Opportunity knocks 2013

This year the NSW government funded 11 industry placements under the Mentorship, Fellowship and Volunteer Placement program, administered by M&G NSW. Here’s a snapshot from four of our happy customers.

Applications for 2014 are open from mid-February through to the 15 April. Are you a candidate for one of our supported placements?


Elaine Kaldy is a volunteer with the Millthorpe & District Historical Society and under the Volunteer Placement program she spent 2 weeks with the Museum of the Riverina. Elaine’s focus was to develop and extend her skills in collection management using the MOSAIC database system.

Elaine’s program explored various research techniques and the best methods of recording results into Mosaic. Registration processes were explained in terms of museum best-practice. Each day’s activities included practical hands-on tasks as well as discussion around the value of research and how it deepens a collection’s significance. 

Elaine put together an action plan to take back to Millthorpe & District Historical Society and share with her colleagues. She said of the placement “I came away from my placement with the Museum of the Riverina with a very good understanding of the importance of research and linking objects to people and events…  What a wonderful experience it was”.


Jenny Alder, archivist and volunteer co-ordinator at Lithgow Small Arms Factory Museum spent her placement with State Records Authority of NSW in Kingswood. Jenny had a strong theoretical understanding of collection management so Jenny’s program was designed to develop practical skills in handling, digitising and recording collection material. “The generosity and assistance I was given was really quite extraordinary” she said.

Jenny’s placement was broad in scope and covered a number of related areas including hands-on conservation activities, research into collection items, working with consignment lists, cataloguing and storing items and processes around digitisation and creating metadata for a content management system.

A discovery Jenny made was her enjoyment of and ability in the conservation lab. “This was the greatest benefit of the time spent at State Records…  it was an enormous crossroads for me.  To discover something new and exciting that I can build on from here is a real gift.”


Lynne Spicer, from the Lady Denman Heritage Complex Huskisson Inc. was the happy guest of the vibrant and busy Newcastle Museum. The focus of Lynne’s placement was on developing hands-on social media skills to increase and diversify the Lady Denman Heritage Complex’s social network and online presence.

Jenny’s program provided exposure to the Newcastle Museum’s programs and activities and an opportunity to write about what she experienced. Jenny spent time with key members of staff and joined their meetings and event de-briefs. She developed experience in the different writing styles for Facebook, blogging and writing media releases, the Museum providing plenty of opportunities to put these new skills into practice. Lynne says of her time with the Museum, “I got a lot from working at Newcastle Museum. To have the experience to work with such inspired passionate people on a topic close to my heart was instructive to say the least. I enjoyed all aspects of it from reading to the little ones on Tuesday Tales to the visits off-site at the storage facilities”.

To discover something new and exciting that I can build on from here is a real gift.

In October 2013 Toby Chapman undertook a three week intensive mentorship at Ruangrupa, Jakarta, Indonesia. Ruangrupa is an artist collective and non-profit arts organisation.

The M&G mentorship meant that Toby could work closely with a range of practitioners within Ruangrupa to assist with the development and delivery of the 15th Jakarta Biennale, whilst undertaking his own research into how an arts organisation can participate in cultural change within an urban environment.

Toby said of his placement, “I felt as though the mentorship was a fantastic opportunity for me. … I was able to expand my professional networks by meeting and working with a diverse range of artists and cultural practitioners. As a result of my mentorship I have already started conversations with 4 artists or artist collectives in regards to continuing research towards projects in the future”.

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