Here are the folk who are working as AHI Committee members. If you meet them at events or conferences, do have a chat and let them know what you think about AHI and its work. After all, they’re here to represent you…
AHI welcomes anyone who would like to get involved with running the Association. Please get in touch if you would like to stand for election to the committee or help out in any way.
Chair and Chair of the Awards Group
Jackie has worked in the field of heritage interpretation for over 20 years in the business she created, Artemis Scotland, specialising in costumed interpretation. With the research skills honed from this particular medium, Jackie has been increasingly drawn to helping communities to see what stories they have on their doorstep and how to interpret them as participation in heritage is increasingly being seen to have major positive impacts on health and wellbeing.
Being part of the Awards Group Team for the last year was a very fulfilling experience as we shaped the Engaging People Awards for 2021. Jackie is looking forward to her continuing involvement with this Group as its Chair.
I am incredibly excited about being an AHI trustee. Having spent fifteen years guiding Barker Langham into a world leading interpretive practice now is an ideal time for me to help shape the future of our profession.
I have a wealth of experience to offer including the interpretive direction and curation of ground-breaking cultural projects across the globe such as the National Museum of Qatar and the House of European History in Brussels. In the UK I have led projects for the United Kingdom Holocaust Memorial Foundation and the Natural History Museum in London.
I am also at the forefront of innovative thinking in the heritage industry. I am an advisor for the UK National Lottery Heritage Fund and the Foundation for Jewish Heritage and I am a Fellow of the Museums Association and the University of Exeter. In October 2020 I was honoured to have been included in the inaugural Blooloop 50 Museum Influencer List recognised for my leadership in the heritage industry.
My approach to interpretation explores the interfaces between narratives, space, scale and time and I look forward to sharing these ideas with you all.
Interpreting the science and conservation stories of our native and global flora and fauna has been deep-rooted throughout Astrid's career. Astrid is a former Interpretation Manager for Wakehurst, RBG Kew’s wild botanic garden and has also previously worked for the Wildlife Trust, the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust and the National Trust. Astrid is also a qualified primary and TEFL teacher, and has a PGDip Interpretation: Management & Practice. Astrid held a key role in organising the 2020, 2021 and 2022 conferences and is hoping to promote the benefits of AHI membership to other plant-passionate interpreters.
Michael Hamish Glen
I had the pleasure of helping to set up AHI (as SIBH) in 1975 and have been its journal editor, chair and administrator at various times. I’m now beginning a new role as Trustee and Treasurer and am privileged to be one of AHI’s Honorary Fellows.
My happy association with interpretation goes back to 1969 when I joined the first UK course for trainers in interpretation. Later, Michael Quinion and I ran Touchstone Heritage Management Consultants, working as interpretive planners and writers. I also worked, latterly, as QuiteWrite. As a wordsmith, I concentrated on preparing creative prose and poetry for people at places. I still do.
I was instrumental in founding Interpret Europe in 2010 and have been a member of the NAI in the USA for over 30 years. In 2019, a few of us established GAHI, the Global Association for Heritage Interpretation.
Barbara Stella Acan
Barbara is a passionate champion for inclusion in the built environment professions. Her MA thesis explored both the fissure and hybridisation of cultural representations in architecture, and since 2015 Barbara has been a mentor for Kingston University’s Beyond Barriers Scheme.
As a mentor Barbara has been able to help students from under-represented areas of society develop career skills and confidence in STEM-based industries. Currently Barbara supports a creative team in winning inspiring projects across the heritage sector that helps her clients deliver positive impact. As a trained architect she hopes to combine my passion for design with her experience as a bid manager to continue this advocacy in the cultural landscape.
Ruth first discovered just how powerful successful interpretation can be during a childhood visit to the Caen Memorial in France - a museum focused on war but dedicated to peace. It wasn't a comfortable experience, but an inspiring one. She moved swiftly on to a love of medieval abbeys and cathedrals (obviously the museum's pacifist behavioural objectives did the trick!) and then to travel. When she finally settled down there was no option but to study tourism and heritage interpretation.
Ruth was fortunate to work in some incredible locations including some of the UK’s Cathedrals, on the Jurassic Coast working in sustainable tourism, looking after fun and enjoyment for the Brecon Beacons National Park and now developing a heritage strategy for Monmouthshire's amazing historic sites.
The AHI has supported Ruth throughout her career, and she has gained much from the various events and networking opportunities. So much so that she became Conference Director for the Association for nine years and also Vice-Chair of the Awards Panel. Ruth also leads on training and is always keen to hear ideas about what people would like to learn more about.
Amelia's experience of AHI began in 2017 when she attended the conference in Inverness. Since then, she has gained much from the association, through networking, attending great events and adopting its best practice guidelines. Amelia is excited about being a trustee and will support AHI with its strategic needs, help organise the conference and assist regional groups.
Amelia is an interpretation and engagement specialist, committed to improving diversity, access and inclusion. She has a particular interest in improving the accessibility of interpretation for neuro-diverse individuals. Amelia is an Interpretation Manager at the British Museum working on exciting projects and she has worked at a range of museums and heritage organisations. Some of these places have included Windsor & Royal Borough Museum and the Churches Conservation Trust, where she implemented accessible interpretation for major ‘new use’ projects in listed churches.
Damon Mahoney is a freelance Design Consultant based in Cumbria. He was Senior Designer for Forestry Commission England (now Forestry England) for 12 years and led on place identity, interpretation and wayfinding development across forest visitor sites. After setting up his own business in 2016 Damon now works across a variety of identity and interpretation projects for public, charity and private clients. As an AHI trustee he will be supporting the development of communications, marketing and the organisation of the 2020 Conference.
Geraldine loves seeing how things work, and how people work, and thus how to help people understand how things work. About 25 years ago, studying Heritage Management, she discovered Heritage Interpretation and joined AHI.
Geraldine works mostly with industrial heritage and community projects, showing volunteers how to produce effective interpretation on pocket-money budgets, and acting as a missionary to raise the profile of our profession. She knows a lot about windmills, and is ever heedful of the co-dependency between social and technical evolution throughout history.
After decades investigating how governance works (or not!) through various types of committee, Geraldine wants to support AHI’s strategic needs.
Beth Môrafon is founder and Director of VisitMôr public realm and visitor experience consultancy. She has 20 years’ practice in interpretation planning and creation. During this time she has developed over 40 large-scale national and international projects. Her work has doubled peak visitation and been shortlisted for Museum & Heritage Awards. She was formerly Senior Consultant for The Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT) and its subsidiary business WWT Consulting. Beth will support the AHI to raise membership and build the profile of the organisation.
Philips experience in the field of interpretation is based upon his current academic teaching and research activities within the Business School at Bournemouth University as well as his personal interests and pursuits. Philip has been a member of AHI since 2005 and the NAI since 2000.
Philip teaches wildlife & nature-based tourism at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. As an Associate Dean within the School, he also has responsibility for leading the educational provision within the School. Philip therefore brings a knowledge of current issues in relation to the academic sector at FE & HE levels for the benefit of the AHI Committee.
In terms of research, Philip's PhD focused on the on-site visitor experience at two locations on the Jurassic Coast World Heritage site in Dorset and previous research has focused upon a study of 'earth education' as well as interpretation in public & private gardens which is a particular interest of his.
Chris Walker is a founding Director of Bright White Ltd, a design, innovation and delivery consultancy based in York. For 15 years he has worked with hundreds of different clients to deliver learning-led projects in the museums, archives and cultural sectors. Bright White has won multiple awards for its work, mainly for innovation and the use of technology for good. Chris will be bringing his digital expertise to the AHI.
A multi-award-wining artist, and most popularly known for her creative and digital placemaking project; The Seven Saints of St. Pauls®
Michele has been working within the Art, Culture and Heritage sector for seven years. When she began her journey in 2014, her aspiration was to create a platform to share and celebrate the achievements of the African Caribbean community in Bristol, by highlighting their positive contributions to the city.
As a child growing up in 1980s Britain, Michele saw little positive representation of the African Caribbean diaspora in popular culture or education. Living in a country that failed to acknowledge the history, contributions and accomplishments of Black, Indigenous and People of Colour caused me to struggle with feelings of belonging. This lack of affirming portrayals of Black people continued into my adulthood. Michele's desire to break the cycle of silence and praise the countless achievements of Black British people, led to the creation of the Iconic Black Bristolians/Britons® project. To date, her work has focused on art, education and representation. Michele's work is a combination of intangible cultural heritage and archival research, exploring how the African Caribbean diaspora’s presence has influenced British culture, heritage and identity post Empire Windrush. Michele said she is excited to be a Critical Friend for the AHI and add another dimension to the fantastic work they have been doing.
Lyn, who started her career as a laboratory technician, brings over 35 years of administrative experience with a wide range of public-sector organisations to her role as Administrator with the AHI. Lyn is our only paid member of staff and looks forward to meeting members, new and old, at AHI Events.
Bill worked as a tour guide at Wordsworth’s Dove Cottage in Grasmere during the 1980s. He developed his interest in heritage interpretation as an archaeologist because of his belief that we all have a right to learn about our past. For Bill, interpretation helps us to understand something about the differing ways people at different times perceived and inhabited their worlds.
Bill set up inHeritage in 2005 and was the Interpretation Project Officer for the Peak District National Park Authority between 2006 and 2010. A lot of his current interpretation work is with helping community groups realise their ambitions while ensuring interpretive best practice.
Bill is also a writer and photographer, and has also been a terrible footballer, live movie sound-tracker and DJ - playing as far a field as Australia, Greece, Portugal, Zambia, Zanzibar as well as the UK.
Bill was AHI Chair for three years and Chair of the Awards Group for eight, during which time he led on relaunching the Awards and then reformatting them to a more inclusive engagement and visitor experience focus.
AHI is a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) and a registered charity. AHI is currently run by an Executive Committee which consists of at least six trustees (there is no maximum number of trustees which may be appointed to the CIO). Trustees must be elected to the posts of Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary, Treasurer and Ordinary Charity Trustees.
Each appointment will be for a maximum of three years, ending on the third AGM following the date of appointment. A Trustee may serve for three consecutive three-year terms, after which three years must elapse before re-election.
All Nominees (i.e. those putting themselves forward for election as an AHI Trustee) must be either an individual AHI member (Student, Associate, Full, Fellow, or Honorary) or the nominated representative of a corporate AHI member. All those proposing a member for election as a trustee must themselves be either an individual member or the nominated representative of a corporate member.
Download a Trustee Nomination Form.
Awards Judging Panel
AHI Awards Judging Process
The five-member judging panel review all entries, then meet to discuss and shortlist the entries. The panel is chaired by an AHI Trustee and has a representative from each of England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. The panel aims to shortlisted 3 entrants and commend up to another 3 per category. The final number of shortlisted and commended sites in each category depends on the quality of entrants and how many meet the criteria to be shortlisted. It is possible that there may be more or less than 3 shortlisted entrants in a category.
Each entrant who is not shortlisted is provided with a short feedback paragraph explaining what the judges like about the project and why it was not shortlisted. Site judges anonymously visit shortlisted entrants in a mentor-mentee pair and assess each site according to a standard judging form. Sites judges complete the form in their pairs, scoring the entrant according to different interpretive criteria and writing a summary. This is led by the mentor. They recommend whether the site should win the award or not.
The judging panel meets to review site judges’ reports and select the winning entrants; they can request additional information from the site judges and/or entrant at this stage, if necessary, to inform their decision. The panel chooses a winner in each category as well as the overall recipients of the AHI Awards for Excellence in Interpretation and the Lifetime Achievement Award. The panel can provide a special mention to deserving runners-up. Each shortlisted entrant receives feedback based on the site judges’ report. This summarises the judges' comments and highlights how the project achieved interpretive excellence along with any opportunities for improvement.