Armagh Observatory and Planetarium announce Dr Sarah Dane as next Boardroom Apprentice

Armagh Observatory and Planetarium has announced the appointment of Dr Sarah Dane as its next Boardroom Apprentice.

The Senior Technology Consultant Manager at Strategy Consulting giant, EY, will sit on the organisation’s Management Committee for the next twelve months.

The Boardroom Apprentice Programme is a unique placement scheme that focuses on providing participants with the skills to serve on a public or third sector board.

The programme aims to enable a diverse group of individuals to turn their aspirations into reality and contribute to boardrooms across the UK.

Expressing her enthusiasm about the appointment, Sarah says: “I’m excited to be the Boardroom Apprentice for Armagh Observatory and Planetarium, as it will be an opportunity to give back to the community and be involved in something that’s important to me.

“I’ve always wanted to get involved with this organisation as it plays an important role in introducing children to science, and with my background in the field, this is something that I’m passionate about.”

As a host board, Armagh Observatory and Planetarium’s Management Committee provides practical, hands-on experience for the programme’s participants.

Related: AOP ‘over the moon’ as Boardroom Apprentice returns for another year

Having taken part in the Boardroom Apprentice programme for the past five years, the organisation has hosted five different individuals through the programme, with former apprentice, Kirsten Lemon, having been appointed a permanent member of the Committee after applying through the public appointments process in 2022 following her 2020 placement.

Speaking about the programme, Kirsten says: “I joined the Boardroom Apprentice programme in 2019 and I applied for Armagh Observatory and Planetarium to be my host board as I work as a scientist with a particular passion for science education.

“Over the course of the year, I enjoyed participating in meetings and really experiencing how boardrooms work, as well as undertaking training sessions on the key skills required.

“I then became a publicly appointed member of the organisation’s Management Committee myself last year, during an integral time for Armagh Observatory and Planetarium’s development, and I am excited to make a genuine difference.”

Founded in 1790 by Archbishop Richard Robinson, the Armagh Observatory is the oldest scientific institution in Northern Ireland and the longest continuously operating astronomical research institute in the United Kingdom and Ireland.

Pictured L to R are: Stan Brown, a member of Armagh Observatory and Planetarium’s Management committee, John Briggs, Chair of Armagh Observatory and Planetarium’s Management committee, Dr Sarah Dane, Boardroom Apprentice at Armagh Observatory and Planetarium, Professor Michael Burton, Director at Armagh Observatory and Planetarium and Kirsten Lemon, former Boardroom Apprentice at Armagh Observatory and Planetarium.

The Armagh Planetarium was founded in 1968 by Dr Eric Lindsay, the seventh Director of the Armagh Observatory.  It is the oldest operating Planetarium in the UK and Ireland.

John Briggs, Chair of Armagh Observatory and Planetarium’s Management Committee, adds: “We are delighted to welcome Dr Sarah Dane to the AOP Management Committee, and I have no doubt that we will benefit from skills and expertise that she brings.

“Armagh Observatory and Planetarium has been pleased to host a Boardroom Apprentice each year for the last five years. We joined the programme to support the objective of increasing diversity in the pool of good quality candidates to the public appointments

“We have certainly seen the benefit of that in the last member recruitment process undertaken by our sponsor, the Department for Communities, and as they are about to commence recruitment for a further three members, we have a vested interest in ensuring
that there is a diverse pool of excellent candidates ready and willing to take up these types of roles.”

Search job listings