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Dr Robert (Bob) Edwards AO

b. 1930

Dr Robert (Bob) Edwards AO (b. 1930) has made a remarkable contribution to the cultural sector in Australia. Edwards grew up in Adelaide, studied at Monash University and worked as an anthropologist in Arnhem Land during the 1950s and 1960s. From 1965 to 1973 he worked as a curator at the South Australian Museum; from 1973 to 1975 he was the deputy Principal of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies; for the next five years he was the Founding Director of the Aboriginal Arts Board of the Australia Council. His extensive experience with Indigenous Australians and his close associations with cultural institutions led to his becoming the Founding Director of Museum Victoria in 1984. As Chief Executive and Director of Art Exhibitions Australia Limited, he was responsible for coordinating the highly successful Entombed Warriors exhibition - one of the first in the world to build on a new relationship with the Chinese government - and many 'blockbuster' touring exhibitions during the 1980s and 1990s. As first Chair of the Board of the National Portrait Gallery from 1997 to 2000, Edwards was responsible for setting the direction of the Gallery, determining what, and for whom, it was for, and overseeing its Collection Development policy. Edwards has continued his cultural corporate involvement with terms on the Boards of the Ian Potter Museum, the South Australian Museum and the Stockman's Hall of Fame; he is an Honorary Fellow of both the National Museum of Australia and Museum Victoria.

Updated 2018