Conference speakers

Emma Banks, Collections Programme Manager, Hampshire Cultural Trust

Emma Banks, Collections Programme Manager, Hampshire Cultural Trust

Emma joined HCT in 2019 after returning to the UK from Australia, where she worked as the Executive Director for Heritage Perth. After 3 years managing venues, she now leads the central collections and exhibitions team; and together they help all HCT venues use collections in their public programming.

Sara Blair-Manning, Chief Executive, Birmingham Botanical Gardens

Sara Blair-Manning, Chief Executive, Birmingham Botanical Gardens

An experienced Heritage and Cultural leader, specialising in leading transformational, inclusive restoration and development projects.  I enjoy improving governance, sustainability and finance processes and for the past 30 years have showcased honest and kind leadership when developing effective staff and volunteer teams. I also love travelling, exploring and food!

Lynn Boleyn MBE, Secretary To Trustees & Business Manager, Stourbridge Glass Museum

Lynn Boleyn MBE, Secretary To Trustees & Business Manager, Stourbridge Glass Museum

Lynn undertakes much of the background work that oils the cogs of the British Glass Foundation, having propelled the development of the Museum through each of its milestones. She is a former local councillor and in 2015, she was awarded an MBE for Services to the Community of Wall Heath. 

Isabel Churcher, Strategic Partnerships Manager, The National Archives

Isabel Churcher, Strategic Partnerships Manager, The National Archives

Isabel Churcher, currently Strategic Partnerships Manager in the Archives Sector Leadership team, working to secure support from national partners to benefit the 2,500 archives in England.  Previously extensive experience of museums and investment through Arts Council England and managing museums services, both rural and urban.

Sarah Clarke, Project Development Manager, National Civil War Centre - Newark Museum

Sarah Clarke, Project Development Manager, National Civil War Centre - Newark Museum

After 20+ years in museum learning and engagement, Sarah has tried every possible speed evaluation method going. These days, she is converting her grassroots understanding of audiences and communities into content for successful funding bids from ACE, Art Fund and more. 

Lucy Edematie, Consultant, Curator, Writer, Powell Cotton Museum

Lucy Edematie, Consultant, Curator, Writer, Powell Cotton Museum

Lucy is a consultant, curator and writer who works with museums, arts institutions, artists, and community groups in the UK and internationally. Passionate about history and storytelling, she is particularly drawn to commissions that give voice to those who might otherwise remain unheard, and to projects that connect museums to communities.

Naomi Garnett, Safer Museums Network

Naomi Garnett, Safer Museums Network

Naomi Garnett is General Manger of the Quaker Tapestry Museum based in Kendal. Prior to this, she worked at the National Justice Museum in Nottingham as the Learning Manager. Naomi was formerly a Trustee for a domestic abuse charity and a founding member of the Safer Museums Network.

Alexander Goodger, Director, Stourbridge Glass Museum

Alexander Goodger, Director, Stourbridge Glass Museum

Alexander has an MA in Heritage Management from the University of Birmingham. He took up the position at Stourbridge Glass Museum in October 2022, and grew up locally. He is passionate about environmentalism, and is working towards pursuing net zero at the Museum through solar panels and changes to the Museum’s fit-out.

Sarah Hartshone, Safer Museums Network

Sarah Hartshone, Safer Museums Network

Sarah Hartshorne is Site Manager for Nottingham Castle. A founding member of the Safer Museums Network, Sarah was formerly Vice Chair for a domestic abuse charity. Sarah has supported organisations across the East Midlands as Museum Development Officer, and operationally for the National Trust and English Heritage.  

Sarah Lawrance, Curator at Large

Sarah Lawrance, Curator at Large

Sarah Lawrance is a freelance curator with a special interest in age- and dementia-friendly collections programming. She collaborates regularly with creative ageing charity Equal Arts, with whom she has launched a new dementia-friendly arts and heritage publishing initiative. Sarah is also a member of ACE Designation Panel and an AIM Mentor.

Rose Maxwell, Senior Operations Manager, National Civil War Centre - Newark Museum

Rose Maxwell, Senior Operations Manager, National Civil War Centre - Newark Museum

Rose is head of operations at the National Civil War Centre – Newark Museum. Having been at the museum for nine years, Rose is spearheading the evolution of the museum’s approach to gathering, understanding and utilising data. So of course, she loves a good spreadsheet! 

Katherine McAlpine, Director, Brunel Museum

Katherine McAlpine, Director, Brunel Museum

Katherine McAlpine has been Director of the Brunel Museum since January 2021. She leads the small team to deliver the Museum’s mission to share the Brunel’s London story in Rotherhithe and beyond. In August 2021, the Museum launched its Sustainability Plan. She has over ten years experience with a specialism in learning and audience development. She has previously held roles at Imperial War Museums, Royal Museums Greenwich and the Royal Institution. 

Rebecca Morris-Buck, Safer Museums Network

Rebecca Morris-Buck, Safer Museums Network

Rebecca splits her time between freelancing and her role as Creative Community Builder with Make/Shift, a Creative People and Places project in Derbyshire. Her career has included roles from front of house to leadership. She is working with Domestic Abuse Education to develop and deliver training sessions for museums.

Jacob O'Sullivan, Museum Development Manager – Collections & Interpretation, Museums Galleries Scotland

Jacob O'Sullivan, Museum Development Manager – Collections & Interpretation, Museums Galleries Scotland

Jacob has worked at Museums Galleries Scotland since 2016. He is responsible for supporting museums in the management, care, and interpretation of collections, as well as support for Intangible Cultural Heritage. Previously he has worked as Curator at the Highland Folk Museum and with Visitor Services at Manx National Heritage.

Naomi Peach, Project Officer, Kiplin Hall and Gardens

Naomi Peach, Project Officer, Kiplin Hall and Gardens

Naomi’s love of museums and historic houses led her to a career in the heritage sector with a focus in collections and engagement. Currently Project Officer for the ‘Interpreting Kiplin for 400’ project at Kiplin Hall and Gardens, Naomi is working with local communities to co-curate new and exciting interpretation. 

Abby Pendlebury, Music Heritage Trail Project Officer, Museum of Croydon

Abby Pendlebury, Music Heritage Trail Project Officer, Museum of Croydon

Abby Pendlebury was the Music Heritage Trail Project Officer at the Museum of Croydon in 2022-2023 and now works as the Heritage Engagement Manager for Capital Theatres in Edinburgh. With a background in project management, archaeology, and research, her focus is making heritage accessible and engaging for diverse audiences. 

Jen Ridding, Head of Engagement and Learning, Birmingham Botanical Gardens

Jen Ridding, Head of Engagement and Learning, Birmingham Botanical Gardens

A dynamic senior leader experienced in strategic development of Learning, Audience Development, Engagement and Visitor Services.  Bringing people, stories and ideas together, I have a successful track record in designing innovative engagement strategies across arts, heritage and culture settings.  Yoga, cooking, and walking with my dog are my other loves!

Alice Rose, Programming Curator, Kiplin Hall and Gardens

Alice Rose, Programming Curator, Kiplin Hall and Gardens

As Programming Curator at Kiplin Hall and Gardens, Alice is passionate about connecting people to the past through places, objects and stories. Building on her previous experience of working with communities, the ‘Interpreting Kiplin for 400’ project explores how we share our stories with new audiences in new ways. 

Jaane Rowehl, Director of Collections and Programming, Hampshire Cultural Trust

Jaane Rowehl, Director of Collections and Programming, Hampshire Cultural Trust

Jaane leads on collections management and programming for Hampshire Cultural Trust (HCT) – one of the largest regional museum charities with 15 Accredited sites and an estimated 2.5m objects in its care. After a varied career including museum development, accountancy, and consultancy, Jaane joined HCT’s management team in 2018.

Virginia Smith, Museum and Collections Manager, Museum of Croydon

Virginia Smith, Museum and Collections Manager, Museum of Croydon

Virginia Smith is a Museums and Heritage professional with expertise in all areas of cultural leadership. She currently oversees all operations at the Museum of Croydon and was the Project Manager for the Music Heritage Trail project that included developing the trail and app and the Museum exhibition. With an MA in Learning and Visitor research in museums and galleries she has used her experience, skills and knowledge to support her staff master the competencies required to become successful professionals and has dedicated her efforts in ensuring that Museums and Heritage are accessible, welcoming and use innovation to engage a diverse audience.

Hannah Wood, Creative Associate, Equal Arts

Hannah Wood, Creative Associate, Equal Arts

Hannah Wood is a community theatre practitioner and Creative Associate with Equal Arts. Her work centres around how storytelling and imagination can aid creative output and communication with older people and people living with dementia. Hannah co-produces and delivers dementia-friendly projects in cultural and community venues, care settings, and schools.