Supervisory Committee

The Supervisory Committee has the following key responsibilities:

  • To decide the general strategies and policies
  • To appoint the Board of Directors (Management)
  • To supervise and to support the directors

Members of the Supervisory Committee are:

  • Alexander Colvine (France), contact
  • Andrea Hübner (Hungary), contact
  • Patrick Lehnes (Germany), Chair, contact
  • Jelena Močević (Serbia), Vice Chair; contact
  • Dragana Lucija Ratković Aydemir (Croatia), contact

Alexander Colvine (France)

Like many, my path to heritage interpretation has been circuitous, but, reassuringly, there has always been a guiding light. I started out as a geography graduate, then specialised in land resource planning, to assess agricultural land quality for the Ministry of Agriculture in the UK, in the 1990’s. I surveyed some immensely beautiful landscapes and quickly learnt to ‘read’ the land. It was a ‘eureka moment’. After moving to the South of France in 1996, I managed EU-funded local heritage development projects all over Europe, mainly for rural tourism (discovery trails, trail guides, brochures, food festivals, restoring dry stone terraces, new uses for ancient irrigation systems, etc.). I continued this work when I moved to SW Scotland from 2001 to 2009, before returning to Provence. By stealth, my focus expanded to not only help local communities restore their natural and cultural heritage, but also promote it to visitors for economic gain. The logical step came in 2014, when I took part in the HeriQ Project to test out a heritage interpretation training method for guides. It all made sense. This then became the basis of IE’s certified interpretive guide (CIG) training course and I joined IE and its training team as a trainer for guides and hosts (CIH). I am also an IE Certified Interpretive Writer (CIW) and I am currently studying for an MSc in Interpretation: Management and Practice with the University of the Highlands and Islands.

Having marketed and delivered guide training courses first-hand, I know that IE’s training offer works. It can benefit many organisations and help IE’s development, but we mustn’t think that people will just form an orderly queue to request our services. For instance, our great trainers need help to reach the right organisations with the right products, using the right messages to convince potential beneficiaries of the merits of an IE training course. So, my initial focus as IE’s Outreach Coordinator will be to support IE’s training offer, but, in time, this will expand to include other IE services, as and when they develop too.

Andrea Hübner (Hungary)

Patrick Lehnes (Germany)

It was back in 1995, during holidays with my family at Snowdonia National Park in Wales: We came across simple leaflets which presented heritage sites in a much more inspiring way than what I knew from Germany. Curious to find out more, I went to the Park's head office and was directed to the "interpretation unit". This was the first time I heard about "heritage interpretation". This changed my life.

That happened when I had just concluded my studies of geography and biology at Freiburg University. I stayed there as a researcher and carried out pilot projects in the German Black Forest to test the interpretive approach for rural tourism destinations. EU funded projects on quality criteria for heritage interpretation provided opportunities to work with international partners.

In 2002, I founded an interpretation consultancy as a spin-off on the university campus. Besides projects "at home" I worked as a trainer and mentor for masterplanning and implementations in various European countries between the Mediterranean, Baltic and Caspian seas. It was exciting to collaborate with local project teams in different cultural contexts. It was also the time to take part in NAI's certification courses as a Trainer for Interpretive Guides (CIT), Interpretive Hosts (CIH) and as Interpretive Planner (CIP).

Together with my wife Bettina and some international colleagues, I prepared the founding of Interpret Europe, which finally happened in 2010. As Executive Director, I was then responsible for its development during the first five years. Preparing our annual international conferences, especially the study visits to various heritage sites in different European countries, was one of the most inspiring experiences.

Questions of what various cultural backgrounds can mean for interpretive meaning-making roused my interest in the philosophies that underlie heritage interpretation. This involves discussion of our role as interpreters within plural European societies.

Jelena Močević (Serbia)

Dragana Lucija Ratkovic Aydemir (Croatia)

I was born in Zagreb, Croatia, in 1969. Having finished studies at Zagreb’s legendary Educational Centre for Culture and Art, I enrolled in the study of comparative literature and art history at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Zagreb. I was employed at the Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments at the Ministry of Culture in Zagreb, and then in Poreč (Istria), where until 2004, I worked on the safeguarding of cultural heritage. In 1997, I was awarded a six-month UNESCO scholarship for professional training in the field of the conservation and restoration of cultural assets in Poland.

In 2003, after the successful installation of a permanent exhibition of sacral heritage in Rovinj’s Franciscan Monastery, the Town of Rovinj (Istria, Croatia) employed me for the 'House of Batana' project. I successfully led this project until 2013 and it became the first ecomuseum in Croatia. This project was a turning point in my work and served as a case study for professional training at the Marcel Hicter Foundation in Brussels. In this European programme of education, I gained a European diploma for management in culture and cultural tourism in 2005.

I also established Croatia’s first specialized boutique company for management in culture and tourism. This company, called Muze d.o.o/ Muses Ltd, has a special emphasis on heritage interpretation and presentation.

In 2009, I was elected as the President of the Association of Mediterranean Maritime Museums (AMMM) whose centre is in Barcelona (a four-year mandate), and from 2010 the UNDP in Croatia employed me as an expert advisor for ecomuseums in the Coast project.

Since 2012, I have been managing a pioneer project of interpretation and presentation of nature consisting of 30 investments in nature parks and protected areas in the Republic of Croatia, financed by the World Bank.

In 2016, I was involved in the establishment of the Croatian Association for Heritage Interpretation Interpretirajmo Hrvatsku (Interpret Croatia), where I hold the position of Vice President. Besides this I am a member of various professional associations such as ICOM, ORACLE and EMH.

Our mission

To serve all who use
first-hand experiences to
give natural and cultural heritage
a deeper meaning