A very rainy but busy day today in Melbourne! I met up with Emily Millward from Birmingham, who was the winner of the Universitas 21 award which is the International Museums and Collections award. She was based at the University of Melbourne for 4 weeks working with some of their 31 museum collections and this is her last weekend!
It was great to meet up with her as she showed me round and told me what life is like in Melbourne over coffee and cake. Afterwards we met up with another Emily! (Emily Wubben from Melbourne) on the University campus, who was also the winner of the Universitas 21 award and came to Birmingham to work with our collections!
We then went to The wonders of ancient Mesopotamia exhibition at Melbourne Museum. Free entry and audio guide for me as I work there! It was an amazing exhibition, especially as I didn’t know much about Mesopotamia to begin with.
It featured over 170 objects from the British Museum so it was like having a bit of home in Australia! The set up was fantastic and it had so many interactive elements which really brought to life the amazing world of palaces and ziggurats, gods and kings. I also learnt we had many things to thank them for as they invented writing and the sixty minute hour! We then headed back to campus for the launch party of the Cultural Treasures Festival weekend at the University.
On display was the Wilson Hall: centre and symbol of the University exhibition co-curated by Emily Wubben along with a publication she had co-written! It looked at the history and art of Wilson Hall at the University of Melbourne, which was burnt down in 1952, so it was fantastic to actually be shown around by the curator. There was then a talk introducing the weekend and what I found lovely was that at the beginning of any public talk, the speaker always thanks the elders and traditional Aboriginal owners of the land where they are meeting today.
I then went out for dinner with the two Emily’s, exchanging UK and Aussie stories and now feeling settled here in Melbourne.