Mathew Trinca

Dr Mathew Trinca

  • Post Nominals: FAHA, AM
  • Fellow Type: Honorary Fellow
  • Elected to the Academy: 2021


Dr Mathew Trinca is an historian and museum professional who has led the National Museum of Australia as its Director since 2014. He has also served as co-chair of the Australia Singapore Arts Group, Chair of ICOM Australia, and as National Secretary of Museums Australia (now the Australian Museum and Galleries Association). In 2020, Dr Trinca was made a Member of the Order of Australia for services to the museum sector.

Under his leadership, the National Museum has become known for its commitment to representing the breadth and dimension of Australia’s history and experience, with a particular focus on the long human history of the First Nations of the continent. Dr Trinca has led development of engaged national and international programs that bring alive the stories of nation for audiences around the country and overseas. As a result, the Museum has partnerships and programs with a range of cultural institutions at home and abroad. A major program with the British Museum saw the return of early Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander collections to Australia in 2015, connecting source communities to objects and works of art held abroad since their collection in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

Dr Trinca has research interests in the history of 20th century Australia, with an emphasis on the social and cultural relationships between Britain and Australia. He has contributed to debates on museum theory and practice, the history of Australian connections to the United Kingdom, on convictism in Western Australia, and on that State’s constitutional history. His early career was spent as a history curator and MuseumLink manager at the Western Australian Museum, in Perth, where he also worked as a scriptwriter, journalist, history tutor and public history consultant on exhibitions and heritage plans.


Acknowledgement of Country

The Australian Academy of the Humanities recognises Australia’s First Nations Peoples as the traditional owners and custodians of this land, and their continuous connection to country, community and culture.