Moya McFadzean

Senior Curator, Migration & Cultural Diversity

Moya McFadzean
Moya McFadzean
Image: Museum Victoria
Source: Museum Victoria

Dr Moya McFadzean collects and interprets histories of migration and settlement to Victoria and, consequently, the political, social and cultural histories of Victoria and Australia as it relates to migration, cultural diversity, identity and multiculturalism. Much of her curatorial work is represented at the Immigration Museum in Old Customs House.


After curatorial positions at the National Wool Museum in Geelong and the Performing Arts Museum in Melbourne, in 1989 Moya was appointed as the curator/manager of the Museum of Lilydale (now the Yarra Ranges Regional Museum) for nearly six years.

Moya has been the Senior Curator of Migration and Cultural Diversity in the Humanities Department at Museum Victoria since 1995. She has curated and co-curated numerous exhibitions at the Immigration Museum and Melbourne Museum, including the watershed Identity: yours mine, ours [2011] and continues to develop, document and make accessible online the museum's ever growing migration collection. She co-convened the cross-agency symposium ‘Racism: can we talk?’ at the Immigration Museum in 2012 [proceedings published in 2013] and 2014. She has delivered many conference papers in Australia, the UK, Sweden and Taiwan on representing migration histories in museums. Moya is particularly interested in the role of memory and material culture in interpreting history, gender perspectives in history, and the challenges in representing diverse migration narratives and challenging contemporary issues in museum collections and exhibitions.

During her career, Moya has been a committee member, vice president and president of Museums Australia Victoria, a member of the Museums Australia Victoria Regional Exhibitions Touring Initiative committee, Treasurer of the Museums Australia Historians National Network, and a member of the organising committee for the 2011 Oral History Association Victoria conference. She is currently an Honorary Fellow, School of Historical and Philosophical Studies, University of Melbourne and Co-Exhibition Review Editor for Australian Historical Studies Journal.

PhD (conferred 2009). Glory Boxes: Femininity, Domestic Consumption and Material Culture in Australia, 1930-1960. The Australian Centre, School of Historical Studies, The University of Melbourne.

Current activities

Moya is participating as a partner investigator in an Australian Research Council funded project ‘Using museums to counter racism and increase acceptance of diversity among young people’ with Deakin University and the University of Melbourne, 2012-2015. This project will determine how museum programs can reduce racism and increase acceptance of diversity among high school students and their teachers, with particular reference to the Immigration Museum’s Identity: yours, mine, ours exhibition.

Moya has also received a 2014 University of Melbourne-Museum Victoria McCoy Seed Funding Grant, in collaboration with Professor Kate Darian-Smith, to oversee the pilot project ‘Cultural Representations in Australian Television, 1956-Today'. Other partners include the University of Wollongong and the Australian Centre for the Moving Image and the project has been submitted for Australian Research Council funding.

Her other key projects include research for a proposed exhibition on Post World War II British Migration, to be displayed at the Immigration Museum in 2017 before touring nationally and potentially to the UK; she is also a Partner Investigator with Associate Investigator Dr Maria Tumarkin, in the ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions Associate Investigator Scheme 2014: 'The Unending Absence’: Threading Grief through the Immigration Museum’s Permanent Exhibitions.

She continues to work with students and volunteers on developing research about a number of emerging collections and is forging collaborations with creative practitioners to offer new perspectives on the migration collections and exhibitions including a PhD candidate and MV Research Associate Mia Spizzica on Italian WWII internment..

Last updated 2 April 2015