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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

Director
National Portrait Gallery

Karen Quinlan AM

Chief Operating Officer

Trent Birkett

  • Finance and Business
  • Facilities
  • Security, Risk and Compliance
  • Human Resources
  • IT Operations

Collection and Exhibitions

Sandra Bruce

  • Collection Management
  • Curatorship and Research
  • Exhibitions
  • Travelling Exhibitions

External Relations

Liz Nield OAM

  • Marketing and Communications
  • Foundation
  • Partnerships
  • Digital Content

Access and Learning

Karen Vickery

  • Visitor Services and information
  • Learning and Public Programs
  • Access and outreach
  • Digital Learning

Executive

Karen Quinlan AM has been the Director of the National Portrait Gallery since December 2018. Karen commenced her curatorial career in 1994 at the National Gallery of Victoria before becoming Curator of the Bendigo Art Gallery in 1996. Karen served as the Director of the Bendigo Art Gallery from 2000 until 2018 and was instrumental in working with international cultural institutions, attracting high profile exhibitions to regional Victoria. This initiative enabled Bendigo and the surrounding region to benefit socially, culturally and economically throughout her tenure. Before moving to the ACT, Karen was a Professor of Practice and Director of the La Trobe Art Institute La Trobe University; a former Trustee of the State Library of Victoria; and Board Member and former Chair of the Public Galleries Association of Victoria. Karen has also previously been a board member of the Victorian Foundation of Living Australian Artists, for the National Gallery of Victoria and the VA Melbourne Fashion Festival. Karen was recently invited to be Patron of the Capital Arts Patrons’ Organisation based in Canberra.

Trent Birkett has been the Chief Operating Officer of the National Portrait Gallery since 2014, where he manages a team responsible for the Gallery’s finances, human resources, ICT, security and facilities. Prior to joining the Gallery he was a Partner in a Canberra based consulting firm delivering financial services to the government and the not-for-profit sector. Trent holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Information Systems) and Bachelor of Economics from the Australia National University. He is also a Chartered Accountant and a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Sandra Bruce joined the National Portrait Gallery in February 2020 as Director Collection and Exhibitions. Prior to her appointment, she was Assistant Director and Acting Director of the La Trobe Art Institute at La Trobe University, where she played a leading role in reinvigorating cultural activity at the University, and drove the first significance assessment of the University’s collections. She has also been the Collection Manager at Bendigo Art Gallery, and Collections and Exhibitions Manager, and Curator, at the National Sports Museum and Melbourne Cricket Club. Sandra guides the curatorial, exhibitions, and collection activity of the Gallery; responsible for the management of the collection and its ongoing development, and the delivery of the exhibitions program. She also has a role in the delivery of the Gallery’s Reconciliation Action Plan and Accessibility Action Plan.

Liz Nield OAM has been Director, External Relations at the National Portrait Gallery since August 2018. She is a highly experienced marketing, communications, development and philanthropy professional, specialising in the arts. Previously she was Opera Australia’s Executive Director, Philanthropy—where she achieved significant increases in private giving—and led the fundraising team as Director of Development at the University of New South Wales. She has also been Marketing and Communications Director at Opera Australia and Marketing and Development Director at English National Ballet. Liz has degrees in both Arts and Law from the University of Sydney and is the current Deputy Chair of Canberra Glassworks.

Karen Vickery joined the National Portrait Gallery of Australia in late 2011 where she is Director of Learning and Visitor Experience. Before this, she lectured at the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) from 1996 and was Head of Performance Practices there for five years specialising in acting and history of performance. Karen has had a long career in the performing arts in which she has worked as an actor in film and television, and as a translator and dramaturg of Russian play texts. Karen has a Certificate in Teaching English as a Second Language, a Bachelor of Arts with Honours and First Place from the University of Melbourne, a Bachelor of Dramatic Art in Acting from NIDA, and an MA in Theatre and Film Studies from the University of New South Wales.

Related information

The National Portrait Gallery building front entrance
The National Portrait Gallery building front entrance
The National Portrait Gallery building front entrance
The National Portrait Gallery building front entrance

The Gallery

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The National Portrait Gallery building at night
The National Portrait Gallery building at night
The National Portrait Gallery building at night
The National Portrait Gallery building at night

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Visiting the Gallery
Visiting the Gallery
Visiting the Gallery
Visiting the Gallery

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© National Portrait Gallery 2021
King Edward Terrace, Parkes
Canberra, ACT 2600, Australia

Phone +61 2 6102 7000
Fax +61 2 6102 7001
ABN: 54 74 277 1196

The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders past and present. We respectfully advise that this site includes works by, images of, names of, voices of and references to deceased people.

This website comprises and contains copyrighted materials and works. Copyright in all materials and/or works comprising or contained within this website remains with the National Portrait Gallery and other copyright owners as specified.

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. The use of images of works of art reproduced on this website and all other content may be restricted under the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). Requests for a reproduction of a work of art or other content can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

The National Portrait Gallery is an Australian Government Agency