Alec an early adopter

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - STREET WATCH -

ALEC Coles is rel­a­tively new to his adopted coun­try but that does not stop him from be­ing a proud West Aus­tralian.

The Como res­i­dent and WA Mu­seum chief ex­ec­u­tive moved from his home­land of Eng­land and a role at the Tyne and Wear Archives and Mu­se­ums in New­cas­tle.

He is now a fi­nal­ist in the Arts and Cul­ture cat­e­gory in the West­ern Aus­tralian of the Year Awards, which will take place on June 2 at Crown Tow­ers.

“I came here seven years ago but I now con­sider my­self a pas­sion­ate West Aus­tralian but I know I’m a new­comer,” he said. “As ex­pected, I feel hum­bled by it and hugely grate­ful to be a fi­nal­ist.

“When you look at the other names, they are ex­tra­or­di­nary peo­ple.”

The con­struc­tion of the Na­tional An­zac Cen­tre in Al­bany is among his proud­est achieve­ments dur­ing his time in the role, and he re­mains sat­is­fied with the ac­co­lades it had re­ceived since open­ing in 2014.

“Lonely Planet recog­nised it as the 21st best place to visit in 2015 and then Tri­pAd­vi­sor ranked it as the best mu­seum in Aus­tralia,” he said.

“It demon­strates that the WA Mu­seum is about the whole state.

“The WA Mu­seum shares the his­tory of our State and my phi­los­o­phy is to fa­cil­i­tate a plat­form that can share sto­ries.”

The next big pro­ject that Mr Coles is work­ing on with his team is the new WA Mu­seum, which is ex­pected to open in 2020.

“There is a huge amount of work go­ing on be­hind the scenes with the pro­ject,” he said.

“We are also run­ning five other mu­se­ums around the state and we are look­ing at re­de­vel­op­ing the Mu­seum of Ger­ald­ton; there are so many Mid-West sto­ries to tell.”

WA Mu­seum chief CEO Alec Coles.

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