New director for a new era at the Powerhouse

Deputy Premier and Minister for the Arts Troy Grant has announced that Dolla Merrillees has been appointed Director of the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences and will lead the relocation of the museum to Parramatta.

Ms Merrillees has been acting in the role since former Director Rose Hiscock took a position in her home town of Melbourne late last year. Previously, Ms Merrillees was the Director Curatorial, Collections & Exhibitions at the museum since 2014.

Mr Grant said Ms Merrillees has extensive experience in the cultural sector including leadership roles with the Biennale of Sydney, the Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation and Museum and Galleries NSW.

Her career spans managing and developing exhibitions, public and educational programmes and collections. She has been directly responsible for the Powerhouse’s exhibits since 2014 and has been heavily involved in forward planning for the museum’s relocation and future vision.

“Ms Merrillees has excelled in the role of the Powerhouse’s Acting Director during the past four months and she is as excited as we are about planning for the museum’s future through its relocation to Parramatta,’’ Mr Grant said.

“The Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences has begun an era of incredible change and with her experience and innovative approach, she is the right person to lead the organisation through this period and make the most of the opportunities it presents.

“With the new Powerhouse site being announced today, Ms Merrillees’ knowledge of the museum’s collection and vision for its future will come to the fore to create a museum that will be the envy of other global cities.”

Ms Merrillees said she is honoured and looks forward to working with her colleagues, dedicated staff and volunteers, stakeholders and the NSW Government.

“The Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences is a highly successful interdisciplinary Australian institution with an exceptional collection,” Ms Merrillees said.

“Deepening audience engagement, bringing the collections to life through hands-on experiences and offering a variety of pathways through ideas and information is key. We are a contemporary museum for a smart and creative city.”

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Published: 11 April 2016