Bill Bleathman to retire


Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery (TMAG) Director Bill Bleathman has today announced his retirement from the museum after a distinguished 37 year career in the Public Service.

Mr Bleathman has been at the museum for 20 years, spending the past 12 and a half years as Director.

He said his proudest moments had included the acquisition and conversion of the museum’s Rosny collections and research facility, increasing levels of private philanthropy, advances in the way the museum has worked with the Tasmanian Aboriginal community and the completion of the Stage 1 Redevelopment in March this year.

“I consider that I have been a very privileged person to have worked at TMAG, an institution that I love dearly,” Mr Bleathman said.

“I am extremely proud of all our staff and volunteers, and I thank them for helping to mould our museum into the great institution it is today.

“There are a lot of people that seek to define what a successful museum is, my answer has always, and will always be the same: it’s not the bricks and mortar, it’s not the collections, but it’s the people – the staff and volunteers.”

The Premier and Minister for the Arts, Lara Giddings, also acknowledged Mr Bleathman’s enormous contribution to the museum.

“In his 12 years as Director of TMAG, Bill has delivered outstanding results for the museum and cultural enrichment for the people of Tasmania,” Ms Giddings said.

“No doubt the pinnacle of Bill’s achievements at the museum – and certainly the most recognisable – is the redevelopment of TMAG, which reopened to the public earlier this year.

“Under Bill’s leadership the redevelopment has created an award-winning museum and art gallery that Tasmanians can be truly proud of.

“I congratulate Bill for all he has achieved at the museum and wish him well for all his future endeavours – beginning with a well-deserved break over summer.”

Sir Guy Green, Chairman of Trustees of the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, said Mr Bleathman had been an outstanding Director of the museum.

“During his time as Director, the museum has grown and lifted its profile to an extent unprecedented in its long history,” Sir Guy said.

“The development of acclaimed new permanent exhibitions, significant increases in philanthropic support, the negotiation of the partnership with MONA which culminated in the very successful Theatre of the World exhibition currently being presented in Paris, phenomenal increases in visitor numbers and of course the delivery of the national award winning redevelopment of the museum earlier this year, are just a few of his achievements.

“Mr Bleathman has earned the respect and admiration of everyone who has had the privilege of working with him and he is very highly regarded by his peers in the other museums and galleries in Australia.

“His inspirational leadership has made the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery a world class institution of which all Tasmanians can be very proud.”

Mr Bleathman’s last day in the position will be next Friday, 20 December 2013.