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Anooshka Rawden

I am the Programme Manager for the South East Museum Development Programme (SEMDP) and work with the team to deliver the programme across the whole of the region.

I started my career as a Museum Assistant at the Museum of Reading while completing a 4 year post-graduate placement at the British Museum, working with the basement reserve store of Greek and Roman sculpture. I also volunteered with both the Ashmolean Museum and the Courtauld Institute. While with the Museum of Reading, I worked also worked as part of the documentation team, and assisted with exhibition delivery and decant (everything from a punk retrospective to showcasing objects from Ancient Egypt).

While working in local authority museums in Berkshire and West Sussex, I also benefitted from secondment opportunities with the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead Museum and Berkshire Archaeology. After leaving the Museum of Reading, I managed the Chichester District archaeology collection (stored at the Collections Discovery Centre, Fishbourne Roman Palace) as Museum Officer and then became Collections Officer responsible for all Chichester District collections as well as Assistant Manager of The Novium. With The Novium I worked as part of a small team that delivered both a store move and a move to a new-build museum.

I joined the Society of Antiquaries of London in 2013. A historic learned society and charity, I managed the museum collection (including nationally significant objects and works, such as the largest collection of arch-top medieval panel paintings outside the National Portrait Gallery) and provided collections care support to the historic library and archive collections. The role also involved active engagement in fundraising and setting up joint projects with university partners. While with the Society, I delivered events including exhibitions, museum lates and postgraduate open days.

My most recent role before joining SEMDP, was Collections Services Programme Manager for the Science Museums Group. This role involved contributing to project start-up for transformative Masterplan projects across London, Manchester, York and Bradford, for deliverables from conservation and collections care, digitisation and registration teams, and included contributing to significant funding applications. The role also contributed to collections management procedural reviews across the Group, held responsibility for the Group’s accreditation returns for all five museums, as well as relationship management - encouraging supportive, collaborative working and communication between teams and departments.

In my free time I am vice chair of the Society for Museum Archaeology, and currently part way through a 3 year project funded by Historic England to survey museums in England to assess resource and collecting capacity for British archaeology. I am also an Arts Council Museum Mentor. After completing a BA in Ancient History and an MA in Roman Visual Culture, I also obtained a project management qualification and a diploma in Law and Collections Management.

I have been lucky enough to work in museums with a range of collections, budgets and governance models, from local authority, independent to national, and have a realistic, on-the-ground view of the realities facing the sector. My career started thanks to museums in the South East, and this role feels like an opportunity to “come home” and support museums who helped me to begin my career. I am very much looking  forward to leading the 2018-22 programme and working with you all in the very near future.