Joan Kelly

Joan worked in the film/TV industry for almost 10 years during the 1990s while undertaking an MA Media Arts. In 2000 Joan was invited to work on AMP’s Journey of a Nation touring Federation exhibition.  Inspired by the combination of collections and stories she undertook museum studies at Deakin University.

Since then, Joan has worked with the Waltzing Matilda Centre (Winton, Qld), and Norfolk Island museum collections. As Director of the NI Museum Joan assisted in writing the Conservation Management Plan toward the serial listing of the now World Heritage Kingston & Arthurs Vale Heritage area on Norfolk Island. She also developed a 12 month program, of rotating community based exhibitions, to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Pitcairn Islanders (Bounty mutineer descendants) arrival on Norfolk Island in 1856.

After completing her MA Cultural Heritage in Belgium in 2007, Joan worked as Regional Museums Development Officer (RMDO) running hands-on training programs for 20 museum volunteer groups across the Northern Rivers Region NSW.  This collaborative program supported community museums towards sustainability through strategic planning, policy development, significance assessment, collection management and exhibition development. The three stage RMDO program culminated in the Rivers, Roads & Rail region wide exhibition trail which included the 20 museums and incorporated 14 oral history based mini-documentaries on local heritage.  In her final year in the Northern Rivers she also became the Museum Advisor for Nambucca Council, which continued until 2012.

Between 2010-2018 Joan amalgamated the three Moreton Bay Regional Council professional museums into one museum network, working at a strategic and operational level.

In 2017/2018 Joan was responsible for the delivery of all content for the Redcliffe Museum redevelopment which occurred in conjunction with a 270m2 extension and reopened in May 2018.

Current Projects

Since late 2018 Joan has returned to consulting work and is pleased to be back working with the Clarence Valley Council museums, in the Northern Rivers, as their Museum Advisor.

In 2019 she has also delivered significance assessment training for Lake Macquarie council and has written Significance Assessments for three Lake Macquarie heritage collections.

Personal statement

Joan has a passion for working with museums to facilitate the development of local and regional stories through heritage collections in engaging and sustainable ways.

Living just over the northern NSW border, Joan is also the Secretary of Oral History Qld, and the Qld representative for the Museums Australia Education group.