Our people

Family of two adults and two children talking to woman with ponytail while looking into display case.
Visitors talking to curator Fiona Starr at The Mint on Australia Day 2013. Photo © Narelle Spangher / Monde Photo for Sydney Living Museums
Our work relies on a huge team of people – all passionate and dedicated, with an extraordinary range of talents and skills. 

Some work for us as staff but many more as volunteers and supporters. Without their time, effort and energy, we could not do the work we do.

This great diversity of people, talent and ideas is spread out around our different properties and across the state and beyond. Yet they are held together with common purpose and direction through the guidance of our Board of Trustees and Management Team.


Our Trustees

Our Board of nine Trustees is appointed under the provisions of the Historic Houses Act 1980 to oversee our work, priorities and direction. Appointed by the NSW governor on the recommendation of the minister, the Trustees represent a diversity of expertise and experience in history, architecture, conservation, business, law, information technology, education and management. Trustees are appointed for a term of up to three years and can serve a maximum of three consecutive terms.



Michael Rose, Chairman


Michael is a lawyer by background and the Chairman of a number of government, arts and not-for-profit organisations including the Committee for Sydney and ChildFund Alliance. He is active in Indigenous affairs, being a member of the Referendum Council on Constitutional Recognition and a Board member of various organisations focused on welfare reform, economic development and education in Indigenous communities. He is also a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Michael was appointed as a trustee in June 2010. Michael’s current term expires on 31 December 2018.

Head and shoulders shot of man.

Roderick Simpson

BSc (Architecture)

Roderick has recently been appointed by the NSW Government as the inaugural Environment Commissioner of the Greater Sydney Commission. Prior to that he was an Associate Professor and Director of the Urban Design and Master of Urbanism Programs in the Faculty of Architecture, Design and Planning at the University of Sydney and principal of simpson+wilson whose work ranges across architecture, urban design and strategic planning. He has worked for the Commonwealth, State and Territory governments, on metropolitan and regional planning, as Manager of Urban Design for the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust, and has won a number of urban design and planning competitions at both national and international level. He also has an interest in cultural planning and has previously been a board member of the Historic Houses Trust, and was recently appointed to the UrbanGrowth NSW Design Directorate.  Roderick’s term expires on 28 June 2019.


Louise McElvogue

Louise is a principal of Macleod Media which advises on strategy, technology and media. Louise works with boards, government and executives to set business strategy and policy and to develop e-business, partnerships and digital efficiencies. She has worked in the US, Europe and Australia for clients including McDonald's, Invensys, the ABC, News Limited, Channel 4, the BBC and Societe Generale. Louise was a member of the Federal Government's Convergence Review in 2012. This landmark review of Australia's media and internet regulatory framework recommended a new approach to regulation. She has a background in journalism and her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Guardian, Financial Times Media, Wall St Journal TV, the BBC and CNN. Louise was appointed a trustee in March 2013. Louise's current term expires on 5 March 2019.

Head and shoulders shot of woman.

Sharon Veale

BA (Hons), MA Public History, Grad Dip Urban and Regional Planning

Sharon is a Partner and the Chief Executive at GML Heritage. With a background in urban planning and public history, she has extensive experience in Aboriginal and historic cultural heritage assessment, management and heritage conservation for public and private sector clients. Sharon teaches Heritage Planning at the University of NSW, has published three books and regularly contributes to peer-reviewed journals.  She is a member of the National Parks and Wildlife Advisory Council, is on the Editorial Board of the Australia ICOMOS refereed journal, Historic Environment, and is a member of the ICOMOS International Scientific Committee on the Interpretation and Presentation of Cultural Heritage Sites. Sharon’s term expires on 28 June 2019.


Paddy Carney

Paddy is a registered company auditor, a partner at PwC and is also a member of its Board of Partners in Australia. She has over 20 years' financial experience with PwC in the UK and Australia across a broad range of clients with a focus on the retail and consumer sector.  She is also a governor of the Sir David Martin Foundation which aims to get more young people off the streets, away from unhealthy situations and into care and rehabilitation. Paddy was appointed as a trustee in March 2013. Paddy's current term expires on 5 March 2019.

Naseema Sparks

Naseema Sparks

Naseema Sparks is an experienced company director and serves on a number of ASX-listed, advisory boards as well as Government regulatory bodies. Naseema is a 'top line growth' director: She has a deep understanding of consumers and hands-on management and operational experience in organisations where the main driver of growth and differentiation is innovation and human capital.

Her expertise includes retail, online commerce, media & marketing, technology services and manufacturing. Naseema's executive career was as Managing Director of global communications company M&C Saatchi and she holds an MBA from Melbourne Business School. Naseema was appointed a trustee in April 2014. Naseema's current term expires on 1 April 2017.

Siobhan Toohill

Siobhan Toohill 

BSc (Arch), BArch, Grad Dip Urban Design

Siobhan is the head of group sustainability and community at Westpac where she is responsible for the organisation’s sustainability strategy, responding to pressing social issues including demographic change, economic solutions to environmental challenges and helping customers achieve sustainable financial futures. Her role also encompasses community partnerships, the Westpac Foundation, the Westpac Bicentennial Foundation and Indigenous engagement. Previously she established the sustainability function at Stockland and has held senior design roles with Stockland, Lend Lease and the NSW Government’s Urban Design Advisory Service. Siobhan is also the deputy chair of the Green Building Council of Australia, director of the Australian Building Codes Board and co-founder of the podcast, Out the Front. Siobhan was appointed a trustee in April 2014. Siobhan's current term expires on 1 April 2017.

Al Baxter

Alastair Baxter

BSc (Arch) BArch University of Sydney 2001 RAIA GAICD

Alastair is a practicing architect, board member, sustainability engagement consultant, TV Sports commentator and former Australian and NSW professional rugby union player.

Alastair has over 13 years’ experience as an architect at Cox Richardson Architects and Planners with extensive experience in master planning, major sports, leisure, convention and exhibition facilities in Australia and internationally. Outside of architecture, he is a Principal of Sustainable Forward Consulting Group addressing environmental, social and economic sustainability issues in Australia and the South Pacific. He is a director on the Waratah Rugby Board, the Historic Houses Trust Foundation Board and has a number of roles as a TV sports and rugby commentator. As a professional rugby player, Alastair played for the Wallabies and Waratahs from 1999 to 2011 and finished rugby as Australia’s most capped test prop. Alastair was appointed a trustee in April 2014. Alastair's current term expires on 1 April 2017.

At least one trustee is to have knowledge or experience in history, and at least one trustee is to have knowledge or experience in architecture.
Historic Houses Act 1980, 2.6(i)



Our Management Team

Portrait of Mark
Mark Goggin, Executive Director. Photo © Stuart Miller for Sydney Living Museums

Mark Goggin

Executive director

Mark Goggin has 20 years leadership experience across the museum, cultural and health sectors, as CEO, marketer, festival producer, educator and researcher. For 12 years, Mark was General Manager, Marketing, Museum Experience & Commercial Services, at the Powerhouse Museum where he was responsible for the museum’s brand and sites, building audience engagement and instilling modern commercial practices that contributed to a more sustainable museum. He was responsible for leading entrepreneurial exhibition projects and creating innovative public programs, such as the annual Sydney Design festival. He has succeeded in broadening the museum’s profile, reach and appeal; renewing the heritage site of Sydney Observatory and launching Powerhouse Discovery Centre, the museum's publicly accessible Collection Stores. In 2011, he managed the museum’s most ambitious project: Harry Potter: The Exhibition, which claimed the mantle as the most successful paid exhibition in NSW history, generating a record $46.9 million for the NSW economy and attracting over 382,500 visitors. The exhibition won the 2012 Premier’s Public Sector Award for ‘Building the economy', recognised as the state's most significant new economic project.   

Recently, Mark led a national coalition of partners to secure the rights to host the prestigious Communicating the Museum conference, the leading international forum for cultural communicators in the art gallery and museum world, to be staged in Sydney and Melbourne in November, 2014. Originally trained as a psychologist (BA Hons), he has an Executive Masters of Public Administration from the Australian & New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG). Prior to the Powerhouse, Mark was General Manager of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras (1996-2001), growing this hallmark cultural festival into Australia’s largest tourism event, injecting $99 million annually into the Sydney economy.


Portrait of woman against sandstone wall.
Dr Caroline Butler-Bowdon, Director, Curatorial & Public Engagement Photo © James Horan for Sydney Living Museums

Dr Caroline Butler-Bowdon

Director, Strategy & Engagement

Dr Caroline Butler-Bowdon is the Director, Strategy & Engagement at Sydney Living Museums. Spanning 20 years her career has been dedicated to cultural leadership that connects diverse audiences to history, arts and heritage through a broad range of public engagement programs, including festivals, exhibitions and books. At SLM, she uses her vision, experience and expertise to lead the cross—platform programming in the fields of interpretation, exhibitions, regional touring program, public programs, education, web + digital, volunteering, and publications for the portfolio’s 12 museums and historic houses. She also leads the work of SLM’s City and House Museums Portfolios. She is the winner of multiple awards for the books, curatorial and creative history projects she has written, produced and led that share the stories of urban life, architecture and design across the centuries. She completed the Museum Leadership Institute Program in 2012 at The Getty Leadership Institute at Claremont Graduate University, California and completed her PhD on the history of apartment living in Sydney at the University of New South Wales in 2009.

Portrait of Ian
Ian Innes, Director, Heritage & Collections. Photo © James Horan for Sydney Living Museums

Ian Innes

Director, Heritage & Collections

Ian has over 20 years experience in cultural landscape management and conservation, including in senior management roles at the Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney and Centennial Parklands. He studied architecture and, later, landscape architecture, and his ongoing professional interests developed since that time span a range of aspects of the built environment including: architectural and landscape design, heritage conservation, cultural landscape management, contract administration and project management, strategic asset management, horticulture and arboriculture, and garden plant conservation.


Portrait photo of woman in grey jacket and red shirt standing in front of sandstone wall.
Lisa Walters, Director, Operations & Governance. Photo © Stuart Miller for Sydney Living Museums

Lisa Walters

Director, Operations and Governance

As the Director, Operations and Governance Lisa is responsible for Finance, Human Resources, IC&T and Compliance & Knowledge. Immediately prior to this role, Lisa was the Chief Operating Officer at Greenpeace Australian Pacific, following 15 years in the Financial Services sector, locally and internationally, managing transformation change.