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About Frank Howarth

Frank is:


  • A highly experienced Director and CEO skilled at stabilising and consolidating mismanaged and financially challenged organisations, with a track record in organisational turnaround to regain stability and growth.

  • A strategist who can pinpoint a changing environment and evolving trends to then work ahead of the change curve to refocus, reprioritise and develop the right business plan. 


A strong applied science background means Frank is adept at weighing evidence, identifying strategic options, using judgement and guiding due diligence.

Most recently, Frank was Director of the Australian Museum, and before that, Director of the Sydney Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust.  

Between these roles he helped establish the NSW Department of Environment and Conservation.  

Before moving to the environment and cultural sectors Frank worked in transport, industry and technology policy roles in government.



Making organisations more relevant, productive and sustainable

Throughout his career, Frank has worked to achieve organisational change. 

He draws on idea generation, creativity and innovation to:

  • source commercial funding

  • design strategies for cultural place-making and precincts in modern cities

  • develop philanthropy and sponsorship

  • deliver better cultural outcomes for indigenous peoples and make science research programs more relevant and productive


Frank is astutely aware of how all things digital influence operational practices to build new audiences; and relate to and engage customers, visitors and communities.  

He has sound understanding of complex stakeholder relationships, going well beyond immediate users to the key influencers, whether they be the three levels of government, funders (commercial, philanthropic and government) or international associates.



Harnessing change


His recent work has work has focussed on issues that will significantly change culture and leisure-focussed organisations, including: 

  • Harnessing the digital revolution to build new audiences and wider community engagement.

  • Developing strategies to address changing audience demographics including declining baby boomer audiences and the need to engage Gen Y and Millennials.

  • Guiding organisations through changing funding sources, including reduced government funding and the need to build commercial, sponsorship and philanthropic revenue.





  • National Museum of Australia

  • Australian National Maritime Museum

  • Bathurst Regional Council

  • Southern Highlands Arts Precinct Enterprise

  • University of Wollongong Early Start Discovery Space

  • Friends of the Brush Tailed Rock Wallaby





  • UTS Business School

  • AEA Consulting

  • The Stafford group



Chair and directorships 

With a membership and fundraising focus:

  • Museums Australia
    National President (chair of the Council), 2013 to present.

  • Australian Museum Foundation
    Co-founder and board member, 2005 to 2015.

  • Lizard Island Reef Research Foundation
    Board member, 2004 to 2014.

  • Museums and Galleries NSW
    Board member, 2005 to 2013


Environment and cultural sector foundations, boards and committees:


  • Council of Australasian Museum Directors
    Executive Member, 2004 to 2014

  • The Somerville Collection Limited (The Australian Fossil & Mineral Museum)
    Director, 2004 to 2014

  • Museum & Galleries NSW
    Director, 2005 to 2013

  • International Council of Museums Australian Committee
    Chair of the Executive Board, 2008 to 2013

  • Atlas of Living Australia Management Committee
    Chair, 2008 to 2010

  • Coral Reef & Marine Science Foundation
    Trustee, 2004 to 2012

  • Blue Mountains World Heritage Institute Limited
    Chair and Director, 2004 to 2005


Management and leadership expertise:


  • Frank Howarth and Associates Pty Ltd
    Managing Director, 2014 to present

  • Australian Museum
    Director, Chief Executive, 2004 to 2014

  • NSW Department of Environment and Conservation
    Executive Director Policy and Science, 2003 to 2004.

  • Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust, Sydney, 
    Director and Chief Executive, 1996 to 2003


Qualifications and Awards in governance, science, society and leadership

  • Australian Institute of Company Directors
    GAICD, 2013

  • Public Service Medal
    Award in the Order of Australia, 2012

  • Leadership Program in Los Angeles
    Getty Museum, 2009

  • Master of Science and Society
    University of NSW 

  • Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Geology
    Macquarie University



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Get in touch


Contact Frank to discuss how he can help you and your organisation.


Phone: +61 (0)419 492 201

Contact form:

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