ANU Students Celebrate AMaGA Internship Award

Woroni congratulates ANU students Sophia Halloway and Georgia Reed, who have recently been awarded the inaugural Australian Museums and Galleries Association (AMaGA) Internship Prize. The prize was open to students who undertook internship programs in 2019 through ANU’s Centre for Art History and Art Theory and Centre for Heritage and Museum Studies.

AMaGA is Australia’s national association and peak advocacy body representing our museums and galleries. Its members are linked by a shared dedication to the arts, movable cultural heritage, and the knowledge that Australian culture is a dynamic ecosystem that contributes to the social and economic wellbeing of the country. 

AMaGA ACT offers the internship prize to high performing students who are planning careers in the museums and galleries sector. The prize consists of a one-year membership to AMaGA and a gift voucher for The Curatoreum. 

Sophia and Georgia met with Sheridan Burnett of AMaGA ACT to discuss their experiences as interns and share their plans for the future.

Sophia Halloway, Bachelor of Art History and Curatorship (Honours), interned at Canberra Contemporary Art Space (CCAS)

What did you study at university?

I recently completed a Bachelor of Art History and Curatorship with Honours at the ANU. My particular research interests are contemporary art and material culture – I wrote my thesis on ephemeral media in contemporary practice.

Where did you intern and what was the best part of your internship?

I spent the past year interning at Canberra Contemporary Art Space (CCAS). My previous experience in the Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums (GLAM) sector was in larger collecting organisations, such as the National Gallery of Australia and Parliament House, so interning at CCAS was an opportunity to work very differently. The team is much smaller – only three people – and CCAS doesn’t have a permanent collection. This suited me well, however, since a small team means you do a bit of everything and there’s lots of opportunities to try something new.

The best aspect of interning in a smaller organisation was the opportunity to become more involved in the community. Artists were constantly coming in and out of the office and the team attended plenty of exhibition openings at organisations across Canberra, where I was able to meet new people and discover new artists. The connections I made with people in the community were by far the most rewarding aspect.

Why did you decide to enter the GLAM sector?

I’ve always been surrounded by artists and arts lovers in my family, and I took an interest in the arts from a young age. It was during my travels prior to uni, however, that I took the plunge. I was living in Paris at the time and travelling a lot. I spent a lot of time visiting museums and galleries (not only because they are plentiful, but because they’re free for young people in Europe – good for young travellers without much cash!). I decided I wanted to spend my days in places like these. My studies in art history only confirmed this idea – not only was I learning about the visual arts, but the broader social, historical, political and philosophical contexts in which they were created. It’s a great way to learn about the world and the people around us.

What are your plans now you have finished university?

I have a number of exciting projects planned for 2020! Day to day, I will continue my role in private giving at the National Gallery of Australia. In terms of freelance work, I will be a Critic-in-Residence for ANCA and Art Monthly Australasia, as well as curating two shows featuring Canberra artists. I will be CCAS Emerging Curator in 2020, with my exhibition Negative Space opening on 5 March 2020 at CCAS Manuka. A second show that I am curating as the recipient of CAPO’s EASS Curatorial Award will open mid-year at the School of Art & Design gallery. I also plan on making the most of my AMaGA membership and attending networking events and the like!

Georgia Reed, Master of Archaeological and Evolutionary Science /Master of Museum and Heritage Studies, interned at Endangered Heritage

What did you study at University?

I graduated with a Bachelor of Archaeological Practice from ANU in 2018 and am currently undertaking a double master’s degree in Archaeological and Evolutionary Science and Museum and Heritage Studies.

Where did you intern and what was the best part of your internship?

I was an intern at Endangered Heritage, which provides conservation services to collections, museums, galleries, archives and libraries. The best part of my internship was learning different methodologies to treat a wide range of materials from experts in their field with many years of specialised experience.

Why did you decide to enter the GLAM sector?

I have always wanted to work in a field that interested me and exposed me to a variety of information and experiences. The GLAM sector encompasses such a wide range of material, which makes the sector appealing and exciting.

What are your plans when you finish university?

Once I complete my degree, I would love to travel overseas and find full-time employment either overseas or in Australia.

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