Maritime Museum announces new First Nations chief
Kevin Sumption, CEO and Director of the Australian National Maritime Museum, is delighted to announce the appointment of Matt Poll as the Museum’s Director of Indigenous Programs.
“We are very pleased to have secured Matt from the University of Sydney, where he has built an impressive reputation as Associate Curator of Indigenous Heritage. His experience was first built at the Macleay Museum and more recently at the new Chau Chak Wing Museum. Matt brings over 20 years of experience and understanding of First Nations cultural and artistic practice to our museum and is the ideal person to continue to shape our Indigenous programs and the National Maritime Collection.
Matt, who is of Islander descent from the South Seas and Torres Strait, said: “I have been incredibly fortunate to work with Indigenous communities and knowledge keepers who have generously provided me with experiences of learning through which I developed a unique understanding of the important need for authenticity in how Indigenous voices are to be brought to the forefront of representing Indigenous culture today. Accountability and authenticity are not only part of the consultation process, but more importantly, they must be presented as tangible and visible aspects of public programming and exhibition outcomes.
“I am particularly interested in the development of collections that is participatory and relational to the desires of communities on how they want to see themselves today and in the future. The importance of using digital platforms to create social spaces for conversations around collection management and exhibition development and documentation has never been more critical than it is now. I find the opportunities to use social media and other online platforms to build engagement with the Maritime Museum exciting. I am incredibly honored to be able to use the museum’s resources and networks to empower indigenous communities while conserving, exhibiting and providing a platform for the community to express the voice of indigenous maritime and marine knowledge on the global stage.
Matt will lead the Indigenous Programs team at the Australian National Maritime Museum from mid-September. The museum will make further announcements regarding the staffing of the Indigenous programs team in due course.
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