Our people

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.


Photo © James Horan for Sydney Living Museums

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.

Photo © James Horan for Sydney Living Museums

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.

Photo courtesy Michael McDaniel

Professor Michael McDaniel

Michael is an Aboriginal man, a member of the Kalari Clan of the Wiradjuri Nation of Central New South Wales. His career in Indigenous higher education and record of service to the arts, culture and the community spans three decades.

Michael is Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Indigenous leadership and Engagement) and Director of Jumbunna Institute for Indigenous Education and Research at the University of Technology Sydney where he is also a Professor in Indigenous Education. He is a member of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Higher Education Consortium (NATSIHEC) and the World Indigenous Peoples’ Higher Education Consortium (WINHEC). Currently Chair of the Board of Bangarra Dance Theatre, and Chair of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS), Michael also serves on the Board of the Museum of Contemporary Art (Australia). Michael has previously held Federal and State Government appointments including Commissioner with the NSW Land and Environment Court and the NSW Attorney General's Department. He has considerable experience in corporate and public sector consultation having worked with the Federal Court of Australia, Rio Tinto, Qantas, and the NSW Attorney General's Department. Michael has a strong commitment to the preservation of Wiradjuri culture, in particular the preservation and teaching of badhang wilay (possum skin cloak) making. His cloaks are in a number of private collections, with one being acquired by the National Gallery of Australia in 2008.

Photo courtesy Chris McDiven

Chris McDiven AM

Chris is a primary school teacher and small business owner by background and has served as a director of several not-for-profit organisations. Currently she is the Chairman of Together for Humanity and involved with the Rotary Club of Sydney and their projects. Previously she was the Chairman of the Schizophrenia Research Institute and President of the Kambala School Council. Chris was awarded the Order of Australia (AM) in 2011 for service to the Liberal Party and the community through education and women’s organisations. Chris was appointed as a trustee in January 2018.

Photo © James Horan for Sydney Living Museums

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.

Penelope Seidler AM

Penelope is the CEO of the Sydney architectural firm Harry Seidler & Associates and is a keen supporter, collector and patron of the arts.
Penelope was the joint recipient of the Royal Australian Institute of Architects (RAIA) Wilkinson Award in 1967 for the house she designed with her husband Harry Seidler in Killara, New South Wales, which is now on the State Heritage register; and was inducted as a Life Fellow of the RAIA in 2010.
Penelope was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in 2008 and was honoured by the French government in 2011 with the Chevalier Légion d'Honneur. She was also the recipient of the Sydney Alumni Award for Cultural Contribution in 2017, and received an Honorary Doctor of Letters from the University of NSW in 2011.

Penelope has sat on the International Council of the Museum of Modern Art, New York since 1973 and has been a Director of the Biennale of Sydney since 2010. Penelope was a member of the Australian Commissioners Council for the Venice Biennale from 2005 to 2013, is a former member of the National Gallery of Australia (NGA) Council and has beena member of the NGA Foundation since 2006. Penelope was also the subject of the 2014 Archibald Prize winning portrait by Fiona Lowry.


Photo © James Horan for Sydney Living Museums

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.

Photo © James Horan for Sydney Living Museums

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.

Photo © James Horan for Sydney Living Museums

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.

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

Photo © James Horan 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.

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.

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.

Photo © James Horan for Sydney Living Museums

Lisa Walters

Director, Operations & 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.

Photo © James Horan for Sydney Living Museums

Robert Campbell

Director, Curatorial & Museums

Graduating with a BA (Hons) in History from the University of Cambridge, Robert’s career has moved swiftly through leading exhibition and interpretation roles across urban (Museum of London, Imperial War Museum, Bristol Museum & Art Gallery) and national institutions (English Heritage). Robert has several significant and high profile achievements. Notably, at English Heritage, he delivered the interpretation for a major revitalisation of the visitor experience at Stonehenge, a UNESCO world heritage site. In his previous role at English Heritage, as Head of Interpretation & Resources, he managed a major capital renewal program across their sites. Robert’s particular interest is in creating compelling experiences at the forefront of modern heritage interpretation with authentic research and the needs of all visitors at their heart.

Diagram showing organisation structure.

Our staff

We feature some of our staff from across our areas of work and expertise. This will be added to over time.