Global Challenge: Melbourne Museum Internship – Robbie McDonald – Week 1

Global Challenge: Week 1 in Australia
48 hours, 4 airports, no sleep, countless trashy films, TRAVELLING DOES NOT GET TOUGHER THAN THIS. All just 24 hours after leaving Birmingham for the last time following my graduation ceremony. This was my epic journey from Manchester to Melbourne, via Paris and Guangzhou, all in time to get me to my museum internship at Melbourne Museum.

Air bnb

Air bnb that is graciously hosting my stay

Friends in Australia had warned me that winter in Melbourne can be tough weather-wise, but I foolishly decided to act under the pretense that I was moving to Bondi Beach and would be living the surfer dream. This did not happen. Winter is winter and Australian houses are not built for winter, so there is no central heating or double glazing, just lots of jumpers and blankets. But here’s to hoping that soon summer will be arriving in beautiful Melbs.

wedding cake

Neighbours wedding caked – housed in the Museum Victoria collection

The museum houses a vast collection of objects, stemming from natural history exhibits, to the cake used in the wedding of Scott and Charlene from Neighbours.

The variety of objects housed in the museum reflects the nature of Melbourne Museum’s role as the state collection: everything and anything that can be linked to the people of Victoria, they have a duty to collect and preserve.

exhibition melbourne

Royal exhibition building – adjacent to Melbourne Museum

For me, this internship (and only one week in to it), has shown me how Museums truly care about collections and the preservation of local, regional, and national histories.

The dedicated, and extremely friendly, museum staff have welcomed me and already I feel well equipped to go into the world of work with new skills and renewed passion.

outside melbourne museum

Outside view of Melbourne Museum

Working in a museum has confirmed for me that this is the career path I will pursue following this internship. Each of the curators of the museum has their own specialty, and crossover, collaborative works and projects are the norm here.The curators are allowed to pursue their own historical interest, whilst simultaneously being supported by other staff members which has led to the museum being regarded as the best in Melbourne.

balcony area

Balcony area on top of the museum

The internship has also taught me practical skills: writing narratives for collections online, object handling, drafting proposals for object acquisitions and finally the most important skill in a museum: knowing how to ask for money for repairs to historic objects.  

                                        By Robbie McDonald 

About careersbham

Student Engagement Officer for Careers Network University of Birmingham

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