Media announcements
Eat the Collection: Late night lounge. Digital printing of chocolate objects.

Media announcements



Download release

The Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences (MAAS) has welcomed new team members in 2016 with the appointment of Andrew Elliott as Director, Corporate Resources and CFO, Marnie Ogg as Sydney Observatory Manager and Julie Banks as Registration Manager.

Andrew Elliott joins MAAS from the private sector. An experienced Director and Chief Financial Officer he has delivered large scale planning and infrastructure projects, working closely with governments throughout Indo-China and the Asia Pacific region. Andrew took up the Director role on 18 January.

Marnie Ogg brings over 20 years tourism industry experience to the role of Sydney Observatory Manager. Prior to her appointment at MAAS she was the Director of Fred Watson Tours & Events, a tourism company specialising in science and astronomy. Marnie took over management of the Sydney Observatory in November 2015.

Julie Banks has extensive experience in museum registration. In a career spanning over 15 years she has worked in collections management at Museum Victoria, National Portrait Gallery, Australian Racing Museum, National Gallery of Victoria and Art Gallery of New South Wales. Julie commences as Registration Manager at MAAS from May 2016.

A number of existing staff have also moved into acting roles on the executive in 2016, joining Leann Meiers as Director, Development and External Affairs, and Michael Parry as Director of Programs and Engagement.

Dolla Merrillees began as MAAS Acting Director this month and says this is an exciting chapter for the Museum “We have started the year with strong visitation, particularly to Art of the Brick at the Powerhouse Museum. The holiday period is on track to be one of our most successful in recent years. Planning continues for the Museum’s longer term future in Parramatta. This represents a once in a generation opportunity to develop a twenty first century museum that responds to growth and the changing shape of Sydney.” said Ms Merrillees.

Rebecca Bushby has taken up the position of Director Curatorial, Collections and Exhibitions. Previously MAAS Head of Production, Rebecca brings to the role considerable experience in project and exhibitions management, alongside extensive skills in interpretation of collections. Rebecca’s role will a role that will oversee the opening of new exhibitions in 2016 including two major international exhibitions and the reopening of the Museum’s collection storage facility at Castle Hill.

Eli Wallis, Senior Publicist T: 0402 359 016 or E:



Download release

The world premiere of THE ART OF THE BRICK: DC COMICS will open at Powerhouse Museum on 21 November 2015. The world’s largest collection of DC Comics-inspired LEGO® artwork includes the most enduring Super Heroes and Super-Villains: from Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman, to The Joker and Harley Quinn. A brand-new, life-size, Batmobile, built entirely out of LEGO® bricks, will be unveiled in Sydney alongside more than 100 other works of art by Sawaya.

Powerhouse Museum has an action packed line-up of summer SCHOOL HOLIDAY activities for all ages including:

Collaborative Comic Strip: Make your favourite Super Heroes come to life as you contribute to the Museum’s giant comic strip.

19 December – 26 January, 9.30am-5pm, Ages 4+

Birds-eye Super Hero Photos: Don a cape and choose some props to have your photo taken from a bird’s eye perspective.

19 December – 26 January, 9.30am-5pm

Sleep over at the Powerhouse Museum: Experience the Museum in a whole new way as you sleep over for the night in the Transport gallery, visit The Art of the Brick exhibition and enjoy dinner and breakfast inside the museum.

15-16 Jan, 5.30pm-8.00am, Ages 5-10

MAASive Hip-Hop Bootcamp: A five-day workshop program for 13-16 year olds built around hip-hop culture and youth activism.

11–15 January 10.00am – 3.00pm, Ages 12-16

Stop Motion Extravaganza: Get busy with clay! In this two-part workshop create clay characters to star in your very own LEGO® stop animation short film.

January 2016, 10am-4pm

LEGO® Stop Motion Family Day: Bring Lego to life! Animate characters and blocks using stop animation. Create a short LEGO® stop motion film, add sound and upload it to YouTube!

January 2016, 10am-4pm

Amanda Buckworth, AB Publicity M: 0413 949 140 or
Bruce Pollack, Pollack Consulting T: (02) 9331 5276 or




Download release

Paul Capsis and Mark Trevorrow join a host of provocative performers for a night of Civil Discobedience as part of MAASive Lates at Powerhouse Museum on Thursday 26 November.

Actor and arts commentator Nell Schofield will host an entertaining evening of art and ideas as the Powerhouse Museum opens its doors after dark. Award-winning cabaret chameleon Paul Capsis will delight with his mesmerising voice. Mark Trevorrow, best known to Australian audiences as his alter ego Bob Downe, has charmed audiences across the world with his quick wit and particularly Australian twist on self-deprecating humour.

MAAS Director, Rose Hiscock, said this is a unique opportunity for people to experience the Powerhouse Museum at night. “MAASive Lates opens the Museum up as a meeting place for the community to explore and discuss ideas, all in an entertaining forum. Civil Discobedience promises to be particularly raucous with some of Sydney’s best contemporary artists bringing their particular brand of humour to the theme of disobedience,” said Ms Hiscock.

Taking its cue from the exhibition Disobedient Objects, Civil Discobedience invites visitors to tour this newly opened Victoria and Albert Museum exhibition as well as Evidence: Brook Andrew. Disobedient Objects showcases objects that represent collective action for change, spanning 30 years of political activism across the world. In Evidence: Brook Andrew Australian artist Brook Andrew draws from the extensive MAAS collection to create installations that examine ideas of people and place through the theme of evidence.

Get out your hard hat and steel cap boots and hit the dance floor for a night of grinding disco, creativity and collective action. DJ Simon Caldwell will rock your underworld with tunes from the frontline while activists and artists weld their direct-action tool belts together under a shimmering mirror ball. Experience performances by the amazing Martenitsa Choir – the voice of Bulgarian women in the fields – artist Michael Cutrupi from Fat Boy Dancing, poet Samuel Wagan Watson and some surprise flash flamenco.

Become part of the solution by weaving a star for the One Million Stars to End Violence project; plant Seeds of Hope for a healthy future and witness the beginning of a new social movement – 100 Moving Men against domestic violence. If you feel like a yarn about conservation, the Knitting Nannas Against Gas have you covered.

There’s something for everyone at Civil Discobedience. But be warned, sparks will fly!

MAASive Lates is a series of one-off events curated by the Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, opening the Powerhouse Museum at night for adults-only parties, performances and debate. Each MAASive Lates event expands upon themes that underpin current exhibitions at the Powerhouse Museum and embody the MAAS commitment to being a catalyst for creative expression and curious minds.

Amanda Buckworth, AB Publicity M: 0413 949 140 or
Bruce Pollack, Pollack Consulting T: (02) 9331 5276 or

Download release

The Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences today announced that its Director, Rose Hiscock will step down at the end of this year to take up a new international science leadership role in 2016.

The President of the Museum’s Board of Trustees, Professor John Shine AO today thanked Ms Hiscock for her significant contribution as Director of the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences (MAAS), which includes the Powerhouse Museum and Sydney Observatory.

Ms Hiscock has been appointed as the inaugural Director of Science Gallery Melbourne.

Professor Shine said Ms Hiscock has transformed MAAS during her time as Director and will be missed by the Museum’s staff and volunteers.

“Rose Hiscock has done an outstanding job steering the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences through a period of significant change,” said Professor Shine.

“She has achieved major reforms that have helped turn the Museum into a dynamic and contemporary venue, resulting in greater visitor numbers and sponsorship over the last two years.”

“Rose has energised the Museum, which has delivered 18 great new exhibitions, launched a new Centre for Fashion and witnessed a five-fold increase in objects put on display during her time.”

The Deputy Premier and Minister for the Arts, Troy Grant also congratulated Ms Hiscock today on her accomplishments at MAAS.

“Rose has done an outstanding job creating a new vision and growth platform for the Museum as Director,” said Mr Grant.

“As well as bringing great international exhibitions to NSW she has ensured more of the State’s extraordinary collection is on display.”

“She has laid strong foundations to support the Government’s vision for a new Powerhouse Museum in Parramatta, which will become a remarkable cultural institution for Sydney’s west.”

“As we move towards a final decision on the location for the Powerhouse, Rose’s departure will provide her successor with a great opportunity to shape and build an iconic museum for the future.”

“I wish Rose the best of luck in her new role.”

Ms Hiscock today thanked the NSW Government, MAAS President and Board of Trustees, staff, volunteers, MAAS partners and stakeholders for their strong support during her time as Director.

“The last two and a half years have been immensely rewarding for me and I’m very proud of MAAS’ achievements,” said Ms Hiscock.

“It will be sad to go, however I will leave at the end of the year knowing the Museum is in great shape to embrace an exciting phase in its future.”

“I pay particular tribute to the highly skilled and creative MAAS staff and volunteers who have made the Museum what it is today.”

“I would also like to thank the Museum’s partners, members, local communities and visitors who have supported us so strongly along the way.”

Dolla Merrillees, MAAS’ Director Curatorial, Collections and Exhibitions, will act as Director following Ms Hiscock’s departure, until the appointment of a permanent replacement. The NSW Government will commence the search process immediately.

Media inquiries

Rebekah Waite, Communications Manager, MAAS 0466 331 483



Download release

This spring, the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences presents an exhibition exploring the work of internationally renowned Australian fashion designer, Collette Dinnigan, opening exclusively at Sydney’s Powerhouse Museum in September, 2015.

Curated in collaboration with Dinnigan herself, the exhibition covers the designer’s 25 year career, featuring over 100 garments including her signature lingerie, bridalwear, ready-to-wear and resort collections, alongside striking signature lace and embellished designs and never-before-seen objects and accessories from her personal archive.

Presented in a series of strikingly themed sets, the scenes bring into focus Dinnigan’s unique creative perspective and craftsmanship, and highlight the romantic, feminine designs that have seen her work sought after by a star-studded clientele including Taylor Swift, Dita Von Teese and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge.

Also featured is the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences’ own significant collection of Dinnigan garments, the largest such collection in the world.

Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences (MAAS) Director, Rose Hiscock said the exhibition was a significant part of a new initiative for the Museum.

“Collette Dinnigan: Unlaced is the first exhibition to be developed by the MAAS team as part of the newly created MAAS Centre for Fashion,” said Ms. Hiscock.

“The Centre for Fashion puts creativity and design under the spotlight. It is fitting that the first exhibition under the Centre for Fashion features one of Australia’s most celebrated fashion designers.

“Collette Dinnigan is a creative tour de force and an inspiration for future generations.”

Collette Dinnigan said “Being involved in this exciting project has enabled the dynamic world of fashion and the disciplined curation of museums to fuse together. I am honoured to showcase my collections, collaborating with the best designers and museum curators, bringing audiences “behind the scenes” into the world of Collette Dinnigan.  It also highlights the Powerhouse Museum and Sydney as a key destination for great fashion exhibitions, both local and international.”

NSW Minister for Trade, Tourism and Major Events, Stuart Ayres said the exhibition was world-class and further evidence that Sydney is Australia’s home of fashion.

“From opening her first boutique in Sydney’s Paddington fashion precinct, Collette Dinnigan has gone on to worldwide acclaim and it’s fitting that a retrospective of her stellar career be held here in Sydney where it all began,” Mr Ayres said.

“The NSW Government is proud to have secured this exhibition through our tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW and we look forward to welcoming visitors to Sydney for a rare glimpse behind the scenes of one of Australia’s most influential fashion visionaries.”

As well as a wide array of garments, ranging from lingerie and wedding dresses through to children’s clothing, the exhibition will also immerse visitors in a dramatic catwalk presentation and provide insight into Dinnigan’s creative process through a series of striking mood boards.

MAAS and Dinnigan have collaborated with award-winning stage and costume designer and installation artist Anna Tregloan for production design and styling of the exhibition.

The thematic presentation explores Dinnigan’s romantic sensibility and her inspirations, which include film, music, photography, history, vintage ceramics, jewellery and fabrics as well as her choice of materials including tulle, chiffon and lace, combining in dresses and gowns that are made to accentuate the female form, providing a sense of confidence, sensuality and individuality.

Various celebrity outfits will also be dispersed throughout the exhibition, including stunning outfits worn by high profile women such as Nicole Kidman, Taylor Swift, Angelina Jolie and Naomi Watts.

The exhibition will be open to the public until August, 2016, and will accompanied by a range of talks, tours and programs.

Media inquiries

Rebekah Waite, Communications Manager, MAAS 0466 331 483



Download media release

Internationally renowned LEGO artist, Nathan Sawaya, has joined forces with DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. Consumer Products to create the world’s largest exhibition of DC Comics-inspired artwork, coming first to Powerhouse Museum in Sydney.

This never-before-seen international touring exhibition opens in November 2015, and takes on characters and stories from DC Comics’ 80-year history with large-scale sculptures of super heroes and super-villains made from millions of LEGO® bricks.

Sawaya and cult comic book artist and Co-publisher of DC Entertainment, Jim Lee will collaborate on a new Batmobile design to debut alongside more than 100 works of art.

The exhibition will also showcase Sawaya’s interpretations on characters, vehicles, environments and themes found throughout the DC Comics mythology including transformation and reinvention, strength and weakness, as well as good vs. evil.

“This show is an Australian exclusive for Powerhouse Museum and will be a fantastic experience for families and fans of Lego and the DC Comic characters,” said Deputy Premier and Minister for the Arts, Troy Grant.

“We all know that everything is awesome in a show about Lego.”

Minister for Trade, Tourism and Major Events, Stuart Ayres, said the exhibition would be a must-see on the Sydney Summer Events calendar.

The Art of The Brick is the most successful LEGO brick exhibition series of all time, and Nathan Sawaya is known world-wide for his awe-inspiring LEGO brick creations. This exhibition will appeal to visitors of all ages with its recreations of heroes and villains including Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman and The Joker,” said Minister Ayres.

“The exhibition, secured by the NSW Government through our tourism and major events agency Destination NSW in partnership with the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences (MAAS), will attract thousands of visitors to Sydney, and is expected to generate close to $6 million in visitor expenditure for the State.”

Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences Director, Rose Hiscock, said the exhibition was not to be missed.

“Stories of super heroes and super villains are ever-present in our cultural narrative; they are the stories we re-enact as kids and remember as adults.

The Art of the Brick: DC Comics continues the Powerhouse Museum’s strong tradition of exploring contemporary culture through art and design and we can’t wait for the doors to open,” said Ms Hiscock.

The exhibition will stay true to the creative disciplines of Sawaya’s original touring exhibition, which encourage inspiration, education and participation.

The international tour of The Art of the Brick: DC Comics will begin in November in Sydney, followed by venues in additional major cities around the globe.  Tickets will go on sale in August and pre-sale registration is available now online.

Media contact:

Rebekah Waite, Communication Manager
0466 331 483


Download media release

Powerhouse Museum will open its doors ‘free for all’ on the weekend of Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 June to celebrate the NSW Government’s commitment to ongoing free general admission for children under 16 and high school aged students.

On this special weekend, admission will be free for adults and children alike, with children of all ages unleashing their creativity with contemporary theatre company Polyglot, transforming the Powerhouse Museum with Paper Planet, a world made of paper.

“Kids Free is an exciting initiative of the NSW Government to create more opportunities for children and families to experience arts and culture,” Deputy Premier and Minister for the Arts, the Hon. Troy Grant said.

“With school holidays starting that weekend, visiting a museum is a great way to get the kids out of the house and into the arts’’ he said.

MAAS Director, Rose Hiscock said both museums provide inspiration for enquiring young minds.

“Encouraging curiosity is our business, which is why we are so excited to be offering free admission for kids,” said Ms Hiscock.

“With a wealth of programming unfolding over the next twelve months there will be every opportunity for kids to build, make, explore and learn more about the way our world works at Powerhouse Museum.”

During the free weekend the curators of the Powerhouse Museum will also reveal the secrets behind treasures in the Museum’s collection. Visitors can marvel at a ‘mystery object’ and guess what it might be as Museum experts showcase an object not usually on display. The iconic Boulton and Watt steam engine will also in action, and visitors can drive a robotic rover in the Mars Yard and go wild in our zero gravity chamber.


Amanda Buckworth, AB Publicity M: 0413 949 140 or E:
Bruce Pollack, Pollack Consulting T: (02) 9331 5276 or E:



Download media release

Theatre and play will merge when children of all ages unleash their creativity with contemporary theatre company Polyglot transforming the Powerhouse Museum into Paper Planet, to create a world made of paper.  You will have the chance to build whole communities of tall cardboard trees in this ongoing installation creating structures, costumes and impossible constructions.

To launch the holiday program on the weekend of Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 June, Powerhouse Museum curators will reveal the secrets behind treasures in the Museum’s collection.  You can marvel at our ‘mystery object’ and guess what it might be as Museum experts showcase an object not usually on display. Why not bring along an object that is of value to you and share your stories in our ‘Mini Expert Show and Tell’. Watch the Boulton and Watt steam engine in action, drive a robotic rover in the Mars Yard and go wild in our zero gravity chamber.


  • PAPER PLANET Polyglot Theatre transform the Museum into a Paper Planet; a spectacular world of tall cardboard trees inviting kids and adults to fill the world with fantastic paper creations.
  • CITYSCAPES Calling all budding architects and engineers! Step into the construction site and collaborate to build massive structures using only interlocking cardboard pieces.
  • PERFORMATIVE STORYTELLING Spark your curiosity through per formative storytelling that explores the creativity needed to create our world and everything in it. 
  • RECOLLECT: TOY TRAINS Explore the wonderful miniature world of toy trains with this fascinating display showcasing more than 200 objects from the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences’ extensive collection.
  • DIGITAL MEDIA WORKSHOPS From Minecraft to Python, coding to claymation 

Amanda Buckworth, AB Publicity M: 0413 949 140 or
Bruce Pollack, Pollack Consulting T: (02) 9331 5276 or

Download media release

In recognition of Mabo Day, this year Sydney Observatory will name a star from the Sydney Southern Star Catalogue in honour of Uncle Eddie ‘Koiki’ Mabo. On 3 June members of the Mabo family will attend the Observatory for a dedication ceremony and be given the opportunity to view the star from one of the Observatory’s telescopes.

Director of the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences (MAAS), Rose Hiscock, said the dedication was an opportunity for the Observatory to recognise the ongoing legacy of Uncle Eddie.

“The stars have great significance for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and it is fitting that we honour Uncle Eddie through the dedication of a star in our most iconic constellation, the Southern Cross,” said Ms Hiscock.

“This star is visible not only from the telescopes at Sydney Observatory, but also from Uncle Eddie’s home, Murray Island in the Torres Strait.

“For MAAS this is a genuine demonstration of respect for the Elders of our community and a recognition of the contribution of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders have made to our culture.”

Members of the public can see the star dedicated in Uncle Eddie’s memory on nightly tours at Sydney Observatory, which include telescope viewing of the night sky. The stars in the Southern Cross are most prominent from Sydney Observatory throughout the winter months.

On 3 June MAAS will also present its inaugural Mabo Day Address with Genevieve Grieves, part of an ongoing commitment to demonstrating reconciliation.

Photo opportunity: Members of the Mabo family onsite at Sydney Observatory
Dates: 2pm, 2 June 2015
Address: Sydney Observatory, 1008 Upper Fort St, Millers Point

Interviews available on request

Media inquiries:
Rebekah Waite, Communications Manager, 0466 331 483