This week has been the week I’ve been looking forward to most and least simultaneously. For t
his is the week I finally get to the donor of the historical items that formed the basis of the entire internship! As the collection was actually inaccessible to me, the oral history session we would conduct with the donor would not be so much about the objects themselves, but more a background of her life growing up, and the preamble to the stories which the objects tell. The donor, Lorrainne, a feisty older lady from Melbourne, was the ideal oral history interviewee. It was hard to get a word in edgeways! Lorrainne graciously informed us of her life growing up, from the Milk Bar her father owned, up until high school and her Beatles obsession (which forms a large part of the items she donated). This was an incredibly rewarding way for my first oral history session; we were all at ease and felt comfortable going with the natural flow of the conversation. Also, I learnt a lot of technical skills about copyright rules, how to properly record and conduct an interview, and how best to avoid leading questions. Working with a museum as large and prestigious as Melbourne Museum, with policy guidelines for any and every oral history, has set a benchmark for my future career.
On a sadder note, this is my last week at the museum. This means giving my farewell presentation to the department. I thought I was well prepared and confident with large presentations from my time as a student ambassador in Birmingham. However, the vibes were totally different when the presentation is in the top floor boardroom, and the CEO of the museum unexpectedly turns up. My presentation was jovial and light-hearted: showing the fun I had had at the museum, as well as explaining the work I had been doing. The presentation was short, and accompanied by many “retro” bouncing slide animations. I intended for the presentation to be short, so we, as the Humanities department, could sit around the boardroom table after and have a more informal discussion. Topics included the benefits of the internship to Birmingham students (so many benefits it is essentially impossible to write them all down), as well as discussing previous interns, and the application and interview process back at home. I told the museum, and especially my reporting manager, how grateful I am to the museum (and by extension, the Global Challenge team and UoB) for looking after me and (re)igniting my passion to pursue a career within the museum sector.
On a final note – the boardroom presentation came with an all-Australian buffet spread, and a big bag of presents to myself from the museum! What else could be so inspiring for anyone wondering whether to apply for next years’ Global Challenge Museum Victoria internship…