SEI employment pathways workshop: cultural institutions

Hear from professionals championing environmental and sustainable values within cultural institutions on their industry career pathways.

Students and researchers are invited to join this SEI workshop that will explore career pathways in cultural institutions for people with environmentally focused postgraduate research experience. Cultural institutes range from museums and art galleries to theatres and libraries. We will consider the kinds of roles available in the sector — from sustainability management to curatorial and research positions — and the concrete steps that students might take during their candidature to position themselves competitively.

We’ll hear from three panellists who have significant experience working on environmental issues in cultural institutions and will learn about their own journey in the sector and their advice.

This event was held online on Tuesday 18 October 2022.



Emily Jateff is the Senior Curator, Maritime Trade and Industry at the Australian National Maritime Museum. Her role includes exhibitions, programs, partnerships and collections acquisition, as well as oversight of the museum’s 10-year program in support of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, 2021-2030. Emily has worked in museums for over a decade. Before this, she was a university lecturer and archaeologist. Throughout her career, she has managed laboratories, supervised students, produced short films and conducted research in and near Australian and North American inland and coastal waterways as well as the Pacific, Indian, and Atlantic Oceans. Emily is also an ardent supporter of community engagement and outreach and has delivered professional and public talks, including for VIVID Sydney and TedX Darlinghurst. Emily has also acted as Chair of the Australasian Institute of Maritime Archaeology Scholarship Committee and is a Founding Member of Sydney Cultural Institutions for Climate Action (SCICA).

Chris Mercer leads the arts and culture business for Arup in Australasia, and has managed production departments, award-winning productions worldwide and produced an iconic stage show in Australia. For Chris, a thriving arts and culture industry is a sustainable industry. To help make this possible, Chris partners with non-profits driving the industry’s sustainable development transformation to help drive change. He launched Circulate, a digital tool measuring greenhouse gas emissions for productions, events and creative business operations. With a multidisciplinary team, Circulate was created over two years in collaboration with Australia’s leading arts organisations with a shared purpose to start the journey of a sustainable industry.

Jenny Newell is manager of Climate Change Projects at the Australian Museum. Jenny works to advance understanding and engagement in climate solutions through the medium of museums. Her most recent exhibition is Spark: Australian innovations tackling climate change (Australian Museum, 2021, onsite and online). With a background in Pacific environmental history, Jenny has worked with Pacific communities and collections at the British Museum, National Museum of Australia, the American Museum of Natural History and the Australian Museum to amplify voices on climate change for broad audiences. Jenny convenes the Museums & Climate Change Network and is a member of ICOM’s Working Group for Sustainability. Her publications include edited volumes Living with the Anthropocene and Curating the Future: Museums, Communities and Climate Change.

Thom van Dooren is an Associate Professor in the School of Humanities and Deputy Director – Member Engagement at the Sydney Environment Institute. His research is situated in the broad interdisciplinary field of the environmental humanities and focuses on some of the many philosophical, ethical, cultural, and political issues that arise in the context of species extinctions and human entanglements with threatened species and places.

Header image: by Kai Wenzel via Unsplash.


SEI employment pathways series

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