Adam Lindsay announces his departure, State Librarian John Vallance steps in

“I’m disappointed they stopped the recruitment process after hiring a headhunter and running ads nationwide, and I’m not sure why,” he said.

The abrupt change in leadership comes as the doors of the renamed history museums open on Sunday. Since there is no obvious successor, State Librarian Dr. John Vallance will run the newly formed history museums until a replacement can be found, likely well after the March elections.

State Librarian Dr. John Vallance will head the newly established history museums until a replacement is found.

State Librarian Dr. John Vallance will head the newly established history museums until a replacement is found.Credit:Joy Lai

The newly formed umbrella institution replaces Sydney Living Museums (SLM) and takes over its portfolio of museums including Hyde Park Barracks, the Museum of Sydney, the Museum of Justice and Police and Susannah Place.

As director of SLM, Lindsay had worked through a $7 million business case for the Old Registrar General building on Macquarie Street, including its use as the state’s first dedicated history museum.

A business case for an interactive museum at the Parramatta Female Factory in Parramatta’s litmus test seat was also underway.

However, the most important task for the newly installed chief executive in 2023 was to steer the transformation of the Museum of Sydney into an Indigenous cultural centre.

The Herald revealed this month that the state government had given up Burukthe Indigenous Center at the Barangaroo Cutaway, for a multipurpose center following a meeting with former Prime Minister Paul Keating in mid-2020.

The coveted position of managing director of the historical museums was advertised just before Christmas.

According to a government source with knowledge of the negotiations, Lindsay had applied for and been offered the role of junior chief operating officer, with the position set to be re-advertised. He had refused.

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Seen in a farewell letter to colleagues by the heraldLindsay said his last day would be December 31st and Vallance would take over in the meantime.

Art Minister Ben Franklin had withdrawn from the appointment because of the long-standing social friendship between the two.

A three-person selection committee was formed, consisting of Sydney Living Museum Chair, Naseema Sparks, Vallance and Elizabeth Mildwater, Secretary to the Department for Enterprise, Investment and Trade.

The government has not reacted to this herald Asked if there was a potential conflict of interest with Vallance’s broader role due to his position on the selection panel.

Vallance joined the State Library in 2017 after a distinguished career in scholarship and teaching and is considered ‘safe hands’ on Macquarie Street.

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https://www.smh.com.au/culture/art-and-design/new-museums-of-history-rocked-by-leadership-change-20221227-p5c903.html?ref=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_source=rss_culture Adam Lindsay announces his departure, State Librarian John Vallance steps in

Jaclyn Diaz

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