Staff and Volunteers

Rachel Tranter, Director

Rachel has been passionate about museums from an early age having been brought up in a family that valued culture and regularly visited museums. Following her degree in history and art history, she was lucky enough to be part of the first cohort of the MA in Museum Studies at the Courtauld Institute of Art under the guidance of Professor Michael Kauffmann. This fantastic training, along with the opportunity to undertake work experience in a wide range of museums, gave her an excellent starting point for a career as a curator, museum educator and manager of arts and culture.

As head of arts in Richmond, Rachel led a £5m transformation of Orleans House Gallery supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, which prioritised learning through the creation of the award-winning Coach House Education Centre and has been an inspiration for many other museum learning centres. Rachel established a national reputation for inclusion practice and work with young people, including for those studying outside of formal education, which was recognised by the Art Fund Prize in 2009. She is an advocate for the importance of networks and partnerships and good at initiating new developments. She helped to set up the London Museums Group and the London Culture Forum, was a board member of Engage, and chaired the West London Museums Group encouraging its transition to the West London Heritage Hub. Alongside her current work with GEM, she is the Projects Manager for Rambert School and Trustee of Art & Soul, which is a charity that supports mental and emotional wellbeing through the arts and Trustee of the Commonwealth Heritage Forum and Arts Richmond.

Claire Gisby, Finance and Operations Manager

Claire GisbyClaire has over 20 years experience of working in business and finance, ten years at the BBC in magazine publishing as a Senior Management Accountant and in more recent years in the education sector as a School Business Manager. Claire joined GEM in July 2018 and is very excited about getting stuck into her new role.

Outside of GEM Claire looks after her two young children and in her spare time enjoys exercising and healthy living.

Sara Wallington, Office Manager

Sara has over 15 years’ experience running the administration and co-ordination of the GEM office. She has a commercial background and previously worked in planning, purchasing and stock control for a major flexible packaging company. She likes the varied role and the opportunities to promote learning through the heritage sector. When she’s not busy running the GEM office, Sara enjoys nature walks, keeping fit and is an avid foodie!

Talk to Sara about joining GEM!

Devon Turner, Communications Manager (On Parental Leave from May 2021 - February 2022)

Devon manages the GEM communications and online presence; developing the website, news, advertising offers and social media, as well as playing a key role in advocacy. Devon is a museum education professional based in London who specialises in home education programming. Before moving to London, she attained her BA in Art History at Susquehanna University and worked at several U.S. museums like Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA) and the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia. Devon was awarded an MA in Museums and Galleries in Education from UCL and keeps strong ties with the programme. She also works as an Arts and Communications Freelancer and enjoys watercolour painting in her free time. When not working at a museum or heritage site, Devon can be found exploring various cafes around the city writing for her own arts blog (www.devonroseturner.com) and conducting important research on who has the best Victoria sponge in London.

Speak to Devon about GEM’s website and communications! (On parental leave from May 2021 – February 2022)
devon@gem.org.uk

Jessica England, Communications Manager, Parental Leave Cover

Jessica is managing the GEM communications and online presence while Devon is on parental leave, from April 2021 to February 2022. She attained a BA in Philosophy and History at the University of Southampton, before progressing to an MA in Heritage Management (with Historic Royal Palaces) at Queen Mary University of London. Jessica has previous experience as Communications Coordinator for a youth charity, and her specialist historic interests include the early modern period, historic family relationships and royal palaces.

Outside of GEM Jessica is slowly working her way through every National Trust property in the country, and enjoys sampling the occasional historic pub lunch along the way!

Speak to Jessica about GEM’s website and communications! jessica@gem.org.uk 

Our volunteers

Neil Herrington, Editor of JEM

Neil is a principal lecturer at the University of East London, working within the Cass School of Education and Communities. He works on postgraduate teacher education programmes, with particular emphasis on learning outside of the classroom and sustainability education. Neil has been the editor of the Journal of Education in Museums for the past three years and is keen to encourage the dissemination of reflections on practice and critical thinking around museum education through supporting writing from a wide range of contributors.

Talk to Neil about contributing to the next JEM publication!

Dr Eirini Gkouskou, Deputy Editor of JEM

Dr Eirini Gkouskou

Eirini is a senior lecturer in early childhood and education studies at the University of East London. She previously worked as an academic, practitioner and manager, informal and non-formal museums for more than 12 years. Eirini holds a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education, a master’s in natural science didactics (MSc) and education business administration (MBA), and completed a PhD from the University of Patras, Greece in 2014. Since then, Eirini was a research associate for the Department of Curriculum, Pedagogy & Assessment at the Institute of Education (IOE- UCL). Eirini’s research interests are broadly focused on epistemological and educational aspects of the transformation of scientific knowledge to school science in formal and non-formal educational settings, STEM and inquiry-based learning. Eirini volunteers for the Powell-Cotton Museum and is a member of the Commonwealth Association of Science, Technology & Mathematics Educators (CASTME). CASTME is passionate about furthering STEM-related education in its broadest sense, for all, and supporting those who make it possible.

Martin Bazley, Website/Digital Volunteer

After working at the BBC and then in teaching, Martin spent 7 years working on digital projects in the Learning Unit at the Science Museum, London. He served on the GEM committee for some time and is currently on the Archives for Learning and Education Section Committee (ALES). He also founded and is currently Chair of the Digital Learning Network (DLNET). Martin has been a freelance digital heritage consultant since 2002, with a particular focus on user testing, evaluation and digital development.

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