Brunel Museum director Katherine McAlpine has been shortlisted, along with two others for the Radical Changemaker Award, as part of the Museums Change Lives Awards. The Museums Change Lives Awards recognise and celebrate outstanding practice by UK museums delivering social impact. They promote the best examples of work by museums and individuals that support communities and engage with contemporary issues.
McAlpine has been shortlisted for her focus on fair pay and tackling climate change, in order to enhance health and wellbeing and create a better place to live and work for the Museum’s staff.
“Since joining the Brunel Museum, I have tried every day to make the organisation values-led, and be a radical change maker” Says Katherine McAlpine, Director of the Brunel Museum
“I’m delighted that Katherine has been shortlisted for this award. It is a great reflection on the considerable effort that Katherine has made, and the work achieved over the last few years at the Brunel Museum.” Says Richard Davies, Chair of Trustees
McAlpine committed the Brunel Museum to becoming a Living Wage employer, and in September 2022, against the backdrop of rising prices, immediately increased wages in line with the new wages. In addition, she persuaded the Board of Trustees to increase the employer pension contribution. Against the backdrop of rising costs, this has not been easy.
In addition to ensuring fair wages for staff, McAlpine has put climate justice and climate action front and centre. In August 2021, the Museum launched its Sustainability strategy, and the following year become the first Museum to sign up to the pioneering climate perks scheme.
In addition, she has led on transforming the museum into a place of inspiring engagement, debate and reflection through the Climate Conversations programme, including Alice Bell asking do we need a Green Revolution? And campaign group Stay Grounded doing a workshop on narratives around flying.
She has written for the Museums Association, spoken at Social History Curators Group, Wessex Museums conference and will be speaking at the Association of Heritage Interpretation about finding your sustainability story.
The winner will be announced at the Museums Association conference in November.
Notes to Editors – Climate Perks
Climate Perks is an employee benefits scheme, run by climate action charity Possible, which aims to empower staff to make sustainable leisure travel choices by giving them extra time to take the train, a coach, or a boat rather than flying. Employees of participating organisations can claim paid ‘journey days’ on top of annual leave to cover the difference in travel time when they reach holiday destinations. The majority of employers give their employees two paid journey days per year but can give more if they wish.