Our staff

Simon Rees
Simon Rees – Director

Simon brings a wealth of curatorial, publishing and managerial experience to the role. Previously, Simon was Head of Programming and Development at MAK – the Austrian Museum of Applied Arts / Contemporary Art, in Vienna, with responsibilities for museum management, curatorial development and fundraising. Simon first joined the Govett-Brewster in 2002 as the then Curator of Contemporary Art. Before that he held positions as a New Zealand Herald reviewer, a Metro columnist, Art Text editor and Curator for Artspace in Sydney, as well as lecturing at the University of New South Wales. In 2005 Simon took up a role in Lithuania for the Contemporary Art Centre in Vilnius, firstly as a Curator and Editor, then as Head of the exhibitions department. During this time he was also the Commissioner of the award-winning Lithuanian national pavilion at the Venice Biennale.


+64 6 759 0856

Lisa Berndt
Lisa Berndt – Business Development Lead

Lisa leads the operations of the Gallery and with the director engages with internal and external stakeholders including public relations and communications. Lisa and the administrative team ensure that the Gallery’s customer services, retail, finance and communication are managed efficiently and effectively.

Lisa brings with her 10 years of experience working in government organisations, most previously she was the Head of Touring Exhibitions at ifa – the Institute for International Cultural Relations in Stuttgart/Germany, responsible for exhibition production and touring worldwide on behalf of the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Prior to that she was the Programme Coordinator at the Goethe-Institut in Wellington realising a myriad projects in cooperation with New Zealand cultural institutions.


+64 6 759 0851

Sophie O'Brien
Sophie O'Brien – Exhibitions and Collections Lead

Sophie leads our exhibitions and collections team. Her previous role as Senior Exhibitions Curator at the Serpentine Galleries in London (2009-2015), she curated the acclaimed opening exhibition for the second building, Adrián Villar Rojas: Today We Reboot The Planet.

Previous to then, Sophie was Curator for Contemporary and British Art at Tate Britain, Co-curator and Exhibitions Manager for the Australian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale, Head of Exhibitions at the Biennale of Sydney, Curator of Exhibitions and Publications at Artspace Sydney and was curator of the first contemporary art programme of the Perth International Arts Festival.

Sophie has made exhibitions with Marina Abramovic, Haim Steinbach, Rosemarie Trockel (in association with curator Lynne Cooke), Thomas Schütte, Klara Lidén, Wolfgang Tillmans, Richard Hamilton, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Luke Fowler, Gustav Metzger, and curated exhibitions of the work of Lygia Pape and Nancy Spero. She has realised architectural projects with SANAA, Peter Zumthor, Herzog & de Meuron + Ai Weiwei and Sou Fujimoto.


+64 6 759 0898

Fran Mowforth
Fran Mowforth – Visitor Services Co-ordinator

Fran oversees all things Front of House including the team, tours, venue hire, the cinema and all the events and functions hosted in the combined art museum.


+64 6 759 0854

Paul Brobbel
Paul Brobbel – Len Lye Curator

Paul’s role is to support the development and delivery of Len Lye exhibitions along with caring for the Len Lye Collection. Paul’s work with the collection involves cataloguing, digitisation and research in addition to supervising the access to the collection for researchers and facilitating loans of Len Lye’s works to other galleries and institutions. Recent exhibitions curated by Paul include Len Lye: The New Yorker at the Govett-Brewster and Len Lye: Kaleidoscope at City Gallery Wellington. Previously Paul was Assistant Collection Manager (Photography) at Te Papa Tongarewa Museum of New Zealand.


+64 6 759 6713

Sarah Wall
Sarah Wall – Assistant Len Lye Curator

Sarah’s role is to support the Len Lye Curator in the research, development, and exhibition associated with the Len Lye Collection. The focus of this role is to assist with the storage, cataloguing and displaying of the works of Len Lye. Responsibilities include collection and archive access, research and scholarship, archive collective management and exhibitions and publications assistance. Prior to joining the Govett-Brewster, Sarah lived in Melbourne, where she was completing her PhD research and working with a number of collections.


+64 6 759 6122

Kelly McCosh
Kelly McCosh – Registrar

Kelly’s role is to carry out all procedures associated with the care, receipt and dispatch of art works from the permanent and loan collections and works on loan for exhibition, ensuring that the collection database is maintained accurately to provide correct research and registration information. Kelly oversees all loan documentation, freight and insurance arrangements of the art works. She arranges the photography of artworks for collection record; prepares condition reports of artworks; processes loan applications; and facilitates photography and copyright requests, incoming and outgoing.


+64 6 759 6716

Hannah Whiteman
Hannah Whiteman – Retail

Hannah oversees all things shop related including the selection of giftware jewellery and books from new and existing suppliers, shop merchandise collaborations and gallery wholesale stock orders. Hannah is your direct contact for supplier enquiries at the Govett-Brewster Shop.


+64 6 759 6715

Kelly Loney
Kelly Loney – Communications Co-ordinator

Kelly’s primary role is to interest and supply content, details and images to local, national and world-wide media for the myriad exhibitions and activities at the Govett-Brewster. As well as media relations, she co-ordinates advertising, promotions, the Govett-Brewster's website and social media. From a journalism and news reporting background, Kelly has worked in various media from newspapers, radio, magazines to television.


+64 6 759 6717

Matt White
Matt White – Graphic Designer

Matt is our in-house graphic designer, with experience in both publication and digital he designs everything from slides in the cinema, artwork labels, to our advertising and communications collateral.


+64 6 759 0859

Chris Barry
Chris Barry – Education Officer

Chris oversees the day-to-day management of the Govett-Brewster’s current Ministry of Education funded Learning Experiences Outside the Classroom (LEOTC) programme and has fun designing and implementing education programmes for all levels of students, the majority currently being used by primary school students and teachers. Chris also helps design and implement school holiday programmes and co-ordinates a weekly out-of-school-hours art programme for senior primary students. He advises educational groups and teachers about the resources, programmes and events available at the Govett-Brewster.


+64 6 759 0858

Rebecca Fawkner-Egli
Rebecca Fawkner-Egli – Education Officer

Rebecca works mainly within the Learning Experiences Outside the Classroom (LEOTC) programme funded by the Ministry of Education, designing and implementing Govett-Brewster education programmes for pre-school to tertiary students. Rebecca helps young people learn very useful and cool stuff from some times ‘out there’ contemporary art. Primary school students and teachers are the most frequent education visitors but students come from all types of schools and have very different reasons for immersing themselves in the world of art. As a part of the education team Rebecca also helps design and run hands-on art making workshops every school holidays.


+64 6 759 0858

Morgana James
Morgana James – Kaiako Maori

As Kaiako Māori Morgana delivers Learning Experiences Outside the Classroom (LEOTC) to students from bi-lingual classes and kura kaupapa, as well as designing and implementing education programmes, that enable students from main-stream classes to build on their te reo me ona tikanga. Morgana has a background in performing arts and enjoys the challenge of developing programmes that use contemporary art to introduce students and teachers to te ao Māori. Morgana also contributes to Govett-Brewster’s liaison with local hapu and advises staff on tikanga and kaupapa Māori.


+64 6 759 0858

Kevin Castle
Kevin Castle – Exhibition Installation Team Member

Kevin's role is to help manage and support exhibition installation; carpentry and maintenance; packing and freight; equipment use; painting; housekeeping; and health and safety procedures. Kevin manages the Govett-Brewster's workshop and materials.


+64 6 759 6060

Front of House Team

Our front of house team, who greet visitors and are on hand to discuss the exhibitions, include:


+64 6 759 6715

Te Maari