Valerie Brown

Collection Manager, Access, Indigenous Collections


Val has a Bachelor of Arts in Photographic Studies from Napier University in Edinburgh, Scotland and a First Class Honours degree in Anthropology from James Cook University in Cairns, Queensland. She was awarded the University Medal for her Honours year and also received the Jeffrey Clarke Prize in Anthropology. Val is particularly interested in visual anthropology and visual culture and as a PhD Candidate at the Australian National University, she carried out ethnographic research in India with Tibetan communities, studying the Tibetan language and researching the use of photography, film and other forms of visual representation in the recreation of Tibetan communities in exile.

Val has a varied work history including time as a Photographer, both as a Freelance and with the Royal Commission of Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland and as a Librarian with the National Library of Scotland. Val also has over 5 years of applied experience in the field of Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Management in Australia. As a Cultural Heritage Project Officer with Aboriginal Affairs Victoria (AAV) in Ballarat, Val worked with Indigenous communities from central and western Victoria in the protection and management of Aboriginal cultural heritage places.  As an Anthropologist with the Aboriginal Areas Protection Authority (AAPA) in Alice Springs, she undertook remote area fieldwork throughout Central Australia with Aboriginal custodians of Sacred Sites to document, register and manage sacred sites which are protected under Northern Territory legislation.

Val first started as a Volunteer with Museum Victoria in 2002 assisting the Bunjilaka team with school holiday activities. This led to further volunteering and project work as a Photo-Imaging Assistant with the Indigenous Cultures Department, working with photographic collections and digitising images from the Donald Thomson Collection to facilitate Indigenous community access to family photographs.

Current Activities

In 2012, Val commenced her current position with Museum Victoria as Collection Manager, Access, Indigenous Collections. In this extremely busy role, Valerie works closely with Indigenous Cultures Curators and Collection Managers to coordinate and deliver collection access services to a wide range of stakeholders and clients including Indigenous communities, Academics, PhD students, Anthropologists, Native Title Researchers, Publishers, Artists and Filmmakers.

Last updated 8 August 2014