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New leadership team to reshape Powerhouse Museum announced
Michael Parry has been appointed as Director Public Engagement and will be responsible for the Museum’s public facing activities including programs, on line and commercial activities.

SYDNEY.- Newly appointed Powerhouse Museum Director Rose Hiscock today announced two key senior appointments to the Museum’s executive team; Dolla Merrillees and Michael Parry.

“The Powerhouse is in a period of transformation and I am delighted to attract two such dynamic and credentialed individuals. Dolla and Michael will bring a progressive and innovative approach to the Museum. We share a commitment and vision to revitalise and reshape the Powerhouse Museum, its collections, audiences and profile,” said Director Rose Hiscock.

Dolla Merrillees has been appointed as Director Curatorial, Collections and Exhibitions. Merrillees will be responsible for ensuring the Powerhouse collections, exhibitions and research reach the broadest possible audience. She will focus on bringing the Museum’s collection into the public domain. Currently Associate Director, Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation, Merrillees’ extensive career experience includes leading roles at Museums and Galleries NSW and the Biennale of Sydney, as well as curatorial positions at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery and the Powerhouse Museum.

Michael Parry has been appointed as Director Public Engagement and will be responsible for the Museum’s public facing activities including programs, on line and commercial activities. He will be a key driver in building audiences. He is currently Deputy Director at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI). Parry previously worked for technology companies on projects at the Ontario Science Centre, Canada, Shedd Aquarium, Chicago, Museum of Science, Boston, American Museum of Natural History, New York and Lincoln Park Zoo, Chicago.

“Dolla Merrillees brings a blend of museums and contemporary arts experience,” said Hiscock. “Her role within the highly respected Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation demonstrates an ability to ignite ideas and partnerships. Michael Parry brings an equally blended skillset – merging technology and audiences. His role at ACMI has helped drive significant audience growth.”

The new Powerhouse Museum executive team will comprise Rose Hiscock, Director (commenced July 2013), Elizabeth Stratford, Director Corporate Resources (commenced August 2013), Dolla Merrillees, Director Curatorial, Collections and Exhibitions (commencing January 2014) and Michael Parry, Director Public Engagement (commencing January 2014).

The roles were made vacant through staff departures.

Dolla Merrillees
Dolla Merrillees is Associate Director, Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation (SCAF) a not-for-profit organisation championing research, education and exhibitions of significant and innovative contemporary visual practice from Australia, the Asia-Pacific and West Asia. Dolla is responsible for the management, strategic development, and implementation of SCAF’s core programmes: exhibitions, publications, research, and public and educational programmes in addition to financial and human resource management.

During her five-year tenure at SCAF Dolla has directed over 16 projects, overseen the production and design of 17 publications, and has developed SCAF’s highly popular and innovative Culture+Idea series hosting over 400 events, workshops, forums, conversations, film screenings and children’s programmes. She has worked with leading Australian and international artists, architects and designers including Tokujin Yoshioka (design), Anrealage, Sasquathfabrix, mintdesigns, writtenafterward and Theatre Products (fashion) and SANAA – Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa (architects). In addition SCAF maintains extensive national and international partnerships with Dolla having travelled extensively throughout the region building networks and developing relationships. Its annual exhibition programme, as well as additional associated projects, has seen SCAF emerge as one of Australian’s preeminent and distinguished private art foundations.

Dolla has an extensive track record of achievement at a senior management and leadership level in cultural organisations as director, curator, exhibition manager, project manager and commissioner. Her career spans managing and developing exhibitions, public and educational programmes and collections at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery and the Powerhouse Museum; disseminating information on sectoral issues at the Australia Council for the Arts; exhibition management at the Biennale of Sydney. Board appointments include Sàn Art, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam and Drummond Street Services, Melbourne.

Dolla is a published author and has written extensively for print and online media. In 2013 she was awarded a Second Book Fellowship by Varuna: The Writer’s House. Writing projects include The Woodcutter’s Wife: A Stepmother’s Tale (Halstead Press: 2007); Memento Mori (remember that you must die), Hair – Trunk Series, 2009; Blood, Brain, Barrier, Blood – Trunk Series, 2012. In addition she has been commissioned by Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation to produce a series of artists interviews the most recent being with acclaimed Cambodian artist, Sopheap Pich.

Michael Parry
Michael Parry is Deputy Director at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) in Melbourne, Australia. He leads strategic planning and operations of ACMI’s diverse program and business initiatives. He is directly responsible for Commercial, Visitor Experience, Finance & Governance, Facilities and Technology.

His career has spanned public and private enterprise, leading diverse projects across organisation change, exhibition and program design, media production, and many facets of systems integration and technologies working for a variety of cultural institutions across Australia and North America.

Michael has been a Project Director and Systems Architect for a variety of major exhibitions, redevelopments and digital projects for Ontario Science Centre- Canada, Melbourne Museum & Scienceworks – Melbourne, Australian Center for Contemporary Art – Melbourne, Shedd Aquarium – Chicago, Museum of Science – Boston, American Museum of Natural History – New York and Lincoln Park Zoo – Chicago. He has consulted for a wide variety of cultural and arts institutions on digital strategy, business systems integration and innovation.

He was Project Director for ACMI’s major redevelopment project, culminating the opening of the permanent exhibition Screen Worlds in September 2009 –described by The Age as “ground-breaking”. Prior to that he was Head of Technology and led a multi-disciplinary team consisting of Information, Telecommunication, Audio Visual and Cinema technologists responsible for the creative and strategic use of all types of technology across ACMI.

Michael’s work with Museum of Science (Boston) was recognised in 2002 with the American Association of Museums, Media and Technology Committees’ Gold Muse Award. In the same year, his work on the hybrid online/exhibition based ‘AstroBulletins’ project for the American Museum of Natural History (New York), won Silver. More recently, ACMI’s Generator online project won the Museums and the Web’s top prize: Best of the Web.

Michael is immediate past President of the Victorian Board of the Australian Interactive Media Industry Association (AIMIA); he chairs the Humanities Networked Infrastructure (HuNI) Virtual Laboratory board; and sits on the Advisory Panel for Arts House, Melbourne. He is part of the Program Committee for the Museums & the Web, and Museums and the Web Asia conferences. He regularly presents both within Australia and internationally.

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