Past recipients of the Award

2019 Ruby Kerrison (University of Melbourne)

Ruby Kerrison

‘The biggest takeaways from the experience was a practical understanding of the various roles within museums and collections work. By gaining a wide variety of experiences across a diverse set of museums and collections I have been able to locate new interests and hone in on pre-existing ones. I look forward to taking the various knowledge and perspectives I have gained and applying it to my future work in museums. The IMAC Award allowed me to finetune my specific interests (research and curation) within the field and understand how this role looks in an everyday professional context. I have come back inspired and confident to engage with the museums and collections world.’

Ruby Kerrison studying for her Bachelor of Arts commenced her month-long placement at the University of Birmingham in early 2020. While based with the Research and Collections Unit she developed her professional skills working on a selection of projects across their campus museums and collections. Her varied assignments included researching and writing a presentation and information handout on a print and reliquary artefact within the Barber Museum’s collections. At the Cadbury Research Library, she was introduced to conservation methods and techniques for works on paper and assisted in the manual cleaning of historic maps. Ruby also worked within the public engagement program at the Lapworth Museum of Geology focusing on the archives to promote the museum and its collections. Further research and writing for a journal on a campus exhibition, and a blog post on the collections at Winterbourne House and Gardens completed her broadening experience. Ruby was very pleased with the way the IMAC placement offered her such a unique insight into the museum sector and the myriad of career opportunities possible.

2019 Erin Holder (University of Birmingham)

Erin Holder

“Working with the collections allowed me to learn something about many different aspects of collections management and about a different set of histories/ new stories. I also learnt collections management skills as well as deepening my knowledge of the sector including issues that are currently affecting it…These will all be invaluable in the future as I hope to eventually follow a career in collections management and the heritage sector.”

Erin Holder studying for her degree in History at the University of Birmingham, was the 2019 UK recipient of the IMAC Award and was placed with the museums and collections of Melbourne during July - August 2019. During her time at UoM, Erin was guided by curators, collection managers, archivists and conservators and her various projects enabled her to develop collection management skills across a selection of the University’s collections. Erin’s projects included working with the outstanding collections of the Baillieu Library Print Collection, Grainger Museum and the University of Melbourne Archives and she also participated in specific conservation-focused projects at the Grimwade Centre for Cultural Materials Conservation. Through her specially tailored program, in addition to having the opportunity to develop new professional skills, Erin found it especially rewarding to build an international network of contacts and to learn from their experiences, career paths and knowledge.

2018 Sakina Nomanbhoy (University of Melbourne)

Sakina Nomanbhoy

“The experiences gave me the opportunity to think and reflect, helping me reaffirm my love for art and even igniting an interest in contemporary art. It made me think about the future and about where I wanted to be. …The internship was a wondrous exploration into a fascinating new world, one that was a mix of contemporary art, tinkling laughs, warm chats, lots of colour and an irreplaceable uniqueness. I learnt an enormous amount and whilst the IMAC Award descriptions states that the recipient ‘will work on a selection of collection management projects each with set objectives’, it was so much more than that. The skills that I developed, the interests that I piqued and the people that I met are memories that are irreplaceable.”

Sakina Nomanbhoy completing her Honours in Art History at the University of Melbourne, was the 2018 recipient of the IMaC Award and travelled to the United Kingdom in early 2019. During her month-long placement at the University of Birmingham, she worked on public programs and exhibition projects at the Barber Institute of Fine Arts, a cataloguing and research project at Winterbourne House and Garden, and various collection management projects with the Research and Collections team. In addition, Sakina was able to spend some time in the University’s Cadbury Research Library where she was afforded the opportunity to closely examine a selection of Arabic manuscripts from the Mingana Collection. She was also introduced to the conservation studio, archives and manuscript collections more broadly all of which she found to be an inspiring experience.

2018 Alice O’Rourke (University of Birmingham)

Alice O'Rourke

“My time spent at the University of Melbourne taught me the importance of sharing knowledge. I found that across all of my projects, there was some aspect of shared expertise from both myself and the collections managers…Upon my return to Birmingham, I have been appointed the role of Associate Curator at Grand Union, a contemporary artist-led space in the heart of Birmingham’s creative quarter, Digbeth. I sincerely believe that the International Museums and Collections Award afforded me the relevant skillset to deem me an ideal candidate for this role. Not only did the placement develop my understanding of collection management across a range of areas, but it also afforded me a confidence in my abilities to work in unfamiliar surroundings. The award exceeded my expectations and has supplied me with a rich and resourceful experience working within collections.”

Alice O’Rourke was studying for her Masters in Art History and Curating at the University of Birmingham when she came to Melbourne in mid 2018 to take part in the IMAC Award exchange. During the month-long placement she worked on a selection of curatorial and collection management projects with the UoM’s museums and collections. Her projects included: curating an exhibition using molecular models from the School of Chemistry Collection; contributing to the digital archive project with the VCA’s School of Film and Television; various collection management related duties with the Print Collection; and a placement with the Grimwade Centre for Cultural Materials Conservation to gain aninsight into conservation issues. The program provided Alice with many opportunities to apply and develop her professional skills while working closely with the collections. In addition to these set projects, Alice also enjoyed behind the scenes visits to several of the University’s museums where she met with collections staff and discussed current issues affecting the sector

2017 Clare Fuery-Jones (University of Melbourne)

Clare Fuery-Jones

“I feel very privileged to have had such a wonderful opportunity to expand my knowledge and experience of the museum and gallery workplace, including both the practical and research-based roles undertaken within them. The variety of contacts I have made in this sector because of the IMAC placement will, I believe, continue to be of considerable value. Also, my understanding of the Arts and Crafts movement, and my appreciation for its place within the wider scope of British art history, has been greatly enhanced. Ultimately, my time at Birmingham has reaffirmed my commitment to working within the field of art history, and now, with an insight into the nature of the roles involved, I feel I am in a better position to prepare myself for a future in this area”.

Clare Fuery-Jones, a third year Bachelor of Arts student majoring in Art History and Philosophy, travelled to the University of Birmingham in January 2018. While in the UK, Clare had the opportunity to work on a range of projects with collections staff from Birmingham’s outstanding museums and collections. During her placement Clare developed her collection management and curatorial skills, and with a specific interest in the decorative arts of late 19th century Britain, she was able to further research her specialist areas while based in this culturally rich city.

2017 Katherine Reeve (University of Birmingham)

Katherine Reeve

“My time in Melbourne has greatly increased my confidence in my ability to successfully pursue a career in the cultural sector. It has also given me international work experience, which I believe will be extremely beneficial in the more globalised working environment today - especially considering the contacts and professional relationships I was able to develop while there. The projects were diverse, stimulating and hands-on. Overall, the placement has increased my confidence, my professional skill set and my employability”.

Katherine Reeve, a Masters of Research (History of Art) student from the University of Birmingham was based in Melbourne for one month from mid July 2017. Katherine had a keen interest in the intersection between art and science, and so the University’s cultural collections provided her with the perfect opportunity to explore these areas. Through her project work with the UoM collections, Katherine expanded her collection management skills and gained valuable practical experiences. Projects included research and preventative conservation of a 19th century geological collection; an introduction to various conservation areas through the Grimwade Centre for Cultural Materials Conservation; cataloguing botanical teaching models in the Herbarium; and contributing to the special event ‘Dürer Drawing Day’ with the Print Collection. Katherine hopes to be able to pursue a museum career that allows her to continue to engage with her passion for discovering the past.

2016 Irene Finkelde (University of Melbourne)

Irene Finkelde

"As the recipient of the International Museums and Collections Award I had the opportunity to develop a number of new skills whilst on the four-week placement at the University of Birmingham. I gained experience in working with museum and gallery collections and outreach and valuable practical experience in a number of areas I only had previous theoretical knowledge in. I was also able to broaden my professional networks, with staff at the University of Birmingham, and also at a number of other museums...”

Award recipient Irene Finkelde studying for her Masters of Cultural Materials Conservation, travelled to the University of Birmingham in January 2017. While there she worked across a range of collections in and beyond her specialisations. With a particular interest in Natural Science collections, during her placement Irene had the opportunity to work closely with those collections at the University of Birmingham, and was also able to explore the significant natural history holdings in Oxford, London and Paris. While at Birmingham Irene thoroughly immersed herself in all the campus had to offer, and in addition to broadening her collection management skills across a variety of areas, she also established an extensive network of professional and personal contacts which added much to enrich her Award experience

2016 Emily Robins (University of Birmingham)

Emily Robins

“The award catered to not only my existing skills and experience but pushed me to step outside my comfort zone. I have been able to explore new possibilities of where my arts degree could take me and it has certainly provided me with the confidence to apply for paid museum and gallery positions due to my strengthened experience with different types of collection. Each of my projects allowed me to develop my skills whilst contributing to the collections in a relevant and valuable way. I left Melbourne with an increased confidence in my own ability.”

University of Birmingham student Emily Robins, completing her third year of a Bachelor of Arts degree (History of Art), came to work with the Cultural Collections Unit in August 2016. Emily was particularly interested in museum education, collection access and exploring the interface between art and science. The University’s collections provided the perfect opportunity for her to pursue these areas. During her time in Melbourne, Emily worked on several collection management projects across a range of collections. She was especially enthused by her curatorial project at the Harry Brookes Allen Museum of Anatomy and Pathology which allowed her to explore the junction between art and science.

2015 Kim Goldsmith (University of Melbourne)

Kim Goldsmith

"I had an extremely rewarding experience during the award, and it exceeded my expectations. Although I enjoyed all of the projects I worked on, and gained valuable skills such as networking, research, conservation and project management, I feel that it was the people I met that made the experience so enriching… The IMAC award placement was a fantastic opportunity, because I was situated within a supportive environment where staff encouraged me to work autonomously and gain confidence in my skills and knowledge. After observing and engaging with a variety of activities within the University collections, and alongside experienced curators, collections managers, archivists and conservators, I now feel that I would love to work in a museum or University collection in the future. The award has been an invaluable and enjoyable growth experience for me as an individual, and I am certain it will improve and influence my career choices in the future.”

Kim Goldsmith studying for her Masters in Cultural Materials Conservation, travelled to the University of Birmingham to take up her placement opportunity in January 2016. In addition to her studies in conservation and background in teaching, Kim is a practicing visual artist and knew that she would be inspired during her time in the United Kingdom.  Over a busy and engaging month she was able to develop her collection management skills, pursue her interests, and establish extended networks with professionals in the sector.

2015 Katherine Grayson (University of Birmingham)

Katherine Grayson

"I began to understand the requirements of each role on a daily basis, and accordingly what suited my interests and skills the most. It was excellent to gain practical, hands-on experience in each area….My internship has helped me to decide that the education and interpretation side of museums is what particularly interests me, and has presented me with lots of ideas and advice as to how to attain this. I am very excited for my next steps and can safely say that this placement will help me, both professionally and personally, in whatever the future holds".

Katherine Grayson in her final year of an English Literature degree at Birmingham, was interested in pursuing a career in the heritage sector, but had to date limited experience. She saw the Award as a great opportunity to acquire professional skills and gain insight into what collections work might involve. During her month based in Melbourne, Katherine enthusiastically embraced every opportunity to expand her knowledge and practical experience in the cultural sector. For Katherine the placement drew her attention to the breadth of possibilities in museums and collections work, many of which she will be exploring back home to the United Kingdom.

2014 Amy Walsh (University of Melbourne)

Amy Walsh

"While I gained invaluable insight into the museum profession, the Award placement has also benefited me in many personal ways…testing my prior knowledge, drawing on new skills and working alongside industry professionals has helped me to feel more confident in my own abilities and opinions. I believe I contributed in a professional capacity to the museums and collections at the University of Birmingham and I am very proud of this achievement ".

Studying for her Masters in Cultural Materials Conservation, Amy Walsh was selected as the 2014 recipient of the Award and travelled to the University of Birmingham in early 2015 to work with their museums and collections. Amy relished the opportunity to broaden her professional skills base while simultaneously building meaningful connections with museum professionals in an international context.

2014 Lucy Cooper (University of Birmingham)

Lucy Cooper

"As a result of this placement, I have an entire new range of skills that I am able to highlight to future employers, and I have applied for collections assistant roles that I would never have deemed myself suitable for before. The award was designed to cater to my existing skills, but also to lift me away from my comfort zone, to boost confidence, to identify my strengths and weaknesses, to expose me to the daily workings of a university collection… "

Lucy Cooper, Masters in Heritage Management, from the University of Birmingham travelled to Melbourne in July 2014 to undertake her placement. Lucy very much enjoyed exploring the similarities between the collections of the two universities and to have the opportunity to expand her skills and use the theory from her coursework in a professional heritage environment. As well as the new skills she developed, Lucy found especially rewarding the cultural exchange that took place.

2013 Emily Keppel (University of Melbourne)

Emily Keppel

"The award enabled me to strengthen my existing knowledge and develop new skills in areas of collections management such as research, exhibition planning, cataloguing and preventive conservation. A wonderful aspect of the award is the friendships and networks I have been able to establish.… I received valuable mentoring from the staff I worked with, and was able to ask about their own career pathways."

Emily Keppel, studying for her Masters in Cultural Materials Conservation was the 2013 recipient of the Award. Emily travelled to the University of Birmingham in early 2014 and spent a month working closely with their museums and cultural collections. She especially enjoyed exploring the breadth of Birmingham's collections and seeing their connection with the broader community. Emily found the time she spent in the Wilson Conservation Studio especially rewarding, as it further developed her knowledge of her study discipline in an international context.

2013 Chloë Lund (University of Birmingham)

Chloe Lund

"The award encouraged me to explore and develop my skills and interests in museums and collections work…. As well as building on my existing experiences, the programme was designed to introduce me to a number of less familiar areas. It probably goes without saying that as well as being one of the most intensive periods of learning that I have ever experienced, my visit to Australia was also one of the most enjoyable".

Completing her Bachelor of Arts (Art History), Chloë came to Melbourne in August 2013 and worked on a selection of projects with collections across the campus including the Baillieu Library Print Collection, the Ian Potter Museum of Art, the Cultural Collections Unit, Centre for Cultural Materials Conservation, University of Melbourne Archives and the Herbarium.

2012 Emma Neale (University of Melbourne)

Emma Neale

"The Museum and Collections Award has introduced me to new areas of arts and culture while offering opportunities to utilize and test my prior collections knowledge and experience. It has inspired an even greater passion for conservation and collection management and has given me confidence to work with leaders in the industry and develop ongoing professional networks."

Emma was completing a Bachelor of Arts degree when she spent summer 2012 based with the collections and museums of the University of Birmingham. Emma immersed herself in their collections and worked across several projects including the curation of a display of textile holdings from the Danford Collection of West African Art and Artefacts, a research project with the Cadbury Research Library and Special Collections, and the development of an educational workshop at the Barber Institute of Fine Arts. While Emma learned many new skills from these assignments, it was her time spent in the Wilson Conservation Studio that really captured her imagination. So much so, that on her return she enrolled in a Masters in Cultural Materials Conservation.

2012 Emily Millward (University of Birmingham)

Emily Millward

"I cannot express how much I enjoyed my placement at the University of Melbourne. It was great to work with so many collections and I learnt many new techniques that I know will continue to be of use to me in the future. They organised projects to fit with my personal interests and endeavoured to allow me to develop different skills. My placement was fantastic and I have learnt so much. The experience I had is one that I will never forget".

Studying for her PhD in Egyptology, Emily was keen to work closely with Melbourne's Classics and Archaeology Collections where she researched a group of Egyptian artefacts. To broaden her collections experience, Emily also curated a display for Special Collections, researched classically themed prints from the Baillieu Library Print Collection, and created a children's activity for the Cultural Treasures Festival. Further, she worked on a selection of conservation projects at the Centre for Cultural Materials Conservation including Japanese wallpaper preservation and the care of an aboriginal art collection.

2010-2011 Katy Wade (University of Birmingham)

Katy Wade

"For me it was very rewarding, as a lot of the skills I learnt will be useful when I go into my line of work. It has also broadened my interests within museums and collections, as I have worked in areas such as conservation that I have never considered a future in before."

Studying for her Masters in Heritage Management, Katy was Birmingham's first Award recipient and travelled to Melbourne in July 2010. While at the University, Katy worked on a variety of collection management projects which included researching classical prints in the Baillieu Library Print Collection; developing information sheets for the Classics and Archaeology Collection; creating a children's activity sheet at the Medical History Museum; curating a display from the Sir Walter Scott collection; and lastly contributing research and information to an exhibition guidelines manual.

2010-2011 Emily Wubben (University of Melbourne)

Emily Wubben

"The connections I have made with professionals in the museum sector while I was in Birmingham are certainly invaluable. Additionally, I now have a practical, firsthand appreciation of the ongoing tasks that are involved in this field of work… the student exchange gave me the chance to think beyond my immediateenvironment and directly consider collections and collections management in a wider, international context"

Emily was in her honours year of a Bachelor of Arts degree when she travelled to the University of Birmingham in January 2011. During her time there she worked closely with a broad range of collections including the Lapworth Museum of Geology, the Barber Institute of Fine Arts, Special Collections, the VISTA 3D Imaging Laboratory, Wilson Conservation Studio and Winterbourne House and Gardens. Project tasks included research, interpretation, documentation, cataloguing, 3D imaging, paper conservation, and the creation of a student workshop for the Barber Education Department.