In five words, describe your place in the sector.
Emotionally invested observer and fangirl.
What first drew you to the sector i.e. Do you have a particular memory of a moment that got you hooked?
In 2011, my Mum embarked on her previously-inhibited-by-my-accidental-arrival-in-1993 London OE. She's still there. I’ve been incredibly privileged to spend long stints over my summer uni breaks in my new second home. Last time I was there I was super broke and feeling a bit cooped up in Mum’s tiny flat. I spent weeks wandering the streets of London and going to all the free museums and galleries I could find. There was one particular exhibition at the V&A called Disobedient Objects that really shook me. It focused on the role protest and activism has had in shaping the UK’s cultural landscape. I began to see museums and galleries as spaces were where social justice and academia could collide and I've been hooked ever since.
What challenges have you faced in your career so far?
Other than the fact that I am yet to find paid work in the GLAM sector? I think the biggest challenge is trying to find a way to carve out a career that I’m passionate about without getting burnt out.
Has anything or anyone in particular provided you with support?
I am incredibly lucky to be surrounded by a network of talented and passionate young women. There's something incredibly powerful about having friends who constantly inspire and encourage you, but who also aren’t afraid to rain down on you when you’re being a dick. They are the perfect antidote to the outside world.
I would be remiss if I didn't mention the support I received from some Boss As Wāhine who looked out for me at the University of Waikato during my undergraduate degree. I failed Year 13, so when I finally enrolled at uni, I found myself riddled with imposter syndrome and anxieties about my academic abilities. The simple act of being told "hey you're really great, and you should be proud of your work" by some of my lecturers (all women) was life changing. I had a Māori Studies lecturer who once chased me around one of the lakes on campus and fully dragged me back to her office – I thought she was going to lay into me, but it was actually to have a kōrero about how we could get my slipping grades back on track. I especially owe a great debt of gratitude to Professor Catharine Coleborne who got me excited about history, helped me to figure out my path and encouraged me to pursue the Museum & Heritage Studies masters programme at Vic.
What do you think people at your own level (emerging etc) bring to the sector?
I think we find it easier to adapt and change, because we've never really had any other option. We never got to experience what it was like in the mythical 'good old days', and so we have learned to value the sector in ways that are not necessarily linked to funding and the changing political tides.
What is a positive change you would like to see in the sector?
I'd like to see less emphasis on volunteering as a means of breaking into the sector. So many people who have come to talk to our Museum & Heritage studies class attribute their 'emergence' into the sector to being able to work for free. Having the time and economic means to be able to volunteer is a huge privilege, and I think institutions (and emerging people) need to be aware of that.
What is your karaoke song?
Black Sabbath’s War Pigs. My Dad used to sing it to me when I was a kid and it’s kinda my jam. Have I mentioned I’m from Upper Hutt?