Experienced voices to safeguard our diverse national stories

The Australian Government has announced the appointment of Mr Benedict (Ben) Maguire as the Chair, and Professor Clare Wright OAM as a member, of the Council of the National Museum of Australia (Museum).

Mr Ben Maguire brings significant experience in strategic leadership, change management and business development across various sectors. In addition to the unique perspective gained from his experience as CEO of the Stockman’s Hall of Fame and Outback Heritage Centre, Mr Maguire has been a member of the Museum Council since 2015, where he has demonstrated his commitment to continuous improvement and best practice processes. He was elected Deputy Chair of the Museum Council in 2018 and has been the Acting Chair since July 2022. As an experienced CEO and non‑executive member, Mr Maguire is well positioned to oversee the Museum’s governance in his new position as Council Chair.

Professor Clare Wright OAM is an award-winning historian, author, broadcaster and public commentator, with diverse experiences in academia and the media sector. Professor Wright was recently appointed Professor of Public Engagement alongside her role as Professor and Principal Research Fellow of the History Program at LaTrobe University. She has previously acted as an expert advisor for the Victorian Government, the Governor of Victoria and the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House. Professor Wright is also the author of four works of history. Her appointment to the Museum Council fills the member vacancy created by Mr Maguire’s appointment as Council Chair.

Minister for the Arts, Tony Burke, said these appointments reflect the Government’s commitment to safeguarding Australia’s national institutions and promoting our cultural identity.

“The National Museum of Australia holds some of this country’s most cherished items. From 2017’s incredible Songlines: Tracking the Seven Sisters exhibition, through to the first Holden prototype, and Liz Ellis’ netball kit.

“Our national institutions are critical in showcasing Australia’s rich and diverse cultural heritage – both here at home and right around the world. Both of these appointments will strengthen that.

“Ben Maguire has been a tireless advocate for the Museum since 2015, and I know he’ll continue to demonstrate his outstanding leadership capabilities as Chair. His passion for the National Museum of Australia and its role in forming our national cultural identity will be crucial in the years to come.”

“I’m grateful Professor Clare Wright has agreed to join the Council. Her expertise in Australian history will be invaluable to the Museum. I look forward to her bringing a new perspective to the Council,” Minister Burke said.