South Australian Museum Board Announces New Director

03 December 2013

Brian Oldman

Download a PDF of the media release.

The Board of the South Australian Museum today announced the appointment of Mr Brian Oldman to the position of Director.

His appointment comes after an extensive international search which attracted highly experienced candidates from mainland Europe, the United Kingdom, the United States, New Zealand and Australia.

The Hon Dr Jane Lomax-Smith AM, Chair of the Museum Board said “Museums are entering an exciting period of change in the way they relate to visitors and global communities. In order to grasp these opportunities our Museum needs the visionary leadership and deep knowledge of museum operations that Mr Oldman will bring.”

Mr Oldman has held senior executive positions in some of London’s most respected cultural and scientific institutions having worked in transformative roles at the British Museum, the National Maritime Museum, the Zoological Society of London, and Sir John Soane’s Museum.

Mr Oldman had extensive leadership experience in industry before following his passion by entering the cultural sector. For five years, he was the Managing Director of the British Museum Company. He has successfully lead dynamic programs to increase visitor numbers, linked institutional research to community programs, built collaboration within institutions and developed commercial income streams. In addition Mr Oldman has overseen successful major redevelopments. 

In all his roles Mr Oldman has gained the confidence and respect of the curatorial, scientific and business communities, by demonstrating the capacity to juggle the core purpose of museums with ever-present commercial imperatives.

Mr Oldman said “The South Australian Museum has an international reputation for its outstanding collections and scientific excellence. It is a privilege to be appointed to the position of Director. I look forward to working with the Staff, Board and the Foundation to develop both the Museum’s engagement with its visitors and its global influence.’’

Mr Oldman will take up his role as Director at the South Australian Museum at the start of January 2014. The Board acknowledged and thanked Acting Director Professor Andrew Lowe for his energetic custodianship during the last six months.

The Board congratulates Mr Oldman on his appointment as Director at an exciting time in the 150-year history of the South Australian Museum and looked forward to working with him.


About the South Australian Museum

The South Australian Museum is a natural and cultural history museum dedicated to the conservation and study of nature and culture for the benefit and enjoyment of current and future generations.

With over 800,000 visitors per year it is one of the most highly visited museums in Australia, and the most successful research museum by a very large margin. It wins annually $5.5 million in competitive grant funding and produces around 200 scholarly publications.

It holds collections of national and international significance, including the Australian Aboriginal Material Culture Collection, Australian Polar Collection, Australian Biological Tissue Collection, and the Australian Helminthological Collection.

The Museum is an educational centre for families and engages actively with communities across South Australia through a rich offering of outreach, school holiday activities, and early learning programs.

Museum Opening Hours

The Museum is open every day from 10am–5pm, including weekends and public holidays. We open at 12 noon on ANZAC Day (25 April). We are closed on Good Friday and Christmas Day.

Entry is free. There may be a charge for some special exhibitions.