In five words, describe your place in the sector.
Continuing to grow every day.
What first drew you to the sector i.e. Do you have a particular memory of a moment that got you hooked?
I was drawn to the sector through my interest in history. This was sparked mainly by my Opa’s half-told stories. As a child, it fascinated me that this old man who would sit in his chair and read us books, had lived an entirely different life from the one he does now. This kind old man had experienced illness, starvation, and was witness to horrible events all before he was the age I am now, and this continues to break my heart and blow my mind. It made me realise how important it is to know, to ask, and to attempt to understand. I am a true believer in the importance of remembering. To me, this is why the sector exists and why I want to be a part of it.
What challenges have you faced in your career so far?
I know that I have been extremely lucky in having found permanent work early on. My first job in the sector was a six month contract, which then turned into a permanent position, and I’ve hung around ever since. The position has suited me perfectly in enabling me to return to study. I already talked a bit about this in my piece about working and studying, but being entry level has all kinds of challenges. These are mostly fixed around the menial tasks you have to do, and the complexes you develop around being at the bottom of the heap. I am still guilty of saying I am “only” a library assistant. But I’m working on this, honest.
Has anything or anyone in particular provided you with support?
I’ve had loads of support over the last few years from several places. My workplace has been great, and really does have people who are willing to work with me and acts as mentors. Whether they know it or not, Mark Crookston and Peter Ireland provided me with a huge amount of support and opportunity in what was a difficult 2015. Similarly, all the Museum and Heritage Studies staff at Victoria University have provided me with much needed support and understanding while I combined work and study. Lastly, the people I have met through studying have been completely amazing. It’s such a great network of really lovely people who are all willing and able to band together to provide support and opportunities (including Tusk!).
What do you think people at your own level (emerging etc) bring to the sector?
A fresh perspective. I think it’s always good to get a new take on something, and see how things could be done differently. The lack of permanent work can also work in our advantage, it means we have a wide range of experience, and are often willing to jump in at the deep end and give things a go.
What is a positive change you would like to see in the sector?
I am loving the increased access to digitised collections. Museums, libraries, and archives no longer have to exist within four walls, but can be accessed from all over the world. The ability to share information so easily is great not only for enabling access but also for the preservation of the original items - so more of this please.
What is your karaoke song?
Is it bad to admit I’ve never even done karaoke? In saying that, if I ever was to, it would mostly likely be Toxic by Britney Spears because that is an excellent, excellent song.