Wednesday 18 May is International Museum Day and this year's theme is 'The Power of Museums'.
What is the power of a museum?
Museums have the power to transform both us and the world around us. As incomparable places of discovery, they teach us about our past and open our minds to new ideas – two essential steps in building a better future.
The Chau Chak Wing Museum and the University of Sydney's Museum and Heritage Studies Program combine to examine these themes in a chaired panel discussion featuring four museum professionals at various stages of their careers, all of whom are graduates of the University of Sydney's program.
The panellists will reflect on their personal and professional experiences to identify transformative moments in museum practice. They will also share insights into the importance of engaging with communities; the role of digital innovations in making collections accessible; and the value of museum education for lifelong learning.
Kim Tao is currently the Curator, City Museums at Sydney Living Museums. She has a passion for storytelling and community engagement and has previously worked in curatorial and collection management roles at the Australian National Maritime Museum, Museum of Chinese in Australia and Fairfield City Museum & Gallery.
Dr Tuan Nguyen is Assistant Curator, Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences. Since Tuan began research on queer inclusion in Australian museums, he has had a fairly circuitous career in collections and exhibitions. Throughout the journey, the telling of diverse stories has been his touchstone, something to re-orient him when faced with competing priorities.
Dr Melanie Pitkin is Senior Curator, Nicholson Collection at the Chau Chak Wing Museum. She has over 15 years' experience working in museums in Australia and the UK, and providing support to colleagues at museums in Egypt.
Miriama Simmons is Exhibition and Collection Enhancement Project Officer for the Pasifika Collection at the Australian Museum. Their work focuses on reconnecting and engaging meaningfully with Pacific communities and privileging traditional knowledge holders.
Header image: Exhibition view of Mediterranean Identities at the Chau Chak Wing Museum