In five words, describe your place in the sector:
Reactivating VA between people + taonga
What first drew you to the sector i.e. Do you have a particular memory of a moment that got you hooked?
I may’ve never considered the GLAM sector if it hadn’t been for one time in 5th form going to the Careers Centre and doing a Career Aptitude test. Aged fifteen and already self-conscious, people were starting to ask me what I wanted to do in life. I only knew that I didn’t want to be a teacher like both my parents were (FYI nothing wrong with being a teacher!) but I didn’t know what else there was to do or what subjects to take in 6th and 7th form. The test took most of the lunchtime to complete. All of GLAM showed up in my top 10 results. I immediately took to the idea of working at a museum.
I was able to get a foot-in-the-door volunteer role at Auckland Museum during the second year of my B.A. and - apart from a period of time living overseas in Samoa - have thrived here since. I’m hooked on helping people get an enriching experience from accessing Auckland Museum collections. *I. FREAKING. LOVE.* my current job as a collection technician for the Pacific Collections Access Project. For the next three years I get to do everything I’ve wanted to do in a museum job: be all about Pacific measina/taonga, research more about the Pacific collections in the Museum and do my bit in hosting incoming Pacific communities and knowledge holders talk story and be with works from their islands/villages/neighborhoods.
What challenges have you faced in your career so far?
I’ve now had nearly seven months experience of the challenge of being a full time working mum. So far so good. I have huge job satisfaction right now and our toddler daughter is thriving. She’s with a wonderful at-home PORSE educator and loves it. But there are other challenges I’m going to have to meet in being a working mum + on a fixed term contract + in the museum sector + in an increasingly expensive Auckland City. Admittedly this is the first time I’ll eventually have to face the infamous uncertainty of this sector after leaving the safety net of a permanent position. I don’t have the flexibility to follow contracts and #jerbs around the country either. Yikes? Maybe not yikes.
Has anything or anyone in particular provided you with support?
I have no shortage of family cheerleaders and role models. My immediate and extended aiga have supported and encouraged me in every aspect of my life. In a work setting, I’ve received invaluable support from managers and tuakana at Auckland Museum from the very start of my time here. By watching and learning from the example of these leaders (mostly women, incidentally) I gain more confidence at contributing my ideas and taking more initiative in a way that’s becoming more natural rather than forced. And then it’s been great to have work-mum love & solidarity from other Museum Mamas.
What do you think people at your own level (emerging etc) bring to the sector?
Fearlessness, passion, innovation -- hopefully without being fia poto about it. (Fia poto = smart ass, know-it-all)
What is a positive change you would like to see in the sector?
I want to see more Pacific people enter, specialize, and thrive in this sector. I’d also like to see the creation of a network for Pacific GLAM professionals (or join it if it’s already out there - hollaa)
What is your karaoke song?
‘Mysterious Girl’ – Peter Andre. Then ‘Wuthering Heights’ + choreography – Kate Bush.