Profile: Frank Howarth, Keynote Speaker 2014 Conference

We are very pleased to have Frank Howarth with us as the Keynote Speaker for our 2014 conference.

Frank is passionate about the natural world, and passionate about Sydney and its cultural institutions.

He trained as a geologist, completing a Geology Degree at Macquarie University, and followed that with a Master of Science and Society from the University of NSW, focusing on science and biotechnology policy. He is a passionate and influential collector of contemporary Australian and New Zealand glass art and has judged several major glass prizes, and written about glass art.

Frank’s general interest is the interface between science and society, with a particular interest and expertise in science policy and management of science based programs. Frank is keen to ensure that the Australian Museum is influential in biodiversity conservation science and policy, particularly through international collaboration.

He has had a long career in the NSW public sector. In 1996 he became Director and Chief Executive of the Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust, before taking up the role of Director of the Australian Museum in 2004. After 10 years in the role he stepped down as Director in April 2014. He remains a Trustee of the Australian Museum Foundation.

He was Chair of ICOM Australia from 2010 to 2013, and was a director of Museums and Galleries NSW from 2005 to 2013. He was also a member of the Council of Australasian Museum Directors from 2004 to 2014. He became President of Museums Australia in 2013.

The use of natural science and cultural collections to inspire people about the natural world and its conservation attracted Frank to working with botanic gardens and museums.