WINNER: Michael Strong, Senior Curator, Abbey Museum of Art and Archaeology, Caboolture
Michael Strong is the volunteer Senior Curator at the Abbey Museum of Art and Archaeology, situated in Caboolture and housing one of the finest collections of European and Classical artefacts open to the public in Australia. An avid self-learner with a passion for history and archaeology, Michael has a deep personal commitment and connection to the legacy of John Ward, the founder of the original Abbey Museum in England.
Michael began a quest in the 1980s to build a museum to house this extraordinary collection, raising around $1 million in support. Michael was volunteer Director of the Museum until 2012, when he took on a more focused role of Senior Curator; managing the collections, developing and upgrading displays; and managing a team of volunteer researchers.
Michael spearheaded the establishment of the Abbey Museum of Art and Archaeology in Australia, driving its design and construction, installation of permanent exhibitions, and construction and installation of a manuscript gallery. He presents lectures and guided tours of the Museum and the medieval stained glass in the Abbey Church; has written numerous articles on the collection; and initiated the Museum’s Aboriginal heritage trails which have been a foundation of the Museum’s education programs. He also contributes significantly to the Museum’s annual flagship event, the Abbey Medieval Festival.