After graduating as a B.Sc.(Hons) from the University of New South Wales in 1974, Andrew began teaching Industrial Arts in Sydney high schools prior to becoming a curator at the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences.
Shortly after this the ambitious 'Powerhouse Museum' development of the MAAS became the largest in Australia, as the disused inner-city Ultimo power station was transformed with $100 million into 14000 m2 of spectacular exhibition space. It opened to great acclaim for the Australian bicentenary in 1988.
Andrew played a major role in the planning, development and installation phases of the new Museum, drawing extensively on his training in industrial arts. He was Head Curator for the Transport and Engineering collections while project managing a team developing four major exhibitions. During this heady time Andrew also completed a Master of Science degree, resulting in a thesis on the coachbuilding industry of Australia. Later Andrew was also Manager of the Curatorial, Library and Publishing Department and he project managed the restoration of two historic steam locomotives between 1992 and 2009.
These and other roles at the Powerhouse Museum gave Andrew extensive networking skills with stakeholders as diverse as local and overseas sponsors, potential partners, experts, and volunteers, from heritage groups, government organisations, private bodies, and the general public.
Over four decades Andrew has developed deep experience
in collection research, development, management and preservation of the transport history of New South Wales and Australia, while being mindful of international context. The Powerhouse Museum collection now holds examples of virtually every form of land, sea and air transport - complemented by an impressive space technology collection.
Andrew's speciality is land transport. He has unique understandings of the diverse significances of transport vehicles based on their historical and technological contexts, as well as the themes underpinning Australia's fledgling nationhood
and later modernisation.
Supervising and curating transport-themed exhibitions has made Andrew an expert in all stages of development - from the concept right through to trouble-shooting after installation. An awareness of the visitor is never far from Andrew's mind. He enjoys interpreting the significance of objects through narratives and other techniques which focus attention on the audience and through his role as an Expert Examiner for the National Cultural Heritage Committee.
A further extension of Andrew's roles as teacher and museum curator / manager has been a 30 year commitment to the children and youth in his local area. His longstanding community service was recognised in nominations for the 2003 Ryde Citizen of the Year and 2008 Ryde Volunteer of the Year Awards, Sydney.
In 2012 Andrew became a movable cultural heritage consultant. He actively maintains his heritage sector links and skills, not least by returning to the Powerhouse Museum as a volunteer curator to the collection he knows so well.
All images in central panel reproduced courtesy of the Powerhouse Museum, Sydney.
Top left: [Photo: Marilyn Grant], Andrew Grant;
Centre from top:
[Marinco Kojdanovski] Andrew with Hon. John Watkins (left), former Deputy Premier of New South Wales, and former railway apprentic Gordon Kirk at a 150th Anniversary of New South Wales Railways event, Australia, 2005;
[Sotha Bourn] Andrew receiving the "Quad Squad" All Terrian Expedition Vehicle from Yamaha Motor Australia on behalf of the Powerhouse Museum, with Jamie Kenyon, Ted Davant, and Sean Goldhawk, 2012;
[Andrew Frolows] Andrew Grant (centre rear) with the Locomotive 3830 restoration team at the Eveleigh Railway Workshops, Sydney, Australia, 1994;
[Marinco Kojdanovski] Andrew delivering floortalk to volunteer guides at the Powerhouse Discovery Centre, Castle Hill, Sydney, Australia, 2007.