International Museums Day student essay competition

Deakin University joined with ICOM Australia to conduct the inaugural International Museums Day (IMD) student essay competition.

Students undertaking the subject Museums, Heritage and Society contributed essays on the 2107 International Museums Day theme of Museums and contested histories: Saying the unspeakable in museums.

The winner was chosen from amongst a short list assessed by Deakin University and then forwarded to an ICOM sub-committee, who were charged with selecting the winner. This committee was made up of a representative from each of the National Museum of Australia, Museums Victoria and the Western Australian Museum.

The winner is Justin Croft. The committee commented that: ‘We felt he had a good writing style, argued well, included his own observations and chose a suitable topic for a paper of this length.’

Of the other six shortlisted essays, the chair of the committee wrote:

‘Broadly we felt that all the students had selected very strong topics, and that each essay reflected an impressive effort, particularly in terms of extensive secondary sources. It would be great to see each develop their ideas further. We noted that most would have benefited from the incorporation of more of their own voices and opinions (the sort of courage that comes from experience); more recent references would have been helpful in some cases. Please pass on our thanks and congratulations to the short-listed students. I think all show considerable promise!’

Congratulations to Justin Croft and to all the short-listed students; and thanks to Dr Jonathan Sweet for organising everything for Deakin’s participation. 

Justin’s essay is now available to read on the ICOM Australia website:
 ICOM essay competition winner

World Heritage International Summer School – heritage impact assessments – call for expressions of interest

We are pleased to partner with BTU Cottbus-Senftenberg (Germany) and Helwan University (Egypt) to run the World Heritage International Summer School in Cottbus in July this year.  The Summer School this years focuses on heritage impact assessments, and is a multi-university partnership with an interdisciplinary and interfaculty approach created as a platform for professional capacity-building and knowledge transfer for post-graduate academics and mid-career professionals.

To find out more about the program and to apply, visit


2010 graduate Caroline Stok welcomes new students to Geelong Heritage Centre

I recently had the pleasure of hosting a group of Deakin and Brandenburg University of Technology dual degree students at my workplace, the Geelong Heritage Centre. They were beginning a study of Geelong’s heritage of wool stores, so it was a fun opportunity to introduce them to our collections and resources.

The Heritage Centre is on the third floor of the bold new Geelong Library: great views!

The Heritage Centre proved valuable for its collection of ‘grey’ literature on the wool stores, specially semi-public sources such as Deakin architecture students’ theses. They pounced on a thesis dating from 1972, which hadn’t survived in the University Library. It was a photocopy of a photocopy, demonstrating how scarce and fragile even hard-copy sources can become.

It was great to meet this new cohort of students and one of my former lecturers, Linda Young. They made me feel like it was a long time since I completed the Master of Cultural Heritage at Deakin (2010).

Soon after I started, I was lucky to find a job in the history/heritage and library fields (hadn’t heard of GLAM yet).* I had just completed an honours year in history and hoped to make history practical — to engage public interest and encourage public participation.

The courses at Deakin were a great introduction to the field. I studied off campus, and while isolated from direct contact, the course was very responsive. Staff were keen to get us all involved using online learning tools. This turns out quite useful for a heritage information manager! Still, it would have been great to make it onto campus a few times.

Where will a heritage and museums education take me next? I love helping people with their research, but I also love the research itself, working with collections, and sharing the stories to engage with communities. It’s a pleasure to work with heritage collections and facilitate access to them and the treasures they hold.

Weight-lifting is not part of the museum studies training at Deakin: as Caroline demonstrates, you learn on the job. Photo: C. Stock, 2016

• That’s Galleries, Libraries And Museums, an industry sector with quite a social scene!