Archive for the 'EMP' Category

Maddy on the Marae – by Maddy Jones

In March 2014 I spent my first weekend on a marae. It was awesome. The hospitality that my group and I received when we stayed on the Hongoeka marae near Plimmerton was completely overwhelming. So when I was offered the chance to stay on the Pukemokimoki marae during the MA14 conference in Napier I jumped at the chance. This was slightly more scary because I didn’t know anyone else staying there, but I needn’t have worried. When I arrived the group staying was mostly assembled, sharing a meal which they quickly made a space for me at. It was a lovely evening and a lovely way to kick off conference.Pukemokimoki Marae

The rest of the week flew by and I loved coming back to the marae at the end of the day. The wonderful Rhonda Paku was our designated driver who made sure we were on time in the mornings and made it back safely in the evening. Being in an unknown city it was great to have someone who knew where we were going and being with other people made the whole experience more of an adventure than a trial. During the conference networking times I had a built-in bunch of friendly faces as I became acquainted with the others staying on the marae, and always had people to share a meal with, while at the venue and back at the marae.

Some of theMaddy Marae best discussions I took part in happened in the van, in our sleeping bags or brushing teeth in the morning. The informal atmosphere and the fact that you’ve seen everyone in their pyjamas made it feel like I really got to know people, even though it was only for a few days. The warm and social atmosphere made conference more fun, and made going home in the evening feel like going home, rather than going back to a cold hotel room. One of my favourite moments during the week in Napier happened on the marae when someone got out their guitar and a huge number of waiata were sung to try and pick some for the ceremonies of the following day. Singing and listening along to a group of wonderful singers was a treat, I learnt new waiata, and it all added to the friendly cosy atmosphere of the stay.

Staying on the marae was heaps of fun, I learned a lot and it saved me some pennies. So for all of you looking for accommodation options for MA15 all you need is a sleeping bag and some ear plugs, and I’ll see you there!

Maddy Jones

 

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Working with Volunteers by Anika Klee

Everyone knows that volunteers can often be the unsung heroes of the museum world, helping out with a range of tasks and activities.

I have recently been involved in recruiting volunteers to work within the Human History department at Auckland War Memorial Museum, sorting CVs, shortlisting and interviewing the prospective volunteers in a casual style. Being a volunteer at Auckland Museum is a sought after position and being responsible for giving that opportunity to someone was a difficult but rewarding process. It gave me some insight into how difficult recruiting for a paying role must be and how attitude can be more important than experience.

We recruited two volunteers to help the Collection Managers and me with various tasks. Both of the successful applicants are still at university studying for their undergraduate degrees.  I wish I had known to volunteer when I was at that stage of university – not that I knew what I wanted to do with my life at that point! This meant that neither had any hands-on museum experience. Everything they do is new, and is helping them to develop skills that are valuable to potential future careers in the museum sector; if that is the path they wish to take.

World War I uniform photography

My own experience of volunteering in museums was very different to what I am involved with now; I was often given a project and left to work on it by myself, not having direct contact with a mentor or manager. Only occasionally would I work with others, and in these instances they had the same burgeoning skill set as me.

At Auckland Museum however, I work very closely with my volunteer as we photograph World War I uniforms for a half day once a week – often the uniforms are difficult to handle by just one person, so having my volunteer is invaluable.

I have been able to teach her to use our studio photography set up, the ins and outs of our cameras, given insight into a few of the interesting Auckland Museum numbering systems and how to attach the images to Vernon (our Collection Management System). Imparting experience to someone does remind me how much I now know, and how I should remember to value my own capabilities.

As an emerging museum professional, working with volunteers is a great way to show leadership and develop the ability to teach others. Through this experience I have learnt many things, but perhaps the most surprising, was that in increasing someone else’s professional capacity, you often can increase your own.

Anika Klee
Collection Information Technician – Human History,
Auckland War Memorial Museum


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