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2023 IA Conference & Awards Gala – 9 November: What is interpretation? – a personalised view

November 9, 2023



Interpretation Australia is excited to announce that our 2023 Conference will be held in Sydney on 9 November. This year’s theme is “What is Interpretation? – a personalised view”. The theme, which is purposefully broad, has been selected to provide the opportunity for people to consider what interpretation means to them, whether as an industry, a field, a topic or a passion and for them to share their own stories, achievements, challenges or perspectives. We are happy to consider any approach to the topic, and look forward to seeing just what pathways we inspire!

We look forward to welcoming you to the event!

Conference Convenor: Kylie Christian | 0418218151 | Email


Interpretation Australia would like to thank our sponsors for their ongoing support for the interpretation industry and Interpretation Australia.


Registration - NOW OPEN


Registration is now open! Don’t miss out on the opportunity to join our vibrant community of interpreters at this year’s national conference. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced professional, our event caters to all skill levels, experience and abilities. Expand your knowledge, explore new horizons, and network with our members in our first face-to-face conference in four years. Register today. We would love to see you in person!

Ticket Prices:
IA Members – $300, Non-Members – $400, Students – $250
Awards Gala Evening – $75


We are pleased to provide the following sponsorship opportunities for the 2023 IA National Conference.

Conference Speakers

We are pleased to announce our presenters for the 2023 conference.


Indu Balachandran is a Global Atlantic Fellow and leads strategy and governance work in the social-purpose sector, most recently at the Aboriginal Housing Office and the National Centre of Indigenous Excellence. Indu seeks to effect systems change for social and cultural equity. She is co-Chair of environmental services enterprise Community Resources and Western Sydney University’s Institute of Culture & Society. Indu plays the veena, and her more recent work explores relationship to place. Indu has created work for the Sydney Festival and was the lead instrumentalist for the acclaimed 2022 production of The Jungle and the Sea at the Belvoir Theatre.

Indu will speak about interpretation and cultural being – what we bring into interpretation of place from a cultural lens, how this shapes relationships with the environment, and why it can transform visitation. She will discuss story-making in relation to First Nations peoples, to build shared belonging.

Attendees will be treated to an excerpt from Bhoomi: Place and Belonging. Sounds of the veena, stories of home-making from Sri Lanka to Australia, Wiradjuri ways and dance converge. We weave our cultures together to honour place. Artists: Shankari Chandran, Abhinandini Sivararam, Audrey Goth Towney, Tristan Field, Indu Balachandran.


Museums of History NSW

Tess Allas, Dr Scott Hill and Dr Jacqui Newling are curators at Museums of History NSW, each with our own specialisations. Tess is an Australian First Nations artist and curator who works closely with creative arts communities. Scott and Jacqui have extensive academic and public history experience in museums and interpreting heritage sites. Core to their practice is creative and artful interpretation of MHNSW’s museum and archives collections, historic houses and heritage sites for audiences of all ages and walks of life, across multiple platforms including exhibitions, written and audio-visual content and face-to-face programming. Developed in collaboration with Sydney Opera House Trust, creative producers Art Processors, and MHNSW’s exhibition and design teams, “The People’s House: Sydney Opera House at 50”; brings together their interpretive expertise to showcase the iconic building from multiple perspectives and in diverse ways, demonstrating the impact it has had on myriad lives – past and present – over more than five decades.

University of Sydney

Caitlin is a Sydney-based archaeologist and heritage specialist with broad experience in the management, assessment and investigation of cultural heritage places. She is an Expert Member of the International Committee on Archaeological Heritage Management, a Member of the NSW Heritage Council’s Approvals Committee, a former member of the NSW Heritage Council’s Heritage Advisory Panel and Archaeological Advisory Panel and a former Vice President of Australia ICOMOS. Caitlin was the Archaeologist with the NSW Heritage Office from 1997 to 2002 undertaking statutory approvals work, providing archaeological advice and developing historical archaeology policy for the NSW Heritage Office and Heritage Council. From 2002 to 2016 she was Senior Conservation Archaeologist and Heritage Specialist for NSW Public Works – Government Architect’s Office. She is currently working as a sessional lecturer in Heritage and Museum Studies at the University of Sydney. Her current research interests relate to the social impacts of cultural heritage conservation, particularly individual and community wellbeing and resilience.

Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House

Studying and working in natural and cultural heritage management eventually led Kate Armstrong to the world of politicians and office workers at the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House. Sitting in the very office occupied by the staff of Minister for the Interior Doug Anthony (Country Party), Kate develops content that interprets the intangible values – the stories, tales and emotional connections – of one of Australia’s most significant and iconic parliamentary buildings. Interpreting the spirit of place of the former home of Australia’s federal parliament is her privilege and pleasure.

Royal Australian Mint

Sharon Bulkeley has worked in the cultural industry for over 20 years as a curator, researcher, historian and manager. She is a passionate storyteller and enjoys the challenge of engaging with audiences and connecting them to the objects, places, sounds and histories of our cultural and heritage spaces. In her current role as Manager – Public Engagement at the Royal Australian Mint, she's faced with the unique challenge of interpreting an organisation unlike any other – one that is a factory, a tourism venue, a cultural institution, a corporate entity and a retail provider all at once.


Bernice Burke is a Senior Heritage Consultant at Urbis. She joined Urbis in 2017 and began working on the Heritage Interpretation Strategy for the Quay Quarter Sydney precinct, located at Circular Quay. Bernice completed her Master of Museum and Heritage Studies (Sydney University) where she focused on exhibition development, content research and curation. During her time at Urbis Bernice has been integrally involved in the planning and implementation of Interpretation at a number of diverse sites, including Quay Quarter Sydney, The Irving Street Brewery Building (Central Park), the commercial office towers in Parramatta and the Queens Wharf redevelopment in Brisbane.

Interpretation Australia

Kylie is the current President of Interpretation Australia, a position she has held since 2021, and previously between 2017-2019. Kylie is a Sydney-based heritage professional who specialises in interpretation planning and delivery. She has worked in the heritage and interpretation industries for over 25 years. She has a master’s degree in Heritage and Interpretation from the University of Leicester in the UK, a bachelor’s degree of history from Macquarie University, is a professional photographer, an award-winning exhibition designer and a certified and award-winning project director. She has also completed certification as an interpretive guide through the National Association for Interpretation (NAI) in America. Kylie works across a diverse range of projects throughout Australia and has expertise in interpretation development and implementation, cultural values consultation, stakeholder engagement, assessment and policy development, as well as project management of complex cultural landscapes and state significant developments. Additionally, she is the founder of a heritage education and archive initiative that aims to establish and provide accredited heritage training and resources to the greater community.

Art of Multimedia

Beata Kade has worked in communications for over 35 years, engaged by government, corporations and not-for-profits to create external and internal communications. Over the past 18 years, she has focussed on interpreting the natural, cultural and built heritage. As Managing Director of Art of Multimedia, she leads an ever-diversifying multidisciplinary team to help cultural sites craft compelling stories using digital technology and immersive experiences. She produced and developed numerous award-winning interpretive projects that comprise documentary films, websites, multimedia, apps and immersive experiences. Beata loves collaborating with other passionate experts on storytelling that adds meaning to people’s lives.

Kelp Creative

A storyteller at heart, Scott has developed several award-winning experiences and knows the importance of the initial experience brief. It can be the hardest part of experience design, and it’s the most important! An inspiring and well-articulated brief provides a launchpad for creative and inspired design. Scott’s deep dive into experience design began over 25 years ago. Today he’s still driven by his passion for visitor experiences and thrives on helping organisations engage their community through designing meaningful, engaging and memorable experiences, anchored to purpose. In recent years, Scott has gained extensive experience in creating engaging and effective experiences that facilitate environmentally friendly behaviours using Community-based Social Marketing tools.

Convergence Design Australia

Jenni has been director of Convergence Design, Australia’s longest standing interpretive design consultancy, since 2018. Trained as a town planner and architect, and with a long history of working in institutions, community organisations and consultancies she has cultivated a unique set of museum and exhibition development skills. Jenni has exceptional skills in the leadership and support of complex interpretive projects. She combines a good understanding of museological principals with a passion for history and storytelling and expertise in the application of strategic planning skills to achieve outstanding projects. With a rigorous yet flexible approach Jenni is adept at working with the unique dynamics and challenges of any project to define, research, brief and deliver optimum results.


Felicity has a PhD in Art History, focusing on cultural heritage protection and art fraud. She has over six years’ experience in heritage management, historical research and interpretation of built and natural heritage places. She joined Jacobs as a Senior Heritage Consultant in February 2023, after working as Placemaking and Interpretation Coordinator at the Royal Botanical Gardens Victoria (RBGV), communicating RBGV’s focus on plant conservation, climate change action and natural, cultural and built heritage significance across the Melbourne and Cranbourne Gardens. She was previously an Associate Heritage Consultant at Lovell Chen, delivering projects involving the interpretation of built and natural heritage places, historical research and analysis, and providing heritage planning expertise under the Heritage Act 2017 and the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. She has experience in preparing conservation management plans, heritage management plans, and the development and delivery of interpretation strategies and plans. Felicity organised the 2019 Interpretation Australia National Conference in Melbourne and has previously been a non-Executive member of the Interpretation Australia committee.

Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

Frith is the Head of Experience Design & Content at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa and an experienced senior manager, a big picture audience-engagement thinker, and an award-winning creative leader across multiple media, including exhibitions, digital products, education resources, and kids’​ books. She is passionate about creating compelling experiences, on topics that matter, to meet the motivations of the audience. When working in the exhibition space, she loves creating immersive story-worlds – merging objects, stories, spaces, and media to spark creativity, learning, and action. Frith is especially interested in embodied learning, and the blending of the physical and digital.


At Urbis, we strive to provide expert advice and skills to shape the development of our cities. Our expertise in heritage conservation and place design produces vibrant precincts and places that respect our history and conserve heritage values for future generations. Working collaboratively, our heritage and creative experts are currently delivering solutions for the former Irving Street Brewery at Central Park, Chippendale and the Herston Quarter in Brisbane. In these projects our teams prepared Interpretation Strategies and Plans that identify the story of a place through nominated themes and narratives and opportunities for integrated and considered Interpretation. Together we have prepared design concepts and shop drawings for a variety of Interpretation elements that were integrated to landscape and architectural design and the character of developments to ensure that Interpretation is activated and ingrained in the redevelopment of a place. Bernice is a Senior Heritage Consultant at Urbis and Kelwin is a Lead Creative Designer at Urbis.

Interactive Experiences

Kevin Wright is at the forefront of multimedia and immersive experiences in Qld. As an experienced producer and creative technologist, Kevin has a remarkable track record of creating cutting-edge projects showcased in venues such as museums, galleries, and visitor centres. One of Kevin’s recent accomplishments includes the design and development of a groundbreaking Smart Interactive Table application specifically tailored for object recognition tables. This innovative solution revolutionises the way visitors engage with digital media, fostering collaboration and enhancing the overall interactive experience. Kevin has been based on the Sunshine Coast Qld since 2013. He worked in multimedia in Auckland, New Zealand for several years, and created several leading installations. They included three interactive experiences for the Rugby World Cup. Before working in multimedia, he worked in film and TV drama production management commencing after winning a scholarship from the NSW Film Corporation. He has had a strong interest in the power of on screen narrative stories since working on major drama productions. To learn more about Kevin Wright and his exceptional work, visit his LinkedIn profile at https://www.linkedin.com/in/kevinwright1. Explore the fascinating intersection of technology, creativity, and immersive experiences that Kevin has to offer.


Darrienne Wyndham is a Heritage Consultant at Urbis. She has always been fascinated by the power of stories. After completing her Master of Museum and Heritage Studies at the University of Sydney in 2019, Darrienne made the move from the museum to the heritage industry to specialise in interpretation. She has worked with clients and community to produce strategies, plans and content for places from State Significant Precincts, football stadiums to Art Deco milk bars. Darrienne joined Urbis in 2022. Sarah Hawkins is a Senior Heritage Consultant whose professional background has traversed archaeology, museums, and heritage consultancy. Enamoured by museums as a young child, Sarah has a focus on fostering a connection between the public and the past and giving voices to heritage places. After completing her Master of Museum and Heritage Studies Sarah transferred her experience in exhibitions to heritage consultancy with a focus on heritage interpretation and public engagement. She has implemented interpretation strategies for major infrastructure projects, commercial and residential developments, schools, sports grounds, and public precincts.

About our Host City

The city selected for our conference reboot is Sydney. Sydney is the capital city of New South Wales and Australia’s largest and oldest city (founded in 1788). It is the largest city in the southern hemisphere, in terms of area. The city is built on one of the most beautiful harbours in the world.

The city’s most famous landmarks are the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House. Sydney’s principal river is the Parramatta River, which enters Sydney Harbour from the west. While the Harbour is famous for its racing yachts, the Boxing Day start of the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race, the river is used for dinghy sailing and rowing as well as recreational boating, racing small yachts and recreational fishing. Another famous landmark is the Sydney Tower which is the second tallest building in the Southern Hemisphere. Darling Harbour is also a popular destination for visitors.


The Maritime Union of Australia and International Transport Workers’ Federations Conference Centre is conveniently located in the heart of Chinatown and offers modern facilities in a historical setting.

365 Sussex Street, Sydney, NSW 2000
Phone Number:
02 9264 5024

Important Dates

Some dates for your calendar:

17/07/2023 – Awards for Excellence Judges EOI Open – Submit your EOI HERE
24/07/2023 – Conference Abstract Submissions Open
31/07/2023 – Awards for Excellence Nominations Open
28/08/2023 – Conference Early Bird Registrations Open
08/10/2023 – Conference Abstract Submissions Close
08/10/2023 – Awards for Excellence Nominations Close
10/10/2023 – Awards Judging Period Commences
22/09/2023 – Conference Speakers Confirmed

28/09/2023 – Conference Registrations Open

26/10/2023 – Awards Judging Period Closes


MUA Conference Centre
365 Sussex Street
Sydney, NSW 2000 Australia
+ Google Map


Interpretation Australia
View Organiser Website