Candidate for: BOARD MEMBER

Sian Tiley-Nel

University of Pretoria Museums, South Africa

ICOM No. 63121

Nominators: Andrew Simpson (Australia), Marta C. Lourenço (Portugal)

Biographical note

Sian Tiley-Nel holds the position as Head of the University of Pretoria (UP) Museums under the Office of the Registrar under the UP Executive. She continues to serve for 22 years, as Curator of the Mapungubwe Collection and Head of the Mapungubwe Archive, a UNESCO declared heritage as Curator of the Mapungubwe Gold Collection under the stewardship of the University of Pretoria. She is widely recognised in the museum university domain and remains professional defined by core curatorial competencies and leadership skills in the arts, culture and arts sector in South Africa. Link to CV.

Qualifications for the position

Sian holds a PhD in History, a MA in Archaeology (ceramic technology) and graduated as a Laureatus conservator mid-career from the SA Institute of Heritage Science and Conservation, and completed a post graduate diploma in Museum Science. She was recognised as one of the youngest in South African museologists to hold a curatorship position at 23 years old and has served the museum and heritage industry for 22 years focusing on the advocacy of conservation, preservation, curation, repatriation and leadership of university museums Sian has curated over 20 exhibitions, published widely in both the academic and creative domain and holds archaeological and anthropological fieldwork experience as a qualified archaeologist as a member of the Association of Southern African Professional Archaeologists, a member of good standing with the South African Museums Association and serves on the ICOM-SA Board.

She holds several chair and board positions within the University. She is currently an Oxford Cultural Leader (OCL) Alumnus and a UP Alumnus. In the past two years she founded UMAC-SA, initiated the GLAM project the first of its kind in South Africa in partnership with UP Alumni Relations.

Academically, she has obtained the following qualifications:

2019 DPhil (Thesis in History) Department of Historical & Heritage Studies, University of Pretoria

2015 Historiography (GES701) with distinction; Theory and methodology (GES713)

2014 MA Degree Archaeology (University of Pretoria) Tiley-Nel, S. 2014. A technological study and manufacture of ceramic vessels from K2 and Mapungubwe Hill, South Africa. MA dissertation. University of Pretoria: Pretoria. DOI: 10.13140/rg.2.2.32588.72326.

2011 Laureatus conservator (Honoratus) under the tutelage of the SA Institute for Heritage Science and Conservation

2003 Postgraduate Diploma (MHCS) in Heritage Studies and Museum Studies (cum laude) Department of Historical and Heritage Studies, University of Pretoria

1998 BA (Hons) Degree (cum laude): Archaeology subjects: Cultural Resource Management: research and education, Archaeo-Anthropology of Africa, Archaeology Case Studies, Essay Archaeology (pass with distinction), (University of Pretoria)

1997 BA Degree, majoring in Anthropology & Archaeology (cum laude) – University of Pretoria

1996 BA undergraduate subjects: Archaeology, Anthropology (cum laude), Applied Anthropology, History of Art and Information Science (University of Pretoria)

1995 BA undergraduate studies subjects: Archaeology, Anthropology, History of Art,

Applied Anthropology/Developmental Science (cum laude) University of Pretoria.

Main goals of candidacy

It is an honour to be identified as a suitable candidate to serve on the UMAC Board. I first joined UMAC in Kyoto in 2019, but have been a long-standing member of ICOM and currently serve on the ICOM-SA Board with the portfolio of academic liaison. My goals for candidacy as an ordinary board member position is based on the firm resolve that the UMAC can benefit from a representative from the African continent and the University of Pretoria is one of Africa’s top universities and the largest contact university in South Africa. The University produces socially impactful research to find solutions for the world’s most pressing issues. More importantly, university museums in South Africa have not played a global role in advancing museum collections, despite the African continent being a worldwide focus on current issues inter alia repatriation, decolonisation, redress, transformation, social and political impact- UMAC can benefit, learn and advance African university contributions.

In recent years, I have invested in being a partner for the growth of UMAC in Africa and during the pandemic, launched UMA-SA, yet still in its infancy. I have served as Regional Chairperson of the South African Museums Association (SAMA) and as sub-Editor of the SA Museum Journal. My 22- year experience and professional background is diverse and is as much academic, as it is theoretical and practical. One of the main goals is to place UMAC Africa onto the ICOM radar in coming years, particularly from South Africa and the candidacy as the potential to elevate African university museums into a future-focused trajectory. I will be honoured to be able to contribute what is possible representing the University of Pretoria, its museums and those UMAC-SA members to globally network and make meaningful and impactful contributions representing South African university museums.