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 participated 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. Findings will be soon released to reveal 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.

A successful grant in 2014 from the University of Melbourne-Museum Victoria McCoy Seed Fund, in collaboration with Professor Kate Darian-Smith, oversaw the pilot project “Cultural Representations in Australian Television, 1956-Today”. Other partners included the University of Wollongong and the Australian Centre for the Moving Image. This project, now entitled “Migration, Cultural Diversity and Television: Reflecting Modern Australia” has expanded to be awarded an Australian Research Council grant for 2015-18 with the above partners, on which Moya is a Partner Investigator.

Other key projects include leading the development of an 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, and a new installation at the Immigration Museum focusing on two generations of an early 20th century Chinese migrant family. Moya is contributing to the development of an ARC project submission on Australian World War II internment with RMIT, Monash University and the Migration Museum SA, expanding on the PhD research of Mia Spizzica.

Moya is also working with Dr Maria Tumarkin, Associate Investigator in the ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions on “‘The Unending Absence’: Threading Grief through the Immigration Museum’s Permanent Exhibitions”, to produce an interpretive audio guide.

Last updated 19 August 2015