Maritime Museum announces new First Nations Lead

The Museum

Kevin Sumption, CEO and Director of the Australian National Maritime Museum, is delighted to announce the appointment of Matt Poll as the museum’s Manager Indigenous Programs.

‘We are very pleased to have secured Matt from the University of Sydney where he has built an impressive reputation as Assistant Curator of Indigenous Heritage. His experience was built first at the Macleay Museum and most recently at the new Chau Chak Wing Museum. Matt brings over 20 years’ experience and understanding of First Nations cultural and arts practice to our museum and is the perfect person to continue to shape both our Indigenous programs and the National Maritime Collection.’

Matt, who is of South Sea and Torres Strait Islander heritage, said ‘I have been incredibly fortunate over many years to work with Indigenous communities and knowledge custodians who have generously provided me with learning experiences through which I have 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 a part of the consultation process, but more importantly, need to be shown as tangible and visible aspects of public programming and exhibitions outcomes.

‘I am particularly interested in collections development that is participatory and relational to communities’ desires of how they want to see themselves today and into the future. The importance of using digital platforms to create social spaces for conversations surrounding collections management and exhibitions development and documentation has never been more crucial than it is at this moment in time. I find the opportunities to use social media and other online platforms to create engagement with the Maritime Museum exciting. I am incredibly honored to be able to use the resources and networks of the museum to empower Indigenous communities while at the same time conserving, exhibiting, and providing a platform for community to articulate the voice of Indigenous maritime and marine knowledges on the global stage.

Matt will lead the Indigenous Programs team at the Australian National Maritime Museum from mid-September. The museum will be making further announcements about the staffing of the Indigenous Programs team in due course.

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