GEM Course Directors
Pete Brown, Foundation Course Director for Museum Learning
Pete has over 20 years experience in the museum sector, interpreting science, nature, art, history and human cultures for a wide range of audiences through learning activities, outreach, exhibition making and gallery development. He has worked in museums, art galleries, historic houses and aquariums, with collections as varied as steam engines and stingrays. In 2015, following eight years in senior management, Pete became an independent museums consultant, specialising in access, learning and interpretation.
Find out more about the GEM Foundation Course.
Sarah Oswald, Course Director for Heritage Interpretation
Sarah is a creative coach with over 20 years’ experience in heritage interpretation, which she shares as the course director for Heritage Interpretation. She has worked in consultancy, on projects large and small, and in community heritage and loves to use that experience to help coach, mentor and train others in the sector. Outside of heritage, Sarah is “mum” to two miniature Schnauzers, and keeps her life in balance with yoga, meditation and Zumba.
Find out more about the GEM Heritage Interpretation Course.
Nick Winterbotham, Course Director for Resilience, Leadership and Me
Nick is a former director and chief executive of many prestigious museums, including Eureka! The National Children’s Museum, National Railway Museum, York, and the Museum of East Anglian Life. Nick is now the managing director of Nick Winterbotham Associates, delivering high quality consultation and training on leadership, heritage learning and team development, amongst other subjects.
Find out more about Resilience, Leadership and Me.
Sam Bowen, Course Director for Developing SEND-Inclusive Learning with Confidence
Sam Bowen is an experienced museum professional having worked in the sector for over 20 years in curation, education and museum development roles. Sam’s daughter is disabled and she draws on her personal experience as a SEND mum and museum professional visiting museums and galleries for her work. She challenges the sector’s perception of learning disability and who museums are for and argues that as agencies for change and place making, museums have a role to play in fostering better inclusion and access in their communities. Sam is the author of the Special Schools and Museums Toolkit and the Kids in Museums SEND family toolkit and is project manager of the SEND in Museums project funded by Arts Council England. She lives in Kent with her husband, daughter and cat and is a keen crafter when ever she has the time.
Find out more about Developing SEND-Inclusive Learning with Confidence.
Jean Campbell, Course Director for Black History and Anti-Racism in Museums
Jean is a trained teacher, art therapist and museum educator born in Jamaica and raised in North London. For over 15 years Jean has designed and delivered learning projects and public engagement initiatives on a wide range of subjects in many major museums and galleries. Jean also delivers staff training sessions which specialise in transatlantic slavery, colonialism, and their legacies. Her approach to training uses creative, arts-based encounters to deepen people’s emotional and professional capacity to work with histories, collections and audiences. She aims to create safe spaces in which people are respected and supported to share thoughts, experiences and ideas, and be their creative best.
This NEW course is currently open for bookings. Find out more about Black History and Anti-Racism in Museums here.
Nancy Lyons, Course Director for Black History and Anti-Racism in Museums
Nancy is a facilitator and audience engager who has worked in large and small museum, arts and heritage settings for at least 15 years. She enjoys training facilitation as a part of positive culture change initiatives. Her social history interests, communications background, and archive training in research, content development, collections management, community outreach, as well as her experiences in working with various heritage professionals and supporters, have helped to make sustainable impacts. She believes making the effort to investigate, understand and interpret untold or difficult historical narratives can be amazingly rewarding and take learning to another level.
Melissa Maynard, GEM Mentoring Champion
Starting her career in a small, independent open air museum, Melissa worked as a Learning & Community Officer for the National Trust at Belton House. One of the things she learnt quickly in a small museum is how much your job title doesn’t actually reflect your day to day role in its entirety as it’s all about team work and networks like GEM that provide support. Having benefited from having amazing mentors and other support to find creative ways to engage visitors throughout her career, often on a small budget, Melissa has recently set up a consultancy, Melissa Maynard Heritage, to support others in their work.
Round 5 of the GEM One to One Mentoring Scheme is currently open for applications. Find out more here.
Helen worked in the arts and cultural sector for over 20 years, with a focus on developing audiences through creative learning experiences. In her roles at the BFI for film education, designer makers at Hidden Art, media industries at Space Studios and museum and gallery heritage collections at UCL, she was enthused by the potential to make a difference and offer relevance for people from all communities and backgrounds.
It is with great sadness we share the news that Helen Pike passed away in May 2021 after a short illness. A dedication to Helen has been kindly shared with GEM by her colleagues at UCL, you can read it here.