The Abbey Museum of Art and Archaeology, Inc is a not-for-profit incorporated organisation administered by an Association through a Board of Management. The Board appoints a Director who manages the day to day operations of the Museum.
Association of the Abbey Museum
The Association consists of elected persons who provide over-arching guidance and ultimate custodianship of the Museum. The Association meets annually to elect a Board and new members.
The Board of the Abbey Museum meets six times a year to maintain an overarching brief on the Museum, develop and implement policies and procedures and ensure the vision and mission of the organisation is upheld.
The Abbey Museum produces strategic and operational plans, policy documents and an annual report,which provide reviews and information about our performance against planned projects and objectives.
Abbey Medieval Festival
The Abbey Medieval Festival is administered by the Abbey Museum, through a Festival Coordinator and assistant portfolio coordinators. For more information please get in touch.
Left to Right – Robert Pitt, Sr Veronica Ruijgrok, Terrance Fitzsimmons, Ann Baillie, Michael Strong, Br Edward Strong, Edith Cuffe
Edith Cuffe (Chair)
Edith Cuffe commenced work as a Volunteer guide and administrative assistant at the Abbey Museum in 1977. In 1994 she was appointed Chief Executive Officer by the Board of the Museum and also took on the role of Coordinator of the annual Abbey Medieval Festival. In 2012, with Michael Strong stepping back from the role, she took on the position of Director.
Edith has introduced many innovative activities, programs and events at the Museum and in 2009 received a Special Commendation at the Galleries and Museums Achievement Awards (GAMAA). In 2011 Edith was awarded an Order of Australia Medal for service to the museum and galleries sector of the visual arts, and to the community of the Caboolture region.
In 2019 Edith received the Centenary Medal from The Royal Historical Society of Queensland for her contribution to research, preservation and promotion of the History of Queensland.
Ann Baillie (Vice Chair)
Ann Baillie [BA Dip Ed (UQ) Grad Dip Media (AFTRS) Masters Cultural Policy (Griffith)] is retired after a career in Education and Museums. Ann taught for ten years in secondary schools and was seconded for two years as an ABC Schools Liaison Officer. In 1986 she moved to Sydney to work at the Powerhouse Museum, first as an Education Officer, part of a team developing social history exhibitions, then as a Coordinator of the museum’s visitor programs, then as a Department Head participating in the museum’s strategic and policy planning, oversighting all education and visitor programs and responsible for 34 staff and 150 volunteers.
In 1996 Ann returned to Queensland with husband, Stephen Stockwell, and son, Matthew, and commenced lecturing part time in Museum Studies for University of Sydney 1996-2003 including intensive blocks in Hong Kong 1998-2002. Between 1997 -2014 Ann managed MAQ/RGAQ and MAGSQ’s training and professional development initiatives for museum and gallery workers throughout Queensland.
Robert Pitt (Treasurer)
Robert is an Accountant with over 20 years experience in advising, mentoring and supporting business owners and organisational leaders. He has extensive experience in a variety of industries and enjoys leveraging his networks and professional relationships to add value to his clients. Robert approaches his work with clients in a hands-on manner, enabling him to gain a thorough insight into their organisation. This results in a fluid exchange of ideas, challenges and opportunities so his clients benefit from his perspective without long lead times ensuring they are empowered to make informed decisions quickly.
Robert is passionate about providing organisations with the right information to ensure their desired results and outcomes are achieved. He regularly mentors students at the Queensland University of Technology and business startups at various programs/events throughout the year.
Michael Strong (Board Member and Senior Curator)
Michael Strong is the director of Turnstone Archaeology (2006-2020). He has successfully undertaken or managed over 450 cultural heritage projects since 1994. From 1980 to 2012 he was director of the Abbey Museum of Art and Archaeology and is currently in the position of Senior Curator. He was responsible for the planning, funding, construction and display of the Museum’s custom-built gallery that was opened in 1986. Approximately $1 million was raised from philanthropic sources and in-kind donations. He also initiated the first Abbey Medieval Festival in 1989 that has become a tourist icon in Queensland.
In 1993 Michael was nominated for Queenslander of the Year award for services for the preservation of Aboriginal sites. In 2016 his paper on the founder of the Abbey Museum, the Rev JSM Ward, was published in the prestigious award-winning international magazine, British Archaeology. In 2017 Michael was the winner of the Volunteer category in the Queensland Gallery and Museum Achievement Awards (GAMAA) hosted by the Museums and Galleries, Queensland. In 2020, he wrote a major book on the Museum’s collection of historical stained glass.
Sr Veronica Ruijgrok (Board Member)
Sylvia Ruijgrok (Sister Veronica) Dip T Special Ed
Sr Veronica is on the Board of Directors for the Abbey Museum and also St. Michael’s College.
Joining the Confraternity in 1975, as a registered teacher, Sister Veronica was one of the foundation staff of St Michael’s College (1983). She was Acting Principal (1988-1992) and Principal of the College 1993-2010. As a College Board member since its inception, she currently works as Dean of Pastoral Care with her major responsibility and focus on the nurturing of individuals and the general wellbeing of the College community as a whole. She was elected leader of the Confraternity in 2013. As a recently ordained Deaconess (2019) Sister Veronica strives to faithfully use her God given gifts to serve others.
Dr Terrance Fitzsimmons (Board Member)
Dr Fitzsimmons is an Associate Professor in Leadership with the University of Queensland Business School and a Chartered Accountant with over 35 years experience. He is the Managing Director of the Australian Gender Equality Council (AGEC), a body whose members comprise of peak national bodies representing 400,000 women across industry sectors in Australia. He is the director of the UQ AIBE Centre for Gender Equality in the Workplace. He is a past President of the Queensland Living History Federation and the Australasian Living History Federation and a passionate historical re-enactor.
He has published five major reports into the causes and solutions for addressing gender and diversity issues over the past 8 years. He regularly publishes in the world’s leading journals on the topics of leadership and gender equality, advises many of Australia’s largest firms on issues of diversity and inclusion and speaks regularly in Australia and overseas in the area of gender equality. He has served on many not-for-profit advisory bodies as well as a being a director on boards of Listed Public Companies in Australia and overseas.
Br Edward Strong (Board Member)
Br. Edward is on the Board of Directors for the Abbey Museum and also St. Michael’s College. Br Edward takes a role in Agriculture, Infrastructure, Construction and Mechanics.
As a reliable, dedicated, and self-disciplined person Br Edward has extensive experience (over 50 years) in overseeing building projects and infrastructure procedures at St Michael’s.
Br Edward possesses a strong work ethic as well as significant practical knowledge and mechanical ability and skills. He takes great pride in his work and has designed fabricated, assembled and installed major structures throughout the past for use on the Abbey Farm, at St Michael’s College and also for the Abbey Museum.
As a team player, generous with his time, wisdom, and resources, he looks for ways to help others.