John Petersen: Museums and heritage consultant


My career spans museum collections, built heritage and archives. My boots are dusty from working with communities at a grassroots level and living rural. I have led them to win over 30 National Trust, MAPDA, MAGNA and IMAGinE awards. I like to get my hands dirty and spend my time on the ground in rural and regional communities to understand their collections.

I was also suited in senior management positions at the NSW Migration Heritage Centre, Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences, Hyde Park Barracks Museum, Sydney Living Museums and Director, Duldig Studio museum + sculpture garden in Melbourne. I have also worked as a curator for the Yarra Ranges Council Regional Museum, Wollongong City Council’s museums advisor and briefly for the Australia Council for the Arts. I’ve worked on 3 of the World Heritage listed Australian Convict Sites.

My past clients include Heritage NSW, NSW Parks and Wildlife Service, GLAM Peak, Bell Shakespeare and the Australian Government on a Norfolk Island cultural heritage tourism plan. I have worked as a casual lecturer for Sydney University for Master of Museum and Heritage Studies and I now lecture on Significance 2.0 for Melbourne University’s, Master of Art Curatorship.

As an accredited professional historian. I have served on the History Council of NSW and as an advisor on multicultural history on the NSW consultation committees for both the Australian Archives and State Records Authority of NSW. I am an accredited International Member of Australia ICOMOS and have experience assessing and advising on heritage places for the Australian Government’s Register of the National Estate and the Heritage NSW Register.

My work in Significance 2.0 included establishing the Tracking the Dragon series of Chinese Australian thematic studies and others on shopping and retailing with A Lot in Store and rural technology which resulted in the publication Safe in the Shed. I was inaugural director of the NSW Migration Heritage Centre at the Powerhouse Museum for 9 years with Multicultural NSW and regional museums and galleries. I am currently Chief Executive Officer and Company Secretary for Multicultural Museums Victoria Limited an alliance of the Islamic Museum of Australia, Hellenic Museum, Chinese Museum, COASIT Museo Italiano and the Jewish Museum of Australia in Melbourne. I am interested in mainstreaming cultural diversity through community participation in the work of heritage and museum organisations.


Significance Assessor, Cowra Japanese Garden and Cultural Centre

Yanga Homestead, Balranald, Movable Heritage and eHive Project, NSW Parks and Wildlife Service

Digital Access to Collections for Small Organisations National Strategy GLAM Peak with Rebecca Jones  

Museum of Human Migration Feasibility Study, Multicultural Communities Council of Illawarra with support from Illawarra Aboriginal Land Council

Finley Railway Precinct Community Consultation Transport Heritage NSW with South West Arts

Review of ‘Objects in Their Place’ (incorporating ‘Movable Heritage Principles’), Heritage NSW

John Petersen: Museums and heritage consultant

Phone: 0418975071

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Year Commenced: 2013
Number of Staff: 1
Staff Basis: Sole Operator
AICCM member: N/A
GST Registered?: Yes
ABN: 69467549145