My fifth and final week at work, time has gone so quickly! At the beginning of the week I was very busy finishing off my report. I have compiled all my research, narratives, data enhancement, relevant literature and ideas for display into a folder for the museum. I then prepared for my talk that I gave to my department about my research on the magazine and my time here. It was a great opportunity to practice my public speaking and improve my professional communication skills. I really enjoyed doing it and loved talking about the magazine and showing a few funny articles and cartoons. I also had the chance to chat with the CEO of Museum Victoria Patrick Green, who is from the UK himself.
I attended two meetings, one of which was the ‘Anzac Centenary – A Joint Meeting for Exhibitions and Education & Online Networks’. Melbourne is the first in Australia to start off these meetings ready for 2014; I was really impressed and thought it was a brilliant way for organisations in Melbourne to know what each other are doing for the centenary so there will be no overlap of exhibitions or education in 2014. Some of the organisations that attended were; Museum Victoria, the State Library of Victoria, the Shrine of Remembrance, Bendigo Post Office Gallery, City Gallery, McClelland Gallery, National Archives of Australia, National Gallery of Victoria, National Sports museum, National trust – memorials and the Victorian arts centre. Items for discussion included; education, funding and online development. Overall the meeting went really well even with so many different organisations present and they plan to hold them every 3-4 months. The second meeting was actually a part 2 from the first WW1 concept meeting I attended a few weeks ago. It was great to have a follow up meeting and we discussed further our qualities for the exhibition, interpretive approaches, audience, title, promotion and activities. I loved having the chance to get involved at the meeting as I have found I really enjoy planning and preparing for exhibitions.
That week I also had a chat to my supervisor about perhaps making a link between the University of Birmingham and Museum Victoria for the centenary exhibition; as I know that in our collections at the University we have a few items relating to Australia during WW1. I suggested that I could write a blog for Museum Victoria’s website, as they have regular blogs, or if it is of interest I could even develop it further somehow. I know of one photo of Australian soldiers standing in the University grounds; they were being treated at the 1st Southern General military hospital, aka the University’s Great Hall. I also know our Research and Cultural collections at the University hold a quilt that was hand made by convalescent soldiers including Australian and New Zealand soldiers. I also showed my supervisor a couple more photos of wounded soldiers in the University grounds as I knew that will be of interest to her as Melbourne Museum’s centenary exhibition will feature the theme of wounded or injured soldiers. My supervisor loved the idea and thought it would be a terrific link; she put me in touch with the writer and editor of Museum Victoria’s blog and I am now in talks with her and my university to try and put something together. I think it would be great for me to establish this link with the Museum and therefore hopefully lead to more collaboration in the future.
Winning this internship has been such a fantastic experience; I have learnt so much, accomplished the goals I set out to achieve, had the amazing opportunity to be involved with a big organisation and lived in Australia for my summer! I am so grateful to Global Challenge at the University of Birmingham and also to all the staff at Melbourne Museum for being so hospitable; it was a pleasure to take part in the scheme and to be the first to venture out across the world. I really hope that this is the start of something great for the University and that they continue giving students this amazing opportunity each year. As for myself, I have thrived during this placement, I feel ready to go out into the world of work and I am now confident in my career goals.
Thanks Global Challenge!