Her first museum role was as Project Officer for the HLF Millennium Funded ‘Making History’ community collecting project at Tyne and Wear Museums and it was here she became interested in intangible heritage and the co-production of heritage resources with communities at local level.
Gillian worked as Collections Officer at Copeland Borough Council before joining Museums Galleries Scotland where she oversaw production of A National Collections Development Strategy for Scotland’s Museums which promoted the strategic management of collections and the quality of collecting nationwide. She regularly advised on and assessed grant applications and worked with museums on a range of issues including project planning, collections care, interpretation and research.
More recently she held the post of Curatorial and Engagement Manager at Museums and Galleries Edinburgh with responsibility for staff, services and collections housed in the Royal Mile Museums, at Lauriston Castle and at South Queensferry Museum, some of which are Recognised by the Scottish Government as being of National Significance. As part of the management team she was involved with policy development and was particularly interested in learning, audience development and workforce issues, championing the Service’s many volunteers.
In 2018 Gillian joined Culture Perth and Kinross as interim Head of Museums and Collections and to contribute to the current programme of capital development which aims to transform the cultural offer within the city. A refurbishment of Perth Museum and Art Gallery, the redevelopment of the Perth City Hall into a new museum and visitor experience, and the establishment of new collections storage facilities are intended to increase access to and engagement with the collections and drive up footfall to the city.
Gillian is a board member of the Museums Association and a Winston Churchill Memorial Trust fellow. Her volunteering has focused on children’s welfare issues, initially with Children 1st and currently with the Children’s Hearings System, the organisation that oversees care and justice for young people in Scotland, where she is a panel member.