Faculty of Education and Arts

Tim Sullivan

Position: Honorary Research Fellow
Study area: Collaborative Research Centre in Australian History (CRCAH)
Location: SMB Campus E building
Email: timothy.sullivan@federation.edu.au


Master of Management — University of Technology Sydney — 2000
Graduate Diploma in Administration — University of Technology, Sydney — 1990
Cartography Certificate — Sydney Institute of TAFE — 1987
Diploma of Education — University of Sydney — 1985
Bachelor of Arts (Honours) — University of Sydney — 1981


Tim brings two decades of deep experience in museums and heritage management. In his current position at the Australian War Memorial as Assistant Director, National Collection, he plays an integral leadership role in shaping and implementing the strategic directions of the AWM, and in directing the achievement of its corporate outcomes. His various roles in cultural heritage leadership have involved research, collection management and interpretation, public programming, education programs in history and environmental sciences. He has been responsible for managing the education, visitor and volunteer programs; staff training; publications; the production of creative expressions of collection content, and leadership of major exhibition and museum infrastructure development project teams. His work has often involved significant collaborations with government and major public bodies, community groups, universities and education providers.

Areas of expertise

Museum management and development including education and lifelong learning programs, interpretive program development, digital content development, integration of research and collection development with programming, policy development, corporate and strategic planning and governance.

Research interests

  • Victoria's colonial prisons and prison hulks
  • Museum education and learning
  • Interpretive and communications effectiveness
  • program Modern history
  • Australian history
  • Museum practice
  • Governance
  • Management and leadership


Book chapters

"History in the new millennium or problems with history?", in Understanding Museums: Australian museums and museology, D. J. G. Griffin and L. Paroissien (eds), National Museum of Australia, 2011, published online at http://www.nma.gov.au/research/understanding-museums/TSullivan_2011.html

"The Sovereign Hill Museums Association", in Recollections of Ballarat 2, Harris, M and Butters, P. (eds), Ballarat, 2009

A Toast to the Days of Gold: Proceedings of the Symposium to Celebrate the 150th Anniversary of the Discovery of Gold in Victoria, (in press), co-edited with Alaster Edwards, published by the AIMM and The Sovereign Hill Museums Association, July 2001.

"Indigenous consultation: the Indigenous Australians, Australia's First Peoples exhibition", Proceedings of the Conference - Whose Dreaming?, Museums Australia (NSW), June 1997 (with Sheryl Connors)

Refereed journal articles

"The Order of the Lone Star, Young America and Eureka", Agora, HTAV, 1/47, 2012

"A woman's work is never done: 19th century domestic life at Sovereign Hill", aMUSine, Summer, 2011, Macquarie University online museums studies journal (with Marion Littlejohn)

"Role play affects learning for all", Teacher Learning Network Journal, Equal in Dignity and Rights: Mental Health in Education, 18/2, Winter, 2011, (with Margaret Zeegers)

"Museums and the Australian History Curriculum", Teacher Learning Network Journal, Time for an Australian Curriculum, 17/2, Winter, 2010, (with Stephanie Rose)

"Sovereign Hill, Blood on the Southern Cross and telling the story of Eureka", Australian Historical Studies, Melbourne University Press, 2007

Response to article by Warwick Frost, "Making an Edgier Interpretation of the Goldfields", International Journal of Heritage Studies, 12/2, 2006, pp117-9

"Steam operations at Sovereign Hill", International Stationary Steam Engine Society, 26/1, 2004 (with Anna Kyi and Harold Conder)

"Museums and indigenous people in Australia: a Review of Previous Possessions, New Obligations-Policies museum in Australia and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, Curator, 46/2, 2003

"Implementing NAGPRA: the effective management of legislated change in museums", Management Decision, 40/1, 2002 (with Morrie Abraham and Des Griffin)

"Implementing the Native American Grave Protection and Repatriation Act", a Book Review in Curator, 43/4, October 2000

"NAGPRA: effective repatriation programs and change in museums", Curator, 43/3, July 2000 (with Des Griffin and Morrie Abraham)

Refereed conference proceedings

"Browsers and seekers: understanding the nature of free-choice learning in outdoor museums", with Hollick, M., Proceedings of the ICOM Triennial Meeting, Vienna, October 2007

"Breaking Ground: evolving Australian socio/political values on the Victorian goldfields", Plenary Session, Proceedings of the Museums Australia Conference, Canberra, May 2007

"A Review of Previous Possessions, New Obligations", Proceedings of the Museums Australia Conference Australian Collections, Australian Cultures: Museums and Identities in 2001, Canberra, April 2001 (with Lynda Kelly and Phil Gordon)

"Museums and the Learning Organisation: the Role of Visitor Studies", Proceedings of the Visitor Studies Association Annual Conference, Chicago, Illinois, August 1999

"The Australian Museum, Audience Research and Corporate Change", Visitors Centre Stage: Action for the Future, Proceedings of the Museums Australia Evaluation and Visitor Research Group Conference, Canberra, August, 1998

"Beyond customer focus!", Proceedings of the Conference Unlocking the Museum, Museums Australia, Darwin, September, 1997


  • Honorary Life Fellow, Museum Victoria, 2015
  • Honorary Research Fellow, Faculty of Education and the Arts, Federation University Australia, 2015-present
  • Member, General Sir John Monash Interpretive Centre Project Management Board, 2015-present
  • Visiting Fellow of the Research School of the Humanities and the Arts, Australian National University, 2014
  • Member, ICOMOS Australia, 2013-present
  • Member of the National Cultural Heritage Committee, Commonwealth of Australia, 2012-present
  • Senior Visiting Fellow, Federation University, Ballarat, 2009-2015
  • Member, Australian Centre for Democracy @ Eureka Advisory Group, 2009-2013
  • Director, Bug Blitz™ Trust, 2008-2013
  • Member, Panel of Experts reviewing the Collections Law: Legal Issues for Australian Archives, Galleries, Libraries and Museums for the Collections Council of Australia, 2007-present
  • Member Public Record Office of Victoria Ballarat Stakeholders Group, 2007-2013
  • Member of the Museums Board of Victoria, 2006-2015
  • Member, Museums Board of Victoria, Finance, Audit and Risk Committee, 2006-2015
  • Member, Museums Board of Victoria, Nominations, Remuneration and Governance Committee, 2006-2015
  • Member Ballarat City Council Heritage Advisory Committee, 2006-2013
  • Member Ballarat City Council Eureka Special Committee, 2001-2005
  • Member Sovereign Hill Schools Council, 2000-2013
  • Visiting Scholar, Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of the American Indian, 1999-2000