, and former Council member, Peter Yu, receive Order of Australia awards

14 June 2021

The National Museum of Australia in Canberra has congratulated Council chair David Jones and former Council member Professor Peter Yu on their Order of Australia awards.

Mr Jones was appointed Chair of the National Museum in June 2015 and has received a Member of the Order of Australia (AM).

National Museum director Dr Mathew Trinca congratulated Mr Jones, who he said has overseen one of the most significant periods in the Museum’s history.

‘We’re delighted that David Jones has received an Australia Day honour,’ said Dr Trinca.

‘David has served as chair through a period of real growth at the National Museum, overseeing the institution’s major gallery redevelopments which will be unveiled in October 2021 and applying his considerable business acumen to the running of the organisation and its critical digital strategy development,’ said Dr Trinca.

Prior to becoming Chair, Mr Jones served two terms on Council and was Chair of the Audit, Finance and Risk Committee.

Mr Jones is Executive Chairman of VGI Partners. VGI Partners is a high conviction global equity manager, managing capital for a select number of high net worth individuals, family offices, endowment funds and wholesale clients.

A Yawuru Man from Broome in the Kimberley region in North West Australia with over 35 years experience in Indigenous development and advocacy in the Kimberley and at the state, national and international level, Prof Yu has been made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM).

Prof Yu served on the National Museum’s Council between 2010 and 2016 and chaired the Museum’s Indigenous Reference Group (IRG) between 2011 and 2016.

Dr Trinca said Prof Yu’s experience was invaluable to the Museum as it oversaw major projects including the groundbreaking 2015 exhibition, Encounters: Revealing Stories of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Objects from the British Museum.

‘Congratulations to Peter Yu for his Order of Australia award – it is richly deserved,’ said Dr Trinca.  ‘Peter played an extremely important role on both the Museum’s Council and in chairing the IRG, guiding the Museum in areas across the policy and program spectrum and in particular in its commitment to reflecting the shared histories of Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians,’ said Dr Trinca.

In recognition of his service the Museum has established the annual Peter Yu award for staff who make a significant contribution to the implementation of the Museum’s Reconciliation Action Plan.

Prof Yu was Executive Director of the Kimberley Land Council during the 1990s and part of the national leadership group negotiating the Federal Government's response to the 1992 Mabo High Court judgement on native title.

His former roles include Deputy Chair of the Indigenous Land Corporation, Chair of the WA Aboriginal Housing Board, a member of the Board of the WA Museum, and the National Museum of Australia Council where he led the 2015–16 British Museum and National Museum exhibitions of Australian First Nations cultural objects.

He is currently a Board Member of the North Australian Indigenous Land and Sea Management Alliance Ltd (NAILSMA Ltd), Deputy Chair of the AFL Aboriginal Advisory Committee, Deputy Chair of Broome Future Ltd and Chair of the Indigenous Reference Group to the Ministerial Forum on Northern Development.

Prof Yu is the current and inaugural Vice-President First Nations at the Australian National University.

Media contact: Tracy Sutherland 0438 620 710

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