Director – National Museum of Australia, Canberra

The National Museum of Australia (NMA) has an exciting opportunity for an experienced leader to join the Museum to work with the Museum’s Council to deliver on its strategic priorities and core commitments over the next five years and beyond.

The Museum is located in Canberra, Australia and first opened its doors to the public in 2001. As defined in legislation (established through the National Museum of Australia Act 1980) the NMA’s function is focused on the collection, preservation, and interpretation of the cultural and natural heritage of Australia. To that end, the Museum’s collections include artifacts, artworks, archives and specimens that tell the stories of Australia’s history, society, culture and environment. The Museum pays particular attention to Australia’s Indigenous histories and cultures as well as European colonial and post-Federation history, including Australia’s interaction with the environment. It plays a critical role in sharing and explaining the story of Australia from First Nations and deep time to the present day, to national and international audiences.

About the role:

The Director of the National Museum is responsible for managing the Museum in line with Council’s strategic directions. This role includes setting the museum’s creative direction, leading its growth and transformation, and ensuring operational and financial sustainability.

Key responsibilities:

  • Develop a creative mission, vision, and brand that resonate with diverse audiences.
  • Tell engaging stories about Australia and foster knowledge, understanding, and connection, including public facing roles.
  • Collaborate with First Nations staff and communities to incorporate Indigenous perspectives.
  • Structure the Museum effectively and empower the executive team.
  • Optimise funding allocations and diversify funding sources.
  • Manage stakeholders, including government, maintain relationships, and represent the Museum.
  • Lead the Museum’s digital initiatives and promote digital skills.
  • Develop and deliver the Museum’s operational strategy.

The successful candidate:

The successful candidate will have a proven track record of achievement within the museums, arts and/or cultural sectors. They will drive vision and purpose by implementing the NMA’s vision, mission, and values, and inspiring others with a sense of energy and optimism. They will possess a strategic mindset and can translate future possibilities into breakthrough strategies, integrating long-term opportunities with day-to-day activities. They excel at balancing the needs of multiple stakeholders and creating an organisational culture that upholds high ethics and cultural sensitivity. They plan and align work to meet organisational goals, ensuring accountability and fostering trust through honesty, integrity, and authenticity. They collaborate effectively, build networks both inside and outside the organisation, and have a strong understanding of financial indicators and how they impact business decisions. The successful candidate will also be adept in public-facing communication. They have proven ability to build strong teams, develop talent, and are tech-savvy, anticipating and adopting innovations in digital and technology applications. Finally, the successful candidate will have proven experience building and maintaining effective relationships and trust with First Nations organisations.

The NMA will be supported in its search for this appointment by the executive search firm Korn Ferry. For further information or to register your interest, applicants should contact Courtenay Atwell at

The closing date for applications is Wednesday 19 July 2023.

Categories: Job Postings