Margaret Birtley leaves Deakin for the Collections Council of Australia

[from the Cultural Heritage Centre for Asia and the Pacific, Deakin University] Margaret Birtley leaves Deakin University in February 2005 to take up the role of Chief Executive Officer for the new Collections Council of Australia (CCA). This new position grew out of collections research work for the Cultural Ministers Council completed by the Cultural Heritage Centre at Deakin University in 2001. The research identified a need for a national coordinating body for heritage collections.The new CCA is a national advisory body which is independent of government and will represent the shared interests of galleries, libraries, archives and museums i.e. the whole collections sector in Australia. It will develop strategies to address the issues facing collections; develop support from industry and build closer links between collecting institutions.

Margaret Birtley joined Deakin University in 1994 and, since 2000, has designed and delivered the Museum Studies program together with colleagues from the Cultural Heritage Centre in the Faculty of Arts. She has been course director of the Cultural Heritage and Museum Studies programs since 2003.

Professor William Logan, Director of the Cultural Heritage Centre for Asia and the Pacific said:
“We are sad to lose a colleague who has played a key role in developing the centre and its programs, a devoted academic and a great friend. Nevertheless the position as inaugural CEO of the new Collections Council of Australia is a great opportunity for Margaret and one that could not be missed. We congratulate her wholeheartedly and wish her great success in the position as well as in the move to Adelaide where the CCA is to be based. We will maintain close working links with Margaret and continue to benefit from her professional expertise.”

The Cultural Heritage and Museum Studies suite of courses has recently been re-accredited for the next 5 years, and there is a strong cohort of new students enrolled to commence in February 2005 bringing the total number of students in Australia and overseas to almost 200. Professor Logan will stand in as course director until such time as a permanent replacement for Margaret Birtley is made. New staff will be brought into the Cultural Heritage Centre team to take up Margaret’s units, and students will continue to enjoy close working relationship with other team members involved in course design and teaching and with museum links.

More information
1. Collections Council of Australia media release
http://www.dcita.gov.au/arts/councils/cultural_ministers_council/media_releases_and_publications/a_collective_voice_for_the_collections_industry
2. Collections Council of Australia Terms of Reference
http://www.dcita.gov.au/arts/councils/cultural_ministers_council/collections_council_of_australia
3. More information on Margaret Birtley
http://www.deakin.edu.au/arts/Staff/index.php?UserId=265&StaffDetail=true

Australia ICOMOS offers sincere congratulations to Margaret – we look forward to working with her in this important new role.

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