Dr Helena Bezzina

Dr Helena Bezzina

Honorary Professor

School of Creative Industries

Career Summary


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.


  • Doctor of Philosophy, University of New South Wales


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

Professional Experience

UON Appointment

Title Organisation / Department
Casual Academic University of Newcastle
School of Creative Industries


For publications that are currently unpublished or in-press, details are shown in italics.

Journal article (1 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2021 Bezzina H, 'We Are One: Repositioning the Peranakan within the Asian Civilisations Museum', International Journal of the Inclusive Museum, (2021)

Conference (4 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2007 Bezzina H, 'The National Museum of Australia and Learning Bibliography', Canberra (2007)
2006 Bezzina H, 'Peranakan: The Role of Collections in Nation Building -', Brisbane (2006)
2004 Bezzina H, 'Australian Journeys: Objects Centred Learning', Perth (2004)
2000 Bezzina H, 'Art and Technology - Using Collections as an e-Learning Tool', Singapore (2000)
Show 1 more conference

Creative Work (6 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2016 Johnson S, Curating public programs MARION BORGELT: Memory & Symbol, Newcastle Art Gallery (2016)
2016 Johnson S, Curation of Program for KILGOUR PRIZE 2016 (2016)
2016 Johnson S, Bezzina H, Curation of public programs JUST DRAW, 2016, Newcastle Art Gallery (2016)
2009 Bezzina H, National Youth Self Portrait Prize: NYSPP 2009, The National Portrait Gallery (2009)
2007 Bezzina H, Papunya Painting: Out of the Desert, National Museum of Australia, Canberra (2007)
2002 Bezzina H, Spirit of a Community: Mosques of Singapore, Asian Civilisations Museum Singapore (2002)
Show 3 more creative works

Thesis / Dissertation (1 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2014 Bezzina H, Nation Building: The Peranakan Collection and Singapore s Asian Civilisations Museum, University of New South Wales (2014)

Dr Helena Bezzina


Honorary Professor
School of Creative Industries
College of Human and Social Futures

Casual Academic
School of Creative Industries
College of Human and Social Futures

Contact Details

Email helena.bezzina@newcastle.edu.au