11 May 2011

Way paved for future museum curators

By: Zongezile Matshoba

The formidable team of Albany Museum and DSRAC Cacadu District officials yielded unprecedented result when over 90 grade 10 and 11 learners from disadvantaged township and farm schools came to the museum for Museums Careers on last Wednesday.

This was day 1 of the International Museum Week, a build-up to the International Museum Day observed on the 18 May every year.

Fleur Way-Jones, the Albany History Museum curator and a veteran in museum circles, started the day with a well-thought PowerPoint presentation. This highlighted several important points relating to the various roles that learners could play in ensuring that they become part of the museum sector.

Well armed with a solid background, the learners visited A – Z research departments wanting to know:

What is each department called?
What is each professional leading the department known as?
What work does each department do?
What subjects do learners need to study at school, and courses that students need to follow at University if they are interested in a particular department.

The curators came to the play, indeed, starting from Dr Johan Binneman’s Archeology department. The assistants, in the absence of the researcher, did not disappoint either, the likes of Nomthunzi Api in Anthropology, Terrence Bellingan and Soxunjwa in Freshwater Invertebrates, and Luvuyo Mayi in Paleontology.

The learners all agreed that this was an eye-opener that widens their career opportunities. They applauded the enthusiasm that all the research departments showed, and the commitment to welcome them back anytime that they seek further assistance.

At the end of the programme, each learner was given a Museum Careers Flyer focusing mostly at Albany Museum as an example. This was adapted from a Museums Careers Booklet, initiated by Bongani Mgijima, Albany Museums Manager, and being developed by Cathy Lambley, Albany Museum’s Education Officer.

For More ...
International Council of Museums (ICOM):
International Museum Day
South African Museums Association (SAMA)

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