In five words, describe your place in the sector.
Akin to Bambi on ice.
What first drew you to the sector i.e. Do you have a particular memory of a moment that got you hooked?
My first job in the sector was as a guide at Otago Museum, where I would give tours and deliver public programmes. I used to get such a buzz from interacting with visitors: that was really what hooked me. There is such joy in the feeling that you’ve engaged someone in a new topic or taught them something new. I also got to have wonderful, interesting conversations with people about their experiences and their histories, and I learnt a lot from those discussions.
What challenges have you faced in your career so far?
I’m so new to this job (I’ve only been in it for a couple of months) that everything is a bit of a challenge at the moment! Sometimes I do feel quite overwhelmed by all the things I have yet to learn, but then, it’d be boring if I knew everything, right?!
Has anything or anyone in particular provided you with support?
I won’t start listing all the people who have provided me with support because there are just so many. I’ve been very fortunate in that regard. But suffice it to say that I had wonderful mentors in the History and Art History Department at the University of Otago, and I have kind, generous new colleagues in the New Zealand History and Pacific Cultures team at Te Papa.
What do you think people at your own level (emerging etc) bring to the sector?
I think one of the things emerging professionals can contribute to any sector is a willingness to listen and learn. We don’t necessarily have our own way of doing things yet, so we have to be open to different perspectives and willing to try lots of different approaches. It seems to me that that has the potential to develop into really good practice.
What is a positive change you would like to see in the sector?
I think Nina raised a really important point when she argued that museums and art galleries are often taken for granted or dismissed as luxuries, and that we therefore need to work even harder to make sure that what we do is accessible, relatable, and relevant. Having just come from a university where the value of studying Humanities subjects has been a very hot topic of debate in recent months, it seems that this P.R. work is more important and urgent than ever.
What is your karaoke song?
I’ve only given one solo karaoke performance ever in my life, and it was such a disaster I’ve never been able to face trying again. The song was Billy Joel’s 'Piano Man', which in retrospect was a dreadful choice. It’s a very long song, and it was made even more so by the bored, pained expressions of my not-quite-sober audience.