Senior Management Team

RICHARD DRYSDALE



MARTIN BARDEN
Assistant Director, Development and Enterprises

Martin first arrived in Sydney as a backpacker in November 1990. In July 2013 he began work at the MCA, where he leads the Philanthropy, Retail, Sponsorship and Venues departments.

In between times, Martin worked for several of London’s leading arts organisations: Tate, the Royal Albert Hall, and Sadler’s Wells.

He has developed a career in customer service, advocacy and fundraising, revenue generation, marketing and communications, systems development, and change management. He has deep experience of leading complex operations, large-scale multi-site team management and development, working across businesses to increase engagement.

Most recently Martin headed up Culture Consultants in London, an independent consultancy whose UK clients include the National Portrait Gallery, Victoria & Albert Museum, National Theatre, Southbank Centre, Design Museum, and Frieze Art Fair. During the previous decade at Tate, he worked across the four galleries to drive revenues and loyalty.



BLAIR FRENCH
Assistant Director, Curatorial and Digital

Bringing experience in artistic leadership, curatorial practice and as a respected art writer, Blair French was appointed to the role of Assistant Director, Curatorial and Digital at the MCA in 2013. Originally from New Zealand, and with a professional background also in the UK, Blair arrived in Sydney in 1995. First as Program Manager at the Australian Centre for Photography, then as Associate Director of Performance Space and finally in his leadership of Artspace Visual Arts Centre where he was Executive Director 2006 – 2013 he has helped develop and bring to the fore the work of a range of exciting and now highly visible artists from the region.

Blair’s curatorial and writing practice has ranged over the development of conceptual and post-conceptual art in Australia and New Zealand, the intersections of photography and contemporary art, performance and moving image practice as well as current conditions and contexts of art-making in the Asia-Pacific region. Recent projects have included a number of group exhibitions at Artspace; solo exhibition projects with a diverse range of artists including Bruce Barber, Chicks on Speed, Simon Denny, Marco Fusinato, Shaun Gladwell, Ho Tzu Nyen, Rose Nolan, Peter Robinson and Francis Upritchard amongst others; and the 6th (2010 – 2011) and 7th (2013) iterations of SCAPE: Christchurch Biennial of Art in Public Space. His publications include many edited artist monographs and catalogues; the books Out of Time: Essays Between Photography and Art (2006), and the co-authored Twelve Australian Photo Artists (2009); the major text for the Shaun Gladwell book published in association with the 2009 Venice Biennale; and as editor, Photo Files: An Australian Photography Reader (1999).

Blair holds a PhD from the University of Sydney and has lectured at the University of Waikato, NZ; the College of Fine Arts, University of New South Wales; and at the University of Western Sydney. He was President of Contemporary Arts Organisations Australia (CAOs), a formal nationwide network of contemporary art spaces, 2006-09 and was an external member of the Board of Sydney College of the Arts, University of Sydney, 2008-2012.



HEATHER WHITELY ROBERTSON
Assistant Director, Audiences & Creative Learning

With a passion for contemporary art, learning and pushing the boundaries of imagination, Heather Whitely Robertson comes to the MCA via some of London’s most iconic arts institutions.

Heather joined the Museum of Contemporary Art as Head of Creative Learning in April 2011, taking charge of a team of professionals responsible for delivering a variety of learning activities for a wide cross-section of audiences, from children and families, to schools, young people and adults from all backgrounds. In her role, Heather drives the strategic development of learning programs for the MCA’s new National Centre for Creative Learning (NCCL), offering world-class learning facilities including practical classrooms, a multimedia room, sensory room for students with disabilities, lecture theatre, seminar room and digital classroom.

Originally from Perth, Heather polished her creative learning skills as a Learning Manager for the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, where she was responsible for audience development initiatives for families and mass-participation festivals. Previously, Heather was Head of Learning at Open House London (an architectural education organisation), Curator of Family and Community Programmes at Tate Modern and Education Officer at the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne.



ANH THI DO
Chief Financial Officer

Currently Chief Financial Officer, Anh Thi Do came to the Museum of Contemporary Art in March 2000. Prior to this, Anh worked for The University Coop Bookshop, which has nearly thirty retail outlets on and off campus around Australia. Whilst at Coop, she was responsible for all financial areas from banking, cash flow to budget. She joined Gallery 4A as a director in 2008-2009.

Anh holds an Economics and Accounting degree from the University of New South Wales and is currently a member of the Certified Practising Accountant.