Conference Countdown








2024 Conference Schedule

10 – 10:45 Arrival and registration at Norwich Castle

Check in to the conference and grab yourself a tea/coffee before the talks begin.

10:45 Introduction from SHARE and welcome from the chairs

Join Jamie Everitt and the chairs as they officially welcome and provide the opening speech for the 2022 festival.

Jamie Everitt, Regional Museum Development Manager at SHARE Museums East
Steve Miller, Norfolk County Council’s Director of Culture & Heritage and Head of Norfolk Museums Service
Nicola Hems, Curator at Museum of the Broads

In post since 2010, Nicola works with one other member of staff and 60 volunteers. The Museum aims to bring the stories of the Norfolk and Suffolk Broads alive. Situated at Stalham Staithe, there are activities for all ages including river trips on a steamboat and an accessible electric boat.  



11:00 Justice and Joy

From funding to repatriation and from climate justice to decolonisation, we face a whole range of challenges and opportunities in our museums. This session will explore how museums can create joyful and equitable experiences for all by enhancing wellbeing, creating better places for us to live and work and hosting debate and reflection with our communities.

Sharon Heal, director at Museums Association 

Sharon is the director of the Museums Association, a campaigning membership body that promotes the value of museums to society. She regularly comments on museums and cultural policy in the UK; speaks at conferences and events in the UK and internationally; and has published extensively. She lectures in the history of museums, museum ethics and museums and social impact. Sharon is the chair of the Museum of Homelessness, and a trustee of the Thackray Museum of Medicine, and the European Museum Forum.

11:30 Case Study Panel Discussion: Recruitment

Practical Steps to Creating a More Inclusive Museum 

Hear about the practical steps St Albans Museums have taken to make the service more inclusive. From workforce development practices to a step change in programming Farhana will talk through the thinking behind the change and success and challenges so far.  

Farhana Begum, Museums Manager and Arts, Tourism, Heritage and Culture Manager for St Albans City and District Council 

Farhana is the Arts, Tourism, Heritage and Culture Manage for St Albans City and District Council. Her portfolio of responsibility includes Verulamium Museum, St Albans Museum + Gallery, the 15th century Clock Tower, and a number of Scheduled Ancient Monuments. Prior to heading up St Albans’ cultural services, Farhana worked across several heritage sites for the City of London and at Historic Royal Palaces.  

Your Heritage Your Future, Norfolk Museums Service

Your Heritage, Your Future seeks to promote youth voice and generate organisational change within the heritage sector. Through paid placements, skills development and progression opportunities for young people, including those with complex needs, the project will diversify the museum workforce and transform how museums engage with everyone. 

Leona Wilson, Project Officer at Your Heritage Your Future

Leona is eager to ensure heritage is for everyone. After working on Common Ground, a project encouraging young people to access heritage sites, she moved into community outreach at a national heritage charity. She is now part of Your Heritage, Your Future, returning to her roots of youth engagement with the sector. 

Christine Marsden, Project Coordinator at Kick the Dust

Christine has managed NMS ‘Kick the Dust’ programme since its inception in 2018 and sees heritage as being a tool to support creative health and wellbeing as well as provide all young people, in particular those from more disadvantaged backgrounds, with opportunities which enable them to progress in life. 

12:00 Making a historic building accessible

More details will be added soon.

Tim Pestell, Senior Curator at Norfolk Museums Service

More details will be added soon.

12:30 Lunch break

A vegetarian catered lunch will be provided at the conference.

13:30 Why Should Museums Exist? 

The justification and conceptual framework for why museums should exist in the UK is largely rooted in a historical paradigm. They are established on a social contract for the ownership of ‘our or other peoples’ treasured possessions. The Sainsbury Centre has recently attempted to break some of these established museum frameworks and radically opened up who and how people experience our museum landscape. Whether they are a good idea or have worked will be up to you to decide. 

Jago Cooper, Executive Director Sainsbury Centre, Professor of Art and Archaeology UEA 

Jago Cooper is Executive Director of the Sainsbury Centre and Professor of Art and Archaeology at UEA. For more than twenty years Jago has worked for and with museums, universities, and heritage organisations around the world to explore and communicate aspects of the great human story. His books and publications provide innovative perspectives on cultural experience and interpretation of material expression. His research has ranged broadly across universal questions facing global society including climate change, technological revolution, colonial encounter and social innovation. Jago has always worked hard to engage a broader public audience creating exhibitions, digital platforms and broadcast media including writing and presenting more than a dozen documentaries for the BBC. The Sainsbury Centre is a world-renowned art museum with one of the most celebrated collections in the UK. It is famous for creating a unique perspective on how art can foster cultural dialogue and exchange. .  

14:00 Case Study Panel Discussion: Collections

Collections Trust 

Kevin will discuss how Collection Trust’s current guidance around Rethinking Cataloguing can help museums take a more inclusive approach to their collections, and also how the new Museum Data Service will help museums put this guidance into practice. 

Kevin Gosling, Chief Executive at Collections Trust

Kevin has been Chief Executive of Collections Trust since 2015. He was previously Director of Communications for Britten 100, the award-winning centenary of composer Benjamin Britten in 2013, and has also worked for Lord Cultural Resources, the Museum of London, and in Norway and St Lucia. He is a Fellow of the Museums Association. 

Do I See What You See

We take for granted our understanding and interpretation of an object is right. Its our training, our culture but It’s not necessarily the culture of the maker or possessor of the object. We will explore the joys, successes and failures experienced at Little Hall when working with groups whose cultural understanding of an object is often so much more visceral than ours and whose insights provide personal and moving stories that bring the objects alive 

Michael Sutherill, Curator at Little Hall, Lavenham

Michael has over 40 years’ experience of working with historic buildings and collections both in the UK and overseas. In India he was part of team that recorded the standing remains and archaeology of the medieval city of Vijayanagara. At English Heritage and the National Trust he managed the conservation, display and restoration of a wide range of historic buildings, landscapes and collections.  

Outside the Box(es): showing our collection digitally and off-site

Summarising Chatteris Museum’s ‘Minute with the Museum’ project, funded by SHARE Recovery Grant, as a new way to offer access to collections for a younger audience, and introducing new project on Chatteris Gypsy and Traveller Histories, funded by AIM New Stories New Audiences scheme.

Amaia Robertson, Volunteer and Resident Palaeontologist at Chatteris Museum

Amalia Robertson recently gained her Masters in Museum Studies at the University of Leicester, and currently volunteers at Chatteris Museum whilst developing her science communication workshop Fossil Journeys. She has made two films for Minute with the Museum.

Trish Skinner, Volunteer at Chatteris Museum

Trish Skinner is a retired historian and author. Since 2022 she has worked as a volunteer for Chatteris Museum, focusing on grant capture to support widening participation.

The Gansey of Inclusivity project

I will explain the beginning and progression of the Gansey of Inclusivity pre-pandemic project envisioned and made by Lisa Little and David Shenton in conjunction with The East Anglia Gansey Group and Sheringham Museum Volunteers. I will define what a gansey is, why Sheringham is important, the outcome of the project and the volunteer and audience feedback from viewing the large ‘banner sized’ sweater. I will bring the gansey with me along to view.



Lisa Little, Marine Curator and Museum Manager at Sheringham Museum

Lisa built up her skills in pattern cutting and dressmaking in Yorkshire whilst studying spinning and weaving in Bradford. This culminated in her successful costume making business which included clients from the worlds of dance, theatre, re-enactment as well as costumed interpreters. She worked for Norfolk Museum Service as a Textile Curator before becoming Curator and Museum Manager of Sheringham Museum, she is also co-founder of the East Anglia Gansey Group.

14:30 Tea/coffee break

A quick afternoon break, with tea, coffee and cake.

15:00 The Culture Change Programme at Brighton & Hove Museums

We are currently running a three year externally funded programme of culture change for the organisation, an attempt to take a 360 degree holistic refresh to ensure all we do embraces equality and diversity. It will include public programming as well as staff training and external consultation.

Hedley Swain, CEO at Brighton & Hove Museums

Hedley has been CEO of the new Brighton & Hove Museums independent trust for the last three years. He was previously Area Director South East and national Museums Director for Arts Council England. His background is in museums and archaeology.

15:30 Closing remarks

Join Steve Miller, Norfolk County Council’s Director of Culture & Heritage and Head of Norfolk Museums Service, as he reflects on the Conference, gives thanks and concludes the event.

15:45 End of Conference

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