Leading Museums, Museum Leaders

Ten Years & Ten Million Visitors

Tony Sweeney.  Picture: Chris Scott  Source: The Australian

ACMI Director & CEO, Tony Sweeney, has announced that he will retire from the role when his current contract concludes in December 2014.

Joining the organisation in December 2004 from the UK, Tony has overseen record organisational growth, performance and visitation and a prolonged period of sustained success and achievement.

Tony said: “Leading ACMI and living in magical Melbourne have been one of the great privileges of my life. Taking the organisation to its unique and influential position in the international landscape of film and the arts has been a real team effort. I will immensely miss ACMI’s spirit of ideas, risk-taking and shared commitment to deliver the absolute freshest and best.

“If ever there is a good time to move on, now is it for me personally, to explore new interests and personal family connections. I look back proudly on a truly ground-breaking achievement that has changed the landscape for film and video art exhibition and engagement in Australia and beyond. I’ll enjoy barracking for ACMI into its next magnificent decade as a fast-moving, innovative and very influential cultural organisation.” Tony said.

Reflecting on the announcement, Mr Lewinsky said ACMI is well positioned for continued growth and prosperity into the future.

“Tony has led a talented and committed team over ten years in which ACMI has achieved outstanding success and garnered an international reputation as a cultural and creative centre of excellence. On behalf of current and past Board members, we acknowledge his contribution and wish him well for the future”. Mr Lewinsky said.

Highlights of Tony’s tenure include creating the permanent free exhibition, Screen Worlds: The Story of Film, Television and Digital Culture; new and re-imagined gallery, production studio and education spaces; a significantly expanded range of pioneering exhibitions, creative workshops, live events and online engagement programs; new outreach programs, including national and international touring of ACMI’s own special exhibitions; and revitalised public spaces and commercial offers.

ACMI highlights 2004-2014:

  • More than 10 million visitors, including over 1.2million in 2013 alone. ACMI is now the highest-attended film/moving-image centre in the world; 2nd highest attended gallery or museum in Australia; and 44th highest attended art gallery or museum in the world
  • Over 350,000 participants in education and public programs
  • Over 6,000 films and thought-provoking seasons screened from more than 100 countries in 78 languages; and home to some 15 film and cross-artform festivals
  • More than 60 special exhibitions from Australia and the world, with five successful Melbourne Winter Masterpieces exhibitions including Tim Burton: The Exhibition in 2010 and the ACMI-created world premiere DreamWorks Animation: The Exhibition, currently on show
  • Major exhibition retrospectives and newly commissioned artworks by some of the world’s leading moving image artists including William Kentridge, Bill Viola, Christian Marclay, Candice Breitz, Shaun Gladwell and Indigenous film-maker/artist Warwick Thornton
  • The national screen culture collections and resource centre, the Australian Mediatheque, a collaboration with the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia
  • Collaborations with world-leading cultural institutions including MoMA New York, SFMOMA and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in the USA; the Barbican Centre, BFI and Victoria & Albert Museum in London; Centre Pompidou and Cinematheque Francaise in Paris; and leading international film and production studios including DreamWorks Animation, Bazmark, Walt Disney, Pixar and Warner Bros.

For further information see the ACMI website.


Council of Australasian Museum Directors c/o Lynley Crosswell, Museums Victoria, GPO Box 666, Melbourne VIC 3001, © CAMD 2023
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