Who we are

Two conservators with masks and gloves work on an anchor

Our Conservation team cleaning the HMS Sirius anchor

  • Our People

    Our People

    Many dedicated and talented people help make the Australian National Maritime Museum one of Australia’s unique cultural institutions.

    The museum has many talented people working across a range of areas including public engagement and research, operations, finance and IT, and commercial and visitor services.

    • Curators research and acquire historical objects and develop exhibitions. The registration team organises the movement and storage of more than 145,000 objects in the Collections – plus others on loan.
    • Conservators restore and maintain all the objects in the museum's care.
    • Shipwrights and other skilled tradespeople who restore and maintain our historic vessels.
    • Our highly specialised Endeavour team sails, maintains and manages our renowned replica of Captain Cook's ship.
    • Our curatorial and fleet personnel include several qualified divers and maritime archaeologists who investigate and help to conserve Australia's maritime heritage located on the sea bed.
    • Our designers work in 3D (exhibitions and other physical environments) and 2D (publications and signage, for example).
    • Preparators build and assemble all manner of items, from display cabinets to exhibition props, and our photographers produce archival and promotional images.
    • Also on staff are educational and programming specialists who plan and present activities and programs for visitors; librarians who manage the museum's research library of 27,000 titles; and communications staff (publishing, web, marketing, media and public relations) who project the museum into the community.
    • Administrative staff provide valuable support, looking after museum governance, finance, human resources, site management and security.

    Our Council

    The museum is a Commonwealth Government agency. Our governing body, the council, is appointed by the Australian Government in accordance with the Australian National Maritime Museum Act 1990. Our director is a member of council and our chief executive officer.


    Museum Volunteers

    The backbone of the museum is more than 1500 trained volunteers, including 500 based at the museum. Our 1000+ regional volunteers live outside Sydney in ports around the coast of Australia acting as specialist guides on the HM Bark Endeavour replica when it visits their city or town. Sydney-based volunteers play many roles, from greeting museum visitors and helping enhance the visiting experience with guided tours through our exhibitions and ships. Other volunteers help with vessel maintenance, object conservation and office administration.

    More about Volunteers


    Members

    The museum community includes our 10,000 members in Sydney and across Australia who enjoy a unique connection to the museum and the privileges of a dynamic program that provides them with exclusive events, talks, previews, excursions and other benefits. Families can buy a membership pass for access to free kids events and admission all year round.

    • FREE entry to the museum every day all year round to view exhibitions and step aboard a fleet of vessels
    • Two FREE big ticket guest passes for family or friends
    • FREE subscription to Signals, the museum’s quarterly journal
    • 20% discount on a big ticket for up to four guests when accompanied by a member
    • 10% discount at the Store and Yots Café
    • Invitations to exclusive member only events
    • Preferential booking and members’ discounts on an extensive calendar of events
    • Exclusive use of the Members’ Lounge with FREE tea and coffee.

    How to become a member


    Supporter

    The museum is very grateful to the many generous sponsors, donors and other supporters who share our passion for maritime heritage and enrich our collections and programs with funding, objects and services in-kind. New donations are always welcome.

    Donate to the Museum

    Become a museum sponsor

    Become a corporate member


    Invite a Speaker

    The museum runs a dynamic speakers program where you can book an expert on the museum’s collection or Australian maritime history to speak for free at your next event.

    See Invite a Speaker

  • Museum Director

    Museum Director

    Kevin Sumption PSM

    Keven Sumption

    Kevin Sumption was appointed Director and CEO of the Australian National Maritime Museum (ANMM) in February 2012 after holding high profile leadership roles in cultural institutions in Australia and abroad. Kevin was one of the founding curators of the ANMM in 1991.

    Kevin’s international career has focused on developing the digital landscape of cultural institutions for more than 20 years, covering museum management, exhibition curation, program development, maritime heritage and digital cultural content.

    Kevin previously spent five years in London at the National Maritime Museum and Royal Observatory in Greenwich where he was Director of Exhibitions and Programs, responsible for the redevelopment of the museum's digital learning facilities and outreach service.

    Prior to this, Kevin was the Associate Director of Sydney's Powerhouse Museum for eight years, directing the creation and management of innovative digital outreach services, interactive content for exhibitions and digital media education services for schools and specialist audiences. He also led the strategic management of the Australian Commonwealth Government's online portal service Australian Museums On Line (AMOL) for three years.

    Kevin’s return to the ANMM marks a transition point for the museum experience from static to experiential, with initiatives such as the stand out 12 million dollar multi-media museum experience Action Stations, which opened late 2015, plus the Architectural Projection Waves of Migration, among numerous others. These projects have enhanced contemporary audience engagement, using digital content and effects, while highlighting the importance of maritime history to our Australian cultural heritage.

    Kevin has been a lecturer for over 18 years at the University of Technology, Sydney in Design Theory and History, covering Digital Media in Cultural Institutions, Digital Curatorship, Interactive Media, Constructivist Design History and Research Methodology. He attained esteemed academic accolades with the Getty Leadership Institute Museum Management Program from the University of California plus the Service, Innovation, Executive Education Program and the Advanced Leadership Program from the University of Cambridge Business School. Kevin completed his Masters of Arts and attained First Class Honours.

    Kevin is a well-known international speaker and is sought out as a category expert to write papers on cultural institution mobile learning, interactive media and digital content. He has presented and published multiple papers including his thesis work published in The International Handbook of Virtual Learning Environments, covering web-based Museum education outreach, along with other published works.

    Kevin Sumption has spent many years holding positions on influential boards and governing bodies relating to maritime museums and digital content internationally. These include currently serving on the UNESCO World Heritage KAVHA Advisor Board, Norfolk Island; the Executive Board for the International Congress of Maritime Museums; the Organising Committee for the Seventh IMEHA International Congress of Maritime History; and the Executive Program Committee Member for International Cultural Heritage Informatics. In addition, Kevin is a current member in Australia of Museums and Galleries NSW; The Executive Program Committee for Museums and the Web, plus the Australian Research Council’s (ARC) “Expert of International Standing” assessing education technology research applications from Australian universities.

    Kevin has been awarded with the recent Dibner Prize from the Society of the History of Technology – John Hopkins University for the Exhibition Cyberworlds: Computers and Connections for digital interpretation, education and community engagement. 

    For more information contact:  +61282418330

  • Museum Councillors

    Museum Councillors

    Chairman

    Mr Peter Dexter AM
    Term: 25 July 2013–16 August 2019
    Mr Dexter retired from his executive role as Regional Director of Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics, Oceania, in September 2005 to assume a range of non-executive appointments.  Mr Dexter is a director of the Board of the Australian National Maritime Foundation.  He is a fellow (FAICD) of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, and was awarded the Royal Norwegian Order of Merit by the King of Norway for his contribution to Norwegian/Australian business and his work during the Tampa crisis. He was named a member (AM) in the Order of Australia for services to the development of the shipping and maritime industries through leadership roles, to international relations and to the community in 2005.

    Director and CEO

    Mr Kevin Sumption PSM
    Term: 15 February 2012–14 February 2022
    Kevin Sumption was appointed Director and CEO of the Australian National Maritime Museum (ANMM) in February 2012 after holding high-profile leadership roles in cultural institutions in Australia and abroad. Mr Sumption was one of the founding curators of the ANMM in 1991. His international career has focused on developing the digital landscape of cultural institutions for more than 20 years, covering museum management, exhibition curation, program development, maritime heritage and digital cultural content.  Mr Sumption was awarded the Public Service Medal for outstanding service as Director of the Australian National Maritime Museum in the 2017 Queen’s Birthday Honours. 

    Members

    Hon Ian Campbell
    Term: 11 December 2014–10 December 2017
    Mr Campbell is Deputy Chairman of the ASG Group Ltd, Group Executive at Brookfield Asset Management and a director of Brookfield Financial and Chairman of GRD Franmarine Holdings Ltd.  Mr Campbell served as Minister for Human Services in 2007, Minister for Environment and Heritage from 2004 to 2007, and Minister for Roads, Territories and Local Government from 2003 to 2004. Mr Campbell has extensive offshore and inshore yacht racing experience, including the Sydney to Hobart Race, and has competed successfully in State, National and World Championships.  He recently completed a circumnavigation of Australia, and in 2016 sailed through the Beagle Channel and around Cape Horn. As Minister for Heritage he initiated Duyfken’s voyage around Australia to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the 1606 mapping of Cape York and advocated for the purchase of the HMB Endeavour. He has also been the Chairman of ISAF World Sailing Championships. Mr Campbell is the Chairman of the Perth Children's Hospital Foundation. 
    Hon Peter Collins AM QC
    Term: 11 December 2014–10 December 2017
    The Hon Peter Collins is currently Chairman of Industry Super Australia, Barton Deakin Government Relations and the Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District.   He is also Co-chair of the Night Time Economy Commission Committee for Sydney and a Director of Hostplus.  Mr Collins served as Director of Naval Reserve Support New South Wales, was in active service in Iraq in 2007 and served in the Army and Naval Reserves. In 2012, he was added to the Retired List as Captain. He was a member in the New South Wales Parliament for more than 22 years and has extensive experience in politics, governance and military and naval service.  Mr Collins was made a Member of the Order of Australia for service to the advancement of the arts, to the improvement of public health facilities and to the NSW Parliament in 2004. 
    Professor Sarah Derrington
    Term: 11 February 2016–10 February 2019
    Professor Derrington is currently Head of School and Dean of Law at TC Beirne School of Law, University of Queensland, and has also had a distinguished academic career overseas. She is a PhD in the field of marine insurance law and has an extensive history of involvement in maritime organisations and currently serves on a range of boards and councils, including the Australian Maritime College, Australian Maritime Safety Authority and St Paul’s Anglican School. Professor Derrington was previously appointed on a temporary basis from 4 November 2015 to 29 January 2016.
    Ms Maria Teresia Fors
    Term: 5 May 2016–4 May 2019
    Ms Fors is Vice President – Marketing and Communications for Volvo Group Australia and has extensive experience in sales, marketing, governance and tourism. She has an MBA from the University of Technology Sydney, a Diploma in Business Communication from IHM Business School and a Diploma in Language Studies from Stockholm University, Sweden. She is also a 2015 graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and has been Director of the Swedish Australia Chamber of Commerce since 2011. Ms Fors was previously appointed on a temporary basis from 9 March to 30 June 2016. 
    RADM Stuart Mayer AO, CSC & BAR, RAN

    Term Date: From 12 June 2014 

    RADM Stuart Mayer was appointed Commander Australian Fleet in June 2014. As commander, he is responsible for all Navy ships, submarines, aircraft squadrons, diving teams and establishments, and the personnel serving in those units. 

    RADM Mayer joined the Royal Australian Navy in 1984. He served aboard HMAS Sydney during the 1990–91 Gulf War and HMAS Adelaide during Australian Defence Force operations in support of East Timorese independence, and in the United States as the first ADF Liaison officer to US Joint Forces Command based in Norfolk, Virginia. He has commanded the Guided Missile Frigate HMAS Canberra and held the position of Chief Staff Officer (Operations) at Maritime Headquarters Australia. He became Commander of the multi-national International Stabilisation Force in East Timor on 24 October 2009, the first non-Army officer to hold this command. He assumed command of the Australian Fleet in June 2014.

    RADM Mayer is a graduate of the Centre for Defence and Strategic Studies, RAN Staff College, holds a BA from the University of New South Wales, an MBA from the University of Southern Queensland, an MA from Deakin University, and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD). A retired rugby player with an avid interest in supporting the game, RADM Mayer's pastimes include sailing, bushwalking and kayaking.  
    Mr John Mullen
    Term: 5 May 2016–4 May 2019
    Mr Mullen is the Chairman of Telstra and Toll Holdings Ltd.  Until recently, Mr Mullen was the Chief Executive Officer of Asciano Ltd. He has worked in the logistics industry for more than two decades including roles as global CEO of DHL Express and global CEO of TNT Express Worldwide. He is currently on the board of Kimberley Foundation Australia, and is co-founder of the Silentworld Foundation which supports maritime archaeology in Australia.  John is passionate about maritime exploration and indigenous rock art in the Kimberley, WA. He spends his spare time diving for colonial shipwrecks and maintains a private museum dedicated to historical material from early maritime voyages to the Pacific.  Mr Mullen brings his expertise in philanthropy, maritime archaeology, leadership and management to the Council. As the Chair of the Australian National Maritime Foundation, Mr Mullen’s appointment strengthens communication and relationships between the Council and the Foundation.
    Hon Margaret White AO
    Term: 4 August 2014–3 August 2017

    Ms White is currently a Commissioner for the Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory. She has a distinguished legal career over more than three decades.  She was a Judge of the Supreme Court of Queensland for almost 20 years before her appointment to the Court of Appeal in Queensland in 2010.  Ms White has also been a Deputy President of the Defence Force Discipline Appeals Tribunal and was Commissioner for the Queensland Racing Commission of Inquiry. She has been the Chair of the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust, Deputy Chancellor and Member of the Senate of the University of Queensland and Chair of the Supreme Court of Queensland Library Committee.  Ms White was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2013 for distinguished service to the judiciary and to the law particularly in Queensland, as a leading contributor to legal education and reform, and to professional development and training.  Ms White a retired officer of the Royal Australian Naval Reserve, and has a deep and longstanding interest in maritime law and history.

    Alison Page
    Term: 13 April 2017 – 12 April 2020
    Ms Page is currently a Director of the Australian Government’s Indigenous Land Corporation and Chair of the National Centre of Indigenous Excellence.  She has also served as a member of numerous boards, including the Expert Panel for Constitutional Recognition of Indigenous Peoples, the Museums and Galleries NSW Board and the Australian Museum Trust.  Ms Page has substantial experience in design, communications and marketing and was a panellist for eight years on the ABC television program The New Inventors which showcased Australian innovation. 
    David Blackley 
    Term: 13 April 2017 – 12 April 2020

    Mr Blackley was inducted into the Australian Advertising Hall of Fame in 2015 for his achievements in the advertising industry over more than 30 years.  He is a former Chairman of Clemenger BBDO and a member of the Worldwide Creative Board of BBDO New York, representing BBDO’s interests across Australia, New Zealand and Asia on that Board.  Under his leadership, Clemenger BBDO won “Australian Agency of the Year” award eight times.  Mr Blackley has been involved with Brainwave Australia, a charity supporting children with neurological conditions, since its inception in 1994 and joined the Board in 2008 and is currently its Chairman.

    Other committee members 

    Mr Paul Binsted
    Term: 1 August 2015–31 December 2017

    Mr Binsted worked as a Corporate Financial Adviser from 1982 until 2009 including holding senior roles at Lloyds Bank, Schroders, Salomon Smith Barney/Citigroup and Lazard. He has also been Chairman of both the State Rail Authority of NSW and Sydney Ports Corporation. Mr Binsted was a Member of the Australian Government’s Shipping Reform Task Force in 2011, was a Member of the Johnson Inquiry into the Australian Financial Services Industry and is presently Chairman of the Financial Services Advisory Council and Ariadne Capital Pty Ltd. At Council’s request, Mr Binsted continued to be chair of the FRACWAS committee (and subsequently the Audit Committee) after the cessation of his appointment to council in December 2016.

  • Invite a Speaker

    Invite a Speaker

    Book a speaker from the Australian National Maritime Museum for your next community or business event.

    The museum runs a dynamic speakers program where you can book an expert on the museum’s collection or Australian maritime history to speak for free at your next event.

    • Over 20 talks are available, include information covering significant maritime events & people, as well as exhibitions and Australia's maritime heritage.
    • All speakers are active museum volunteers who are trained, knowledgeable and enthusiastic about their subjects. Download the list of topics.
    • Discussions are interactive with speakers happy to answer audience questions.

    Examples of Talks

    The Australian National Maritime Museum
    An introduction to the museum, its history, objectives and exhibitions.

    HMB Endeavour replica
    A beautifully illustrated presentation on Captain Cook's famous ship of discovery, Endeavour, and the museum's remarkable replica of this historic vessel.

    The Krait Story
    MV Krait, a humble Japanese fishing boat, was commandeered by Australian and British special service personnel in 1943 for a daring raid on Japanese-held Singapore Harbour. The highly secretive mission succeeded. The Allies blew up some 37,000 tons of enemy shipping. Krait, one of Australia's best known historic vessels, is now permanently on display at the museum.

    More Information

    To make a booking or ask about a topic, please contact our museum speaker representatives Noel Phelan on 0402 158 590 or Ron Ray on 0416 123 034 or email our media team.