In five words, describe your place in the sector.
Acquiring & lending all the things.
What first drew you to the sector i.e. Do you have a particular memory of a moment that got you hooked?
As a child I was obsessed with ancient civilisations, to the point of seriously researching how I could become an Egyptologist after seeing The Mummy when I was 11. Sadly, this qualification isn’t offered in New Zealand so I settled on studying Classics and Art History at Uni. I basically just loved old stuff. It amazed me to think of the treasures that we had saved throughout millennia and the stories these objects could tell. I ended up working part time in libraries throughout my studies and eventually found a job at Archives New Zealand and then later National Library, where I honed my nerd skills and completed post graduate study in Museum Studies.
What challenges have you faced in your career so far?
I always wanted to work in a museum but I felt like I would be forever a librarian (not that this was a bad thing!) I applied for many gallery and museum roles, only to be knocked back for someone with more experience. My archives and library experience only got me so far and I wasn’t able to find volunteer work that I could do, still have a job and pay my rent. I was very lucky to have a fabulous and somewhat peer-pressurey friend working at Te Papa in the Loans and Acquisitions team (hi Erin!) who made me apply for my current job (Loans & Acquisitions Advisor). I was pretty amazed when I got an interview and even more surprised when they offered me the job.
Has anything or anyone in particular provided you with support?
My colleagues in the GLAM sector have provided amazing support. Everyone I have worked with has been keen to share their knowledge and expertise and has shown me endless patience while I figured things out. I am privileged to be a part of a great team at Te Papa who work super hard but always have time to answer my weird and sometimes difficult questions.
What do you think people at your own level (emerging etc) bring to the sector?
The emerging talent in this sector are great in that they are entering the workforce with enthusiasm and the desire to show the outside world just how important institutions like art galleries and museums are to everyday life. In an age where we constantly have to prove why we should even be publicly funded, the emerging GLAM kids are thinking of creative new ways to exhibit objects in order to excite and educate the public. They are also helping us move away from the tired image of the traditional museum at the same time.
What is a positive change you would like to see in the sector?
I would love to see more diversity amongst the top roles in galleries and museums as well as more Pasifika and Māori people entering the sector and making a place for themselves in roles where they can make their voices heard.
What is your karaoke song?
Definitely “Heroes” by David Bowie.