Master of Cultural Heritage student Ellina Evans recently completed an internship at the Gold Museum, Ballarat.
This winter I was selected to take part in a curatorial internship at the Gold Museum, Sovereign Hill, as part of the Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry internship program. I would be travelling from Hobart to Ballarat to work for three weeks under the guidance of curator, Snjez Cosic.
Studying online from interstate can limit the opportunities available to get hands-on, practical experience and to make contacts and forge relationships with people in the industry, both of which are essential to future employability. The opportunity to participate in a paid internship has been invaluable.
Getting started, my first question was: what does a curator do exactly? In the context of a regional museum, Snjez explained, the answer is a bit of everything. My experience over the next three weeks gave me insight into the dizzyingly varied tasks a curator at a small museum performs each day.
My first task was to clean seven framed nineteenth century photomontages in preparation for the coming exhibition. Collections Manager Liz Marsden showed me how to gently brush, sponge and swab away dirt and grime from their surfaces. I was then tasked with researching and writing exhibition text about some intriguing figures from gold rush Ballarat. A whole cast of characters came to light, from the female mining magnate, Madame Midas, to the transgender miner, Edward De Lacy Evans, to the self-made Tinworths. Snjez taught me the brutal art of telling each of their stories in no more than 150 words.
Other highlights included: assisting with the deinstallation of the Wonderful Things exhibition, surveying visitors, creating an Instagram story for the New Gold Mountain display, being present at an acquisitions meeting and, above all, talking to my knowledgeable colleagues.
I’d like to whole-heartedly thank all the staff at the Gold Museum for this invaluable experience and for making me feel like part of the team. I’d also like to thank Deakin University for their support.
Ellina Evans, Master of Cultural Heritage student, Deakin University.
Deakin University would also like to thank everyone at the Gold Museum and Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry for continuing to provide such amazing experiences for our students – its very valuable and very much appreciated.