We asked some those involved in the Share Academy project to share some information about themselves, their interest in our work and their background.

Project Team 


Judy Willcocks Head of Museum, Central Saint Martins

I’m co-founder (with Sally McDonald) of the Share Academy project. Share Academy grew from a belief that the university and museum sectors have a lot to offer one another. Three years into the project I believe that more than ever. We know that when universities and museums come together exciting things happen. I want to find ways of brokering those partnerships and making collaborative practice an achievable reality for museums across the UK.
I have an MA in English and History and a Post Graduate Certificate in Education. I have been in museums since 1997 and have direct experience of working in National, independent and university museums. As someone with experience of working in museums and universities I am often asked to act as a broker or translator between the two sectors which is what got me thinking about Share Academy.
Other Interests and Activities 
I’ve been Chair of the London Museums Group for four years because I want to give something back to a sector that’s struggling. We are a voluntary organisation representing museums and museum professionals in the London region. Being Chair means trying to keep an ear out for the challenges and opportunities facing the sector and supporting initiatives that further the cause, particularly of small to medium sized museums.
Links: @CsmMuseum Central Saint Martins Museum and Study Collection

Paddy McNulty, Culture Heritage Museums Consultant : Paddy McNulty Associates

Dr. Chiara Bonnachi, Researcher in Heritage and Museum Studies, Public Archaeology, Medieval Archaeology.

Katie Dent


Steering Group Members 2015-2016


Simon Brown Nottingham City Museums and Galleries

I am interested in this project as I often work with students from both of Nottingham’s universities, and can see how helpful it would be to have a formal mechanism to bring the two sectors together. Academia and Museums are both currently subject to unprecedented pressures, so it makes sense to explore how best they can work together for mutual benefit.
I am the Artefact Loans Officer for Nottingham City Museums and Galleris, managing the Access Artefacts handling collection. I am very lucky to be based in the beautiful surroundings of Wollaton Park. It is my job to manage the collection of 11,000 objects and to develop the use of the collection within the service and with outside partners, including schools. My post is funded by Arts Council England.
I am also the Museums Association member’s representative for the East Midlands.
I grew up in Leeds and moved to Nottingham in 2001 to study Heritage Studies with Human Geography at Nottingham Trent University, graduating in 2004. I am also currently studying for the AMA.
Other Interests and Activities 
I have worked in many different roles in museums, including as a museum assistant, curator, education assistant, gallery install technician and documentation assistant. I have been involved in some fantastic and ambitious projects, including House of Memories, Universal Roots, the Future of Museums and Galleries to Go.
I consider myself privileged to work in museums and in the East Midlands, where I am happily settled with my wife and two children.
Links: @simonianbrown Nottingham City Museums and Galleries


Matt Greenhall The National Archives

As Head of Academic Engagement at The National Archives, I am responsible for our engagement with our academic audience, whether with individual academics, universities or other research bodies and collectives. I am also responsible for our  work to ‘create the researcher of the future’ through co-ordinating our Collaborative Doctoral Partnerships, work-placement schemes, and engagement with the Doctorial Training Partnerships. I lead on several key strategic relationships on behalf of The National Archives and am enthusiastic to explore how we might work collaboratively with likeminded institutions and organisations, with similar aims to our own. I’ve previously worked across both the archive and museum sectors and am keen to share lessons learnt with colleagues in both. I am a keen advocate of collaboration and knowledge exchange and look forward to working closely with members of Share Academy


Background: I originally trained as a historian and have an academic interest in the development of the British economy between 1580 and 1750, on which I still research and publish. During my PhD (at the University of Durham), I worked as a visiting lecturer at a number of universities and held a Scouloudhi Fellowship from the Institute of Historical Research, after which I moved into the heritage sector. Between 2010-2012 I was responsible for co-ordinating Durham University’s Cultural Olympiad Programming within its heritage collections division, with a particular focus on youth engagement and partnership working between north-eastern museums and community groups. Following this I took up my role at The National Archives as Engagement Manager for the West of England (South West and West Midlands) and was responsible for the early development and implementation of our archive sector leadership responsibilities on a regional level. In doing so, I worked with around 500 archives, of all shapes and sizes, to ensure that The National Archives’ leadership was robust, proactive, and strategic in supporting the sector to meet its current and future needs. In addition to my regional responsibilities, I also developed a series of strategic relationships and research projects in the Higher Education sector on behalf of The National Archives, which first brought me in to contact with Share Academy. These relationships are something I am looking forward to developing in my new position as Head of Academic Engagement
Links: @GreenhallMatt The National Archives Discovering Collections Discovering Communities


Tony Butler Derby Museums Trust and Happy Museum

I’m interested in the project because I’m keen for all museums, regardless of size and collections should be able to develop relationships with Higher Education. Learning and insight comes from the most unexpected of places, from organisations with several hundred years of institutional history to voluntary associations who are able to assemble the collective memory of their community. The more organisations, be they museums, universities or individuals who participate in knowledge exchange, the more likely we are to democratise our museums so that more people have a stake in the future our cultural heritage.
Tony is a social history curator at heart and has been Executive Director of Derby Museums Trust since January 2014. Derby Museums includes Derby Silk Mill, the site of the world’s first factory and a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Derby Museum and Art Gallery which contains the world’s finest collection of works by the 18th century artist Joseph Wright. From 2015 he will oversee the £17m redevelopment of the Silk Mill as Derby’s Museum of Making.
I was previously director of the Museum of East Anglian Life for nine years. I repositioned the organisation as a social enterprise and led a major capital development programme. In 2011 I founded the Happy Museum Project, to create an international community of practice to explore how museums could contribute to a society in which well-being and environmental sustainability were its principle values. Happy Museum has supported 22 UK museums to develop projects which build mutual relationships with audiences and ‘steward the future as well as the past.’
Other Activities 
I read History and Welsh History at Aberystwyth University and have an MA in Museology from University of East Anglia. I was also the Fellow for Museums on the Clore Leadership Programme in 2007-08, a Director of Mission Models Money, a member of council for the Association of Independent Museums and is a trustee of Kids in Museums. I live in Derbyshire and Suffolk with my partner and two children.
Links: @tonybutler1 The Happy Museum  Derby Museums Trust Tony’s Blog

Neville Stankley Nottingham Trent University and Cultural

Working as a professional practitioner with museums and university lecturer in museums and heritage. I have keen interest in partnerships that are developed for the benefit of both parties.
Current Position: Principal Lecturer at Nottingham Trent University, Programme Leader for the MA in Museum and Heritage Development, Programme Leader for the Postgraduate Certificate in Museum and Heritage Management (a bespoke qualification run in partnership with the National Centre for Citizenship and the Law based at the Galleries of Justice Museum)
Other Activities and Interests 
Board Member: Museum Development East Midlands
Board Member: East Midlands Museum Service
Committee Member: Nottinghamshire Heritage Forum
Chair: Historic House Group (a national group of independent country houses and gardens)
Director: Culture Syndicates C.I.C (a social enterprise set up in response to museum cuts to employ recent postgraduates as consultants for museums)
 Links: @nevillestankley Academic Profile Cultural Syndicates