Dr Caroline Turner was Deputy Director of the Humanities Research Centre from 2000-2006. Prior to taking up this appointment in January 2000 she spent 20 years as a senior art museum professional. As Deputy Director of the Queensland Art Gallery she organised and curated over 60 international exhibitions, including Matisse with works from 50 collections worldwide, which toured Australia in 1995 and had audiences of over 300,000. In the mid-1980s Turner also began working in the area of contemporary Asian and Pacific art, organising the first exhibition of contemporary Japanese art for an Australian museum in 1989.
Dr Turner was co-founder and Project Director for nearly ten years for the Asia-Pacific Triennial Project which, over three exhibitions in 1993, 1996 and 1999, attracted audiences of 60,000, 120,000, and 155,000, Turner was also the scholarly editor of the three major catalogues and the book Tradition and Change: Contemporary Art of Asia and the Pacific, University of Queensland Press, 1993 and has written extensively on contemporary Asian art as well as lecturing on this subject internationally.
Her latest book of essays Art and Social Change: Contemporary Art of Asia and the Pacific, Pandanus Press 2005 is the most up to date survey of the dramatic developments in Asian and Pacific contemporary art in the last decade. She is currently heading a research project on an ARC Discovery grant entitled “The Limits of Tolerance” which explores the links between art and human rights and is also working on several projects related to museums and museology.
The Australian Government appointed Dr Turner to the Australia-China Council in the 1980s and the Australia-Indonesia Institute in the 1990′s. At the HRC she has organised numerous conferences and research projects and she has also been editor of the HRC/CCR Journal Humanities Research since 2000. She has been recently appointed to the Board of Cultural Facilities Corporation at the ACT Government.
Dr Turner is the Convener of the Arts and Human Rights Conference.