Dr Helena Bezzina

Dr Helena Bezzina

Associate Lecturer

School of Creative Industries

Career Summary

Biography

Dr Helena Bezzina is a highly experienced Creative Industries professional and academic, having worked in museums, galleries and universities in Australia and South-East Asia for more than 20 years. Originally an artist and art-educator, Helena has worked in the corporate sector (with Apple Computers), was the Director of Undergraduate Studies at Lasalle College of the Arts in Singapore. She worked for the National Museum of Australia, the National Portrait Gallery, Singapore’s Asian Civilisations Museum, Bega Valley Regional Gallery and more recently the Newcastle Art Gallery.

Dr Helena Bezzina has worked as a lecturer in several institutions including the University of Technology in Sydney, LaSalle College of the Arts in Singapore and the NSW University in Sydney.  Helena spent five years working in Singapore, a significant part of which employed as Assistant Manager, Programming at the Asian Civilisations Museum. Drawing on this experience Helena completed a PhDon the role of museums in positioning national discourse, looking specifically at the ACM’s permanent exhibition “the Peranakan Legacy” and the subsequent establishment of the Peranakan Museum.

Helena has a Masters Degree in Art and Design Education. Helena was also a Lecturer in Museum Studies at the School of Art Education, College of Fine Arts, University of NSW and in 2006 won the Best Paper Award at the Museums Australia Conference for her paper: Peranakan: The Role of Collections in Nation Building.

Researching and working in the field of interpretive programming within museums for over fifteen years has provided Helena first hand experience of the transformative effects of art and wellbeing with the general public. Witnessing groups gather as strangers for a tour and then connect through the experience of viewing and discussing art speaks to the power of art to bridge social isolation. This and the experience of working with special needs groups such as seniors living with Alzheimer's and youth with mental health issues, has provided Helena the motivation to focus current research on museums as potential sites for health and wellbeing.


Qualifications

  • Doctor of Philosophy, University of New South Wales

Keywords

  • Asian Civilisations Museum
  • Bourdieu
  • GLAM
  • Galleries
  • Health
  • Museums
  • Nation Building
  • Peranakan
  • Therapy
  • Wellbeing

Fields of Research

Code Description Percentage
210204 Museum Studies 100

Professional Experience

UON Appointment

Title Organisation / Department
Associate Lecturer University of Newcastle
School of Creative Industries
Australia
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Dr Helena Bezzina

Position

Associate Lecturer
School of Creative Industries
Faculty of Education and Arts

Contact Details

Email helena.bezzina@newcastle.edu.au
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