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UK Museum Chief Set for WA Challenge

UK Museum Chief Set for WA Challenge
January 11, 2010

The man behind the hugely successful Great North Museum project in England has been head-hunted for a new challenge in Western Australia.

Alec Coles, Director of Tyne & Wear Archives and Museums (TWAM), has been appointed to the new role of Director of the Western Australian Museum in Perth.

Coles explained that his new role is "a fantastic opportunity to do something different."

TWAM runs 12 museums and galleries, including the Great North Museum: Hancock which has had 600,000 visitors since opening to the public in May with free admission. The new attraction was officially in 2009 by The Queen, accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh.

Coles added "the service in Australia is no bigger than the service I run here but its spread over an area the size of western Europe."

The Western Australian Museum incorporates six museum sites, a Collection Research Centre and a number of maritime heritage sites.

An important element of Coles' new job will be to develop a vision for a major new State Museum in Perth.

Coles said he was proud to have seen the success of the Great North Museum and also to have been elected to sit on the National Museum Directors' Conference, a distinction not normally afforded to regional museum chiefs.

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