Geelong Gallery Director honoured with prestigious industry award

Art Announcement from Australia. Published by Geelong Gallery on Monday 10 August 2015.

Geelong Gallery Director honoured with prestigious industry award
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Geoffrey Edwards, Director of the Geelong Gallery, has received a prestigious Victorian Museum Award from Museums Australia (Victoria), the industry body for Victoria’s museums, for his outstanding contribution in developing the Gallery's significant collection.

The 2015 Victorian Museum Awards were presented on Thursday 6 August at the National Gallery of Victoria by Museums Australia (Victoria), the peak body for 1,000 museums and collecting organisations. The night was hosted by performer, actor and writer, Tegan Higginbotham and featured a special address by Martin Foley MP, Minister for Creative Industries.

Geoffrey Edwards has received the Individual Excellence Award (paid staff) for his outstanding contribution in developing the significant collection at the Geelong Gallery over his 15 years as Director. The collection numbers over 5,500 works of art including $7 million of new acquisitions secured through ambitious fundraising programs. These new acquisitions in a range of media have enhanced the Gallery’s holdings of images of Geelong and the wider region. Geoffrey Edwards has led the management of numerous programs including conservation initiatives, improved storage facilities, an online database, a bequests program known as the Hitchcock Society, and capital works.

The judges recognised Geoffrey Edwards for developing a significant collection and for an outstanding long-term contribution to the Geelong Gallery. Geoffrey Edwards has dedicated the last 15 years to developing a renowned collection and the judges wanted him to be awarded for his amazing contribution, over his career, to the Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museum sector.

Geoffrey Edwards said: ‘I’ve been very fortunate, as Gallery Director, to have had the opportunity of working alongside a highly professional team of colleagues unstinting in their support of my efforts to enhance a collection that is, without question, amongst the finest in regional Australia.’

‘I’m delighted to be honoured by this award but I see it really as a reflection of a splendid team effort over the past decade and more,’ Mr Edwards explained.

Martin Foley MP, Minister for Creative Industries, said: ‘Victoria is a state enriched by the diversity of our museums and galleries, their unique collections and the hard work, dedication and expertise of those who run them. Victoria is proudly home to one third of Australia’s museums—over 1,000 in number. From Australia’s most popular museum to the smallest historical society, they play a critical role in our state’s creative and cultural identity and our creative and cultural ecosystem.’

’Congratulations to all of this year’s winners and nominees, and to all of those who work year round to preserve and share our cultural treasures,’ Minister Foley said.