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Deakin University student Trinity Gurich reflects on her internship at the Gold Museum

As an intrepid emerging professional of the museum industry, I am all too familiar with the horror stories of being used as backfill or of being pressured into a crazy sense of overexertion that are prompted by the word ‘internship’.

Trinity Gurich (right) experiencing 1850s life at Sovereign Hill with fellow Deakin University intern Danni Roberts

Trinity Gurich (right) experiencing 1850s life at Sovereign Hill with fellow intern Danni Roberts

On the first day of my internship, I rolled myself out of bed at an ungodly hour in the middle of winter to get a tram to Melbourne’s Southern Cross Station to travel to Ballarat. I then caught a taxi to get to the Gold Museum.

I thought that there was no way that any internship would ever be worth such hassle. I was instantly and irrevocably proven wrong.

I worked on the exhibition Wonderful Things, which celebrates the Gold Museum’s 40th anniversary. Not only have I been shown the ropes of the curatorial process, but under the assuring guidance of curator Snjez Cosic, I have actually put pen to paper (or in this case, pencil – no pens in the storeroom, c’mon guys) and had a go!

Objects lists, object labels, measuring and photographing catalogue numbers galore and more Microsoft Word tables than I thought possible, perhaps dull for some, but as a student desperate to develop skills, every day felt like Christmas.

Working with the Gold Museum’s collection has been more fun than I could have ever possibly anticipated.

Don’t let the name fool you, the Gold Museum has it all! Shark-teeth swords from the Pacific, a tortoise skull, Chinese textiles, garter guns, 200 year old dresses and weird bits of hair in frames, you name it, the Gold Museum probably has it – and it’s all coming out for the Wonderful Things exhibition.

As an intern, helping on this project was a goldmine. The range of practical skills and experiences gained from working across such a diverse collection are priceless. I honed my ability to research objects, spending hours trawling online for like pieces, and was given a voice to tell the stories of this unique collection.

Through the objects, I was able to interpret some of the incredible histories of the region and the people who have called it home (even sticking to the word limit… mostly).

In an office of supportive mentors, I was exposed to the workings of a regional museum; questions were always welcomed and answered generously and I was made to feel part of the team.

I am incredibly thankful to Michelle Smith, Snjez Cosic and Liz Marsden for welcoming me into their golden little world and strengthening my passion for this industry.

Trinity Gurich is completing her Master of Cultural Heritage at Deakin University. The Gold Museum internship is funded by the Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI)

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