It would be very dull to summarise my 2013 Movable Heritage Fellowship (MHF) with how influential the Powerhouse Museum staff were and how useful and life-changing the experience was. Nevertheless it needs to be said.
Seizing opportunities to participate in many Regional Services events such as the Stakeholder Forum and Internship opportunities at the Powerhouse, as well as developing a fascination with the coal objects in the Kandos Industrial Museum for a Post Grad Diploma of Museum Studies at Macquarie University, made the MHF a logical progression.
The Fellowship enabled me to incorporate visits to the Newcastle Museum and Lithgow State Mine which indicated how significant some of the objects in the Kandos collection are whilst establishing wide and varied contacts in the industry. In the development of the first 30 Object Files for the Kandos Museum, I made discoveries about objects, stories and the history of the coal mines in the Kandos area that will be useful to the cement town which celebrates its centenary in October this year.
There are always unexpected discoveries in research projects, I found that the miners bath house baskets I had been researching also appeared in the collection of the Lithgow State Mine. They had one from Kandos No2 Mine and they gave it back, I was so excited! After the Fellowship I also found three under my own house.
The integrating cap lamp photometer is my favourite object just because it looks so intriguing it makes you want to touch it. Also Newcastle Museum were very jealous that we had one.
The benefits of intense professional development via both practical and theoretical assistance from Powerhouse staff have increased my confidence so that I know that I will tackle any future museum project effectively. My own passionate effort combined with equally passionate people who walked alongside me with unfailing support saw me though experiences where I encountered challenges, made mistakes and achieved goals.
Written by Leanne Wicks, Movable Heritage Fellow 2013