Mel has worked in the museum and heritage sector in both the UK and Canada for over thirty years. She currently works for Lancaster City Museums. By the time she left school in the 1980s, aged 15, she realised that people ‘like her’ from council estates were unlikely to be found behind the scenes in museums. Undeterred, Mel worked her way through a meandering career, which has seen her manage a palaeontological World Heritage Site in Nova Scotia and historic houses and museums in the UK. Her specialisms are visitor engagement, policymaking and community participation. Mel is a strong advocate for ensuring that working-class voices are heard.