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Adele Chynoweth OAM

Lecturer, Centre for Heritage and Museum Studies, Australian National University

Dr Adele Chynoweth is a Lecturer at the Centre for Heritage and Museum Studies, in the School of Archaeology and Anthropology at the Australian National University. Adele is the recipient of the 2018 Vice-Chancellor's Award for Public Policy and Outreach.

Adele trained as a theatre director at the Flinders University Drama Centre and her PhD concerns contemporary Australian drama. Her directing credits include State Theatre SA, Vitalstatistix – National Women’s Theatre, the 3rdInternational Women’s Playwrights Conference and the Adelaide College of the Arts. In 2016, Adele was commissioned by the Street Theatre to develop and direct a new work, Under Sedation: Canberra Verse Remixed.

Adele was employed as part of a team of theatre practitioners to create the Memory Museum for the official celebration of the Centenary of Federation in South Australia. Adele furthered her museum work, curating exhibitions for the National Museum of Australia and the Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre at the University of South Australia.

Adele's current research interests include analysis of how museums:

- engage with vulnerable people

- represent narratives of trauma

- respond to Australian working and under class cultures.

Adele is a member of the Federation of International Human Rights Museums and has published articles and book chapters advocating for social justice practice in museums and for survivors of Australia’s institutionalised ‘care’ system for children. Adele has also compiled a series of oral histories of a group of women, who as children, were incarcerated in Wolston Park Hospital - an adult psychiatric facility.

Adele is an international consultant for Welfare Stories: from the Edge of Society, a social history and justice project undertaken in Denmark, in collaboration between the Welfare Museum, Svendborg, the Prison Museum, Horsens, and the Centre for Welfare State Research, University of Southern Denmark.


  • –present
    Lecturer, Centre for Heritage and Museum Studies


  • 2002 
    Flinders University of SA, PhD