Our trustees

Four people sitting around a desk with notepad, laptop and coffee mug.
Trustee Head shot of Gill Donnell

Gill Donnell, Chair

Gill is an experienced leader, motivational speaker and personal development coach, who has spent much of her working life promoting the role of women in the workplace and supporting individuals to achieve their full potential.

She has been involved in the independent sector at board level for over 25 years and is looking forward to supporting Wessex Museums as it enters its next exciting phase. Gill is known for being curious and questioning, and enjoys supporting those working in the independent sector.


Trustee of Wessex Museums Photo of David Dawson.

David Dawson

David is an archaeologist who has worked in museums in Sussex, Canterbury and Oxfordshire. He was Senior Policy Advisor for the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council before becoming Director of Wiltshire Museum in Devizes in 2008. He has successfully attracted funding for this independent charity, revitalising permanent gallery spaces and carving out a role for the museum as a community museum of value to a variety of audiences.

David first came to the Wiltshire Museum as part of a ‘Prehistoric Wiltshire’ field trip while at University. This fired his enthusiasm for the ancient landscapes of Wessex.

Claire Dixon - Wessex Museums Trustee

Claire Dixon

Claire Dixon became Executive Director of Dorset Museum in July 2023. Claire brings with her a wealth of experience having spent over fifteen years in the cultural sector. In her previous role at Bath preservation Trust, as Director of Museums she oversaw four museum sites including the internationally renowned No.1 Royal Crescent, the Museum of Bath Architecture, Herschel’s Museum of Astronomy and Beckford’s Tower and Museum. 

She also brings a strong background in visitor experience, coupled with extremely useful regional knowledge having worked for the National Trust at both Kingston Lacy and Brownsea Island and also a stint at the Tank Museum in Bovington. 

Emily Dunbar - Wessex Museums Trustee

Emily Dunbar

Emily Dunbar currently works as the Art Curator at the Young Gallery in Salisbury, managing the gallery’s historic art collection, exhibition programme and funding campaigns. She has over nine years’ experience working and volunteering in the heritage sector, including roles at Salisbury Museum and as curator of the Charles Dickens Museum.

Emily has a Masters in Museum Studies from the University of Leicester and holds a PhD centred around Charles Dickens and literary heritage. She is looking forward to using her experience to support the important work of the Wessex Museums.

Photo Jen Dyer Wessex Museums Trustee

Jennifer Dyer

Jennifer Dyer is a professional fundraiser and has spent her career working in museums and historic houses and gardens. She has been the Fundraising Manager at Chelsea Physic Garden since 2019, supporting the Garden in successfully fundraising and delivering a £3.2 million campaign to restore a range of historic glasshouses. 

She holds a Masters in International Cultural Heritage Management from Durham University and is a mentor with Young Arts Fundraisers. She is passionate about fundraising to safeguard and improve access to arts, heritage, and culture, which she is excited to help Wessex Museums to do in Wiltshire and Dorset. Jennifer was born and raised in Wiltshire, enjoying many school and family trips to most of the partner museums of the Wessex Museums Trust.

Trustee of Wessex museums Photo of Adrian Green.

Adrian Green

Adrian Green became Director of Salisbury Museum in 2007. Since then he has overseen the development of the £2.4 million Heritage Funded Wessex Gallery of archaeology and a vibrant programme of temporary exhibitions on subjects as varied as John Constable, Cecil Beaton and Terry Pratchett. He is currently managing a £4.4 million redevelopment of the museum.

Prior to working in Salisbury, Adrian held curatorial roles at Bromley Museum, Museum of London and Peterborough Museum. He has a degree in Archaeology from University College London and Masters in Museum Studies from Leicester University. He is an associate member of the Museums Association.


Trustee of Wessex Museums Image of Susan Wills

Susan Wills MBE

Susan Wills currently works as the Assistant Director for Arts, Culture, Heritage and Libraries for Surrey County Council. She has extensive knowledge and significant experience of working in the public sector, as a senior leader and manager and as a consultant with a strong track record in leading and transforming services. Sue has worked as a government advisor and is a Local Government Association Peer Reviewer and she has significant experience of leading large-scale capital projects.

Sue is also a board member and trustee of the Community Managed Libraries National Peer Network.

Sue lives in Salisbury and is passionate about the potential of culture and heritage to connect communities and places in their local area across the generations.

Sawfish are also called carpenter sharks...but they are rays, not sharks!

There’s also a species called a sawshark, but that’s, well, a shark!

What the heck is a lek?

Males great bustards perform spectacular courtship displays, gathering at a ‘lek’ or small display ground to try to impress the females.

Road Runner!

The great bustard has a dignified slow walk but tends to run when disturbed, rather than fly.

Belly Buster!

The hen-bird on display at The Salisbury Museum was one of the last great bustards to be eaten in the town!

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