New MAAS CEO leads search for iconic Powerhouse design

Lisa Havilah - photo by Renee NowytargerInternationally respected arts leader and current Director of Carriageworks, Lisa Havilah, has been appointed the new Chief Executive who will guide the future of the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences (MAAS). Lisa will steer the Powerhouse Museum’s move to its new home in Western Sydney.

NSW Minister for the Arts Don Harwin says Lisa Havilah is exceptionally well equipped to guide the future of MAAS during this transformational period. “I’m thrilled to welcome Lisa to this crucial role,” said Mr Harwin. “There is no doubt her wealth of experience puts her in a class of her own. MAAS’s future, in particular the move of the Powerhouse Museum requires expert governance – I have total confidence Lisa is the person for the job.”

“With eight years at Carriageworks, six years of experience as Director of Campbelltown Arts Centre and six years at Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre, Lisa understands Western Sydney and the vibrant arts and culture sector that is growing daily in the West.”

“I am honoured to join MAAS at this important stage of the museum’s transformation and look forward to delivering great outcomes for the communities of NSW,” Lisa Havilah. “I am proud of the extraordinary things that have been achieved with the Board and staff of Carriageworks over the past eight years which has seen it become the fastest growing cultural precinct in Australia.”

“Lisa Havilah has been a champion of NSW cultural life for many years, most recently steering the transformation of Carriageworks into the cultural hub it is today,” added President of the MAAS Board of Trustees, Professor Barney Glover.

“Under Lisa’s helm MAAS will deliver a bold new Museum that extends beyond traditional exhibition spaces to deliver world-class programming and experiences that will engage and excite both existing and new MAAS audiences for generations to come. The MAAS Trust is delighted to welcome Lisa and is certain she will lead the MAAS Parramatta development with her signature passion for the cultural sector and Western Sydney.”

The announcement of the new MAAS Chief Executive comes as Create NSW takes the next step in determining the new Powerhouse Museum’s architectural design.

The International design competition to be launched in early December will be managed by independent architectural competition organisers Malcolm Reading Consultants who will drive the search for diverse and transformative designs. The Government will announce a winning design in the second half of 2019.

“This is the next step in our promise to the community to deliver a state-of-the-art cultural institution for families, industry and school children to discover and learn,” said Mr Harwin. “I’m looking forward to the best of the best from Australia and around the globe submitting their designs for the new museum – a future icon in the Asia Pacific.”

Interested applicants are encouraged to register their details for the international design competition at: For more information about Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences (MAAS), visit: for details.

Image: Lisa Havilah – photo by Renee Nowytarger