Executive Committee

Prof Richard Mackay, AM - GA2023 Convenor

Richard Mackay is the Director of Possibilities at Mackay Strategic Pty Ltd, ICOMOS World Heritage Adviser, Member of the National Executive Committee of Australia ICOMOS, Adjunct Professor at Deakin University, and Commissioner of the NSW Independent Planning Commission. With more than 30 years’ experience in cultural heritage practice, Richard was co-founder and Partner at GML Heritage Pty Ltd, and has provided facilitation and strategic direction for heritage projects and place management throughout Australia and in Asia, working for government and non-government agencies and corporations at places ranging from Angkor, Cambodia to Sydney’s Luna Park. Richard has formerly served as Chair of the Australian World Heritage Advisory Committee, Chair of the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area Advisory Committee, heritage theme author for the 2011 and 2016 Commonwealth State of the Environment reports, non-Executive Director of the National Trust of Australia (NSW), Member of the NSW Heritage Council, inaugural Chair of the NSW State Heritage Register Committee, and Getty Conservation Scholar. Richard had been honoured with the inaugural ‘Sharon Sullivan Award’ for his contribution to Australia’s national heritage, a National Trust voluntary service medallion and Membership of the Order of Australia for services to archaeology and cultural heritage. Richard was the Chair of the Bid Committee for the successful Australia ICOMOS bid to host the ICOMOS General Assembly and Scientific Symposium.

Dr Caroline Butler-Bowdon – NSW Department of Planning, Industry & Environment

Dr Caroline Butler‐Bowdon is the Executive Director, Public Spaces in the new Place, Design and Public Spaces team at NSW Department of Planning, Industry & Environment where she leads a team of strategists, policy-makers, place-managers, landscape architects, project managers, planners and storytellers to improve and shine a spotlight on public space in NSW. In this role she leads the Premier’s Priority, Greener Public Spaces focused on quality and walkability to great public spaces. She was before this, the Director of Strategy & Engagement at Sydney Living Museums. Spanning 20 years, her career has been dedicated to leadership that connects citizens and tourists to special places, the arts and heritage through a broad range of citywide public engagement programs, including festivals, exhibitions and books. She is a 2017 Churchill Fellow with her fellowship focused on heritage precincts and tourism. She completed her PhD on the history of apartment living in Sydney in 2009.

Michael Queale – Australia ICOMOS National Executive

Michael is a heritage architect with 30 years of experience in architectural conservation, contextual design and heritage advice and policy. As Principal Heritage Conservation Architect at Heritage South Australia, Michael is directly involved in public policy reform and is a vocal advocate for Australia’s built heritage. Michael is an active member of Australia ICOMOS and is a member of the GA2023 Organising and Executive Committees and is directly responsible for planning the associated Heritage Exposition and Trade Fair. 

Michelle Bashta – Youth Forum Convenor

Michelle Bashta is the Youth Forum Convenor and representative on the Sydney GA Executive Committee. Michelle has been working at Lovell Chen Architects and Heritage Consultants, based in Melbourne, since October 2015 and was appointed as an Associate in 2018. In her role at Lovell Chen Michelle undertakes historic research, heritage assessments, policy analysis and client liaison. She has worked on a number of major heritage buildings include Flinders Street Station, the Melbourne GPO and Queen Victoria Market.

Michelle is heavily involved with emerging professionals in the heritage field, including co-founding an organisation for Emerging Heritage Professional in Victoria (EHP Vic). In this role she has organised a number of events including the Unsettling Heritage Symposium in September 2018. This symposium provided a platform for young and emerging practitioners and researchers to present papers in a supportive and open environment.

Michelle is also the graduate member on the Deakin university Cultural Heritage and Museum Studies Course Advisory Board, a member of the Built Heritage Committee of the National Trust of Australia (Victoria) and a member of the Employment and Professional Development Committee of the Professional Historians Association (Vic & Tas).

Ian Kelly – Australia ICOMOS

Ian was a lecturer in architectural history, urban design and building conservation at the School of Architecture, Planning and Building, Curtin University, Perth (1985-93); He then worked as a Senior Heritage Officer at the newly established Heritage Council of Western Australia (1993-97).

Moving from Perth (WA) to Sydney (NSW) Ian took up the position of Principal Heritage Officer at the NSW Heritage Office (1997-2001). Later, Ian moved to the Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority (SHFA) where he was progressively the Planning, Heritage and Urban Design Manager (2001-08); Director Darling Harbour (2009-11) and, finally, Director The Rocks and Circular Quay (2011-12). (The latter two positions having a focus on heritage and tourism precinct management.)

Since 2013 Ian has been a freelance heritage consultant, providing heritage advice to local government, educational colleges and private owners. He has also lectured on the preparation of Conservation Management Plans at the University of Sydney.

Dr Steve Brown – GA2023 Scientific Symposium Australian Co-chair

Steve Brown is an honorary associate with the Museum and Heritage Studies Program at the University of Sydney and teaches at the University of Canberra. His research interests include: the integration of ‘naturecultures’ in heritage management; the heritage of landscapes with the imprint of Indigenous and colonial settler intra-action; applied approaches to cultural landscapes, with particular reference to protected areas; conceptualising and operationalising place-attachment in heritage theory and practice; and the material culture of domestic homes and gardens.

Steve is the author of Cultural Landscapes: A Practical Guide for Park Management (2010) and co-editor of Object Stories: Artifacts and Archaeologists (2015), Cultural and Spiritual Significance of Nature in Protected Areas: Governance, Management and Policy (2018), IUCN Best Practice Guidance on Cultural and Spiritual Significance of Nature (2021), and a forthcoming Routledge volume – Handbook on Cultural Landscapes. He is a member of Australia ICOMOS and the past-president of the ICOMOS/IFLA International Scientific Committee on Cultural Landscapes (2014-2017). He is also a member of the IUCN-WCPA Specialist Group on Cultural and Spiritual Values of Protected Areas and Specialist Group on Protected Landscapes.

For Steve, conferences and symposia are exciting opportunities to network with like-minded colleagues; to share learning from different knowledge, disciplinary, cultural and experiential perspectives; and to experience local, host nation culture and heritage. The value of such opportunities is inherently influenced by the structure, inclusivity and content of each symposium as a whole, each symposia stream and each session. In his view, they should maximise opportunities for participation by all attendees, genuinely engage with the theme and place of the symposium, and offer a diversity of formats (indoor-outdoor; panel discussions; round-table dialogues; opportunities for creative performance; as well as paper presentation sessions – and not be limited to the latter). Steve is excited to be working with the GA2023 team and all GA2023 Scientific Symposium participants to create an intellectually and social stimulating, diverse and memorable conference event.

Helen Wilson – GA2023 Sustainability Focal Point

Helen Wilson is Co-Convener of NSCES Australia (National Scientific Committee on Energy and Sustainability), an expert member of ISCES (International Scientific Council on Energy, Sustainability), and an expert member of CIVVIH (International Scientific Committee on Historic Cities, Towns and Villages). She is Co-Convener of the Caring for Country Committee, a working group of Australia ICOMOS, who have held a series of webinars on Caring For Country in the lead-up to GA2023 and will hold the Caring for Country Workshop in GA2023. A Co-opted Member of the ICOMOS CAWG (Climate Action Working Group), Helen was copy editor for the ICOMOS publication ‘The Future of Our Pasts: Engaging cultural heritage in climate action’ presented at the 2019 World Heritage Committee in Azerbaijan. Helen served on the Australia ICOMOS Executive Committee (2007-2012) and as Secretary from 2009. She has practiced as a heritage consultant for over 30 years and as a heritage advisor to country and metropolitan councils. Helen is looking forward to promoting and facilitating the sustainability agenda at GA2023 and working with the organising team to make the event as sustainable as possible.​

Kylie Christian - GA2023 Side Events Focal Point

Kylie Christian is Technical Director – Heritage at Mott MacDonald and has over 20 years of heritage industry experience. She is past President, and current Treasurer, of Interpretation Australia, Organising Committee Member of the Global Alliance for Heritage Interpretation, and Heritage Advisor to Bathurst Regional Council. In addition to providing built heritage expertise to Mott MacDonald’s clientele, Kylie focuses on heritage interpretation as an emerging platform within the Australian landscape – one that is inclusive of all our unique cultural values. Kylie is also a professional photographer, qualified historian, author, digital designer and certified project manager.

Jacqueline Anderson – GA2023 Social Media Focal Point

Jacqueline Anderson is a Melbourne based emerging professional who began working in the heritage industry in 2017. Since joining the industry, she has worked in a variety of roles including as an archaeology outreach presenter, research assistant, and field archaeologist. Jaq is currently an archaeologist at GHD Pty Ltd, where she undertakes a diverse variety of heritage assessments for sites located within Australia and internationally.

Jaq is passionate about sites associated with diseases and has a keen interest in highlighting underrepresented values at historical sites to visitors. She is also interested in using new technologies to aid heritage assessments, and has previously used social media to look at site values identified by visitors.

Beth Hise, Museums of History NSW

Beth Hise is a cultural leader with over 20 years’ experience in large public museum organisations excelling in strategic visioning, experience making, content leadership and museum renewal. Most recently, Beth led the creation of a distinctive new visitor experience at the Hyde Park Barracks, a UNESCO World Heritage site. This project is an exemplary case study for experiential storytelling within a place-based museum, offering visitors a new way to experience authentic ‘living’ history at a heritage site. In her current role as Project Director at Museums of History NSW, Beth is responsible for leading the visioning for a new museum at the Parramatta Female Factory & Institutions Project, an immersive experience for the 1821 Female Factory Precinct and related new cultural and educational facilities.

Edwina Jans - GA2023 Functions and Protocol Focal Point

Edwina Jans is Head of Victoria at GML Heritage, and is an archaeologist, curator, and museums and cultural heritage expert who has led multidisciplinary teams for over 20 years to undertake major heritage and collections management, policy development, digital, interpretation and community engagement projects.  She is a Churchill Fellow and has been recognised for her work through numerous awards including from the Australian Institute of Architects, National Trust, Australian Museums and Galleries Association and the Australian Public Service.

Edwina is a co-founder and Creative Director of Canberra Modern, an award-winning events-based organisation founded to celebrate the extraordinary modernist spirit and design legacy of Canberra.  She is also a member of the Alastair Swayn Foundation Grants Committee, that provide grants that promote the advancement of architecture and design through research, education and exhibition.

Jane Alexander - GA2023 Sponsorship Focal Point

Jane Alexander is a heritage advocate with more than 19 years’ experience in private and community practice. Jane has worked on heritage properties, cultural landscapes and archaeological sites across Australia’s east coast, in both historic and indigenous heritage. Her projects have been the recipients of National Trust of Australia (NSW) and (Queensland) Heritage Awards and ASHA Awards.
Jane is a skilled heritage advocate and is currently the Heritage Advocacy Manager for the National Trust of Australia (NSW) where she develops strategic policy, liaises with government, brings media attention to heritage issues, educates community groups and prepares detailed submissions on development applications, planning policies and heritage legislation.  She is also a sessional lecturer at UNSW teaching History, Heritage & the Build Environment.
Jane has worked on hundreds of heritage places including archaeological sites, cultural landscapes, built heritage places, industrial sites and military sites. She was an adviser to the Department of Premier and Cabinet on the two Official Establishments – the Prime Minister’s houses Kirribilli House and The Lodge.
Jane has served two terms on the Australia ICOMOS Executive Committee and was formerly the Australian expert member of IcoFORT (an ICOMOS International Scientific Committee). She was a member and former chair of the National Trust (NSW) Industrial Heritage Committee. Currently, she is on the ICOMOS 2023 General Assembly Executive Committee.

Mary Darwell

Mary joined Museums of History NSW as Chief Executive Officer in June 2023. Mary brings over 30 years’ experience to her current role and previously held positions as Chief Executive Officer to the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust and Arts NSW and has most recently been heading State Records NSW as Executive Director to support transparent and accountable government. Mary has held a number of non-executive director positions on cultural organisation Boards, including with Sydney Festival and Carriageworks.