Global Challenge – Museum Victoria, Blog 4

Second week

On the weekend I took a tour down to Phillip Island to see the penguin parade. On the way I went on a helicopter around the Island and went to Waru Koala and Animal Park. We then made our way down to the penguin parade, where penguins emerge from the sea at dusk in groups and waddle up the beach back to their homes. Sunday I was invited to an Aussie Rules game by some friends, they are Sydney Swans members so I got to sit in the cheer section right behind the goal. It is a very exciting place to sit and I even caught the ball and threw it back in. Afterwards we were allowed to meet the players and I met the best player for Sydney – Adam Goodes.

I really enjoyed my second week at the museum. I was able to get a lot of my research into the magazines done, and found a couple of references to aboriginal people and diversity. I found an interesting image of Australia with black trickling down from the north dividing up the country; the caption read “The future of Australia if the Black Australians get their way”. This was of much interest to my supervisors and we came up with a couple of different meanings. I also found some cartoons relating to attitudes to authority which depicts a role reversal between the digger’s and the authorities. One caption reads “What’s going on here?”, “Oh, they’re C.O’s who used to keep diggers unnecessarily standing to attention on parade for long periods. They’re undergoing their punishment of having to stand at attention until next eternity.” I also learnt a couple of Aussie phrases such as; Blighty – Home, Furphy – Rumour and Digger – Solider/friend. I noticed that at the back of some of the early editions there was contempt of authority through humour and irony – fake advertisements towards something that the diggers felt strongly about. For example an advert for a free discharge and an advert for ‘Bluffem Shock Absorbers’ the caption reads ‘Why suffer from shell-shock when a bluffem shock absorber will enable you to withstand the full force of any shell entirely unaffected’. I also heard about another magazine called ‘The Astra magazine’ which was put out in the Broadmeadows training camp in Melbourne around 1916 by the third division. This could prove an interesting comparison to the ‘Aussie’ magazine. This week I also attended the acquisitions subcommittee meeting. They looked over recent proposals for acquisitions, looking at any drawbacks or holes in Emu, they then agreed on accepting proposals. The second half of the meeting the person who had organised the acquisition came in to answer any questions on it and they considered if any items need conservation. I attended another meeting that day which was the WW1 concept meeting. Focus groups had been held on the topics of War, WW1 and the museums proposal for the centenary of WW1. The chair reported back what had been found. It was really interesting finding out different people’s opinions on war and finding out what effects it had on different age groups. Many said that in an exhibition they want the truth and personal accounts. They want to come away having been affected by what they had seen. There was a lot of positive feedback for the museum’s proposal which was very encouraging and we spent the rest of the meeting reflecting on that feedback and brainstorming ideas for the exhibition.

This week I also managed to go to Melbourne’s International film festival with a friend. It was held in the Forum theatre which is an amazing building; it is designed like the forum in Rome. There was a talk before the film about writers and directors which was really interesting and the atmosphere there was so relaxed. We then watched a French film called Monsieur Lazhar, which I really enjoyed. Melbourne has so much culture to offer and it seems like there is a new event or festival each day.

Saturday I went to the National Gallery of Victoria and had a look around at their collections. I also went to the Napoleon exhibition which was excellent.

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About careersbham

Student Engagement Officer for Careers Network University of Birmingham

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