In five words, describe your place in the sector.
Baby Registrar soaking everything in.
What first drew you to the sector i.e. Do you have a particular memory of a moment that got you hooked?
In a very uncool but true confession, it’s probably because I was always obsessed with Antiques Roadshow as a kid! It was the first thing that helped me to understand the way in which people relate to objects and art, and how the stories connected to a physical object can change its meaning and worth. I always loved the moment when someone was informed of the astronomical amount that their beloved slice of history was worth, and they would state that there was “no way we would ever sell it”. Nothing has more clearly illustrated to me the importance of divorcing the ideas of monetary value and intrinsic heritage value, which is so important to this sector.
What challenges have you faced in your career so far?
Everything is a challenge the first time you try it! My biggest challenges are around being thrown into the deep end without necessarily having the right backing or training behind me. I’ve had to learn not to be afraid of asking for extension or development when it’s needed and when I can’t figure things out myself, and not to back down if it’s not taken seriously the first time!
Has anything or anyone in particular provided you with support?
I’ve had a huge amount of support from the institutions I’ve worked with. Gaining a huge base of understanding and extension from my time with the amazing team at Waikato Museum became a great foundation. In contrast, Te Papa, being the large institution it is, has a huge amount of opportunities, and the Collection Services team here are incredibly supportive and encouraging. Everyone leaves their mark on you somehow.
What do you think people at your own level (emerging etc) bring to the sector?
Every process or system, no matter how entrenched, can benefit from a fresh pair of eyes. Those currently emerging in to the sector not only provide that, but also seem to represent a generational shift which supports constant movement and reinvention. It’s amazing to see the genius that comes from my fellow emerging kids in the sector, and the positive change it has.
What is a positive change you would like to see in the sector?
Some of the best projects I see are ones where there is collaboration, across departments, across institutions, even across sectors and industries. This sector benefits greatly when it leans in to those collaborations. There are a lot of people out there who would love to work with our sector; reach out to them! Create something new! Be it interactives or exhibition content or engaging merchandise, the world is getting smaller and our creative avenues are expanding.
What is your karaoke song?
Sweet Child of Mine by Guns n’ Roses, but if I’m feeling particularly ritzy I’ll scream along to Beyoncé’s Love on Top.
Tusk here: We're gonna go with Queen Bey for your Thursday tune ---