Blog

The Australian Museum - so much bigger than it seems

By: Vanessa Gardos, Category: Lifelong Learning, Date: 14 Mar 2017

In my week behind-the-scenes at the Museum, I realised that the Museum is much, much larger than I'd ever imagined.

The Australian Museum - So much bigger than it seems

The Australian Museum - So much bigger than it seems
Photographer: James Horan © Australian Museum

I chose the Australian Museum as my place of work experience because it offered a program in its Australian Museum Research Institute (AMRI). As a prospective student of a career in science, I was intrigued about the different types of research that the scientists do behind closed doors at the Australian Museum.

I spent my first day of my work experience doing various tours of the Museum, and from what I saw, the public spaces barely make up a third of the Museum. This got me thinking, how much effort does it take to run a Museum successfully and efficiently if the amount of space needed is triple what the public sees?

I spent my second day in AMRI , where I was taken in by the Ichthyology department. I found myself in the collections area where many of the fish specimens were kept in ethanol, some of them decades old! There were shelves and shelves of specimens all packed tightly in a large, temperature-controlled room and for my first glimpse of scientific research specimens, this was quite impressive.

Much of my time during the rest of the week was spent in the DigiVol lab, where the specimen collections are digitized and kept online in a database. The unexpected location if the lab surprised me as it was originally the Australian Museum driveway, indicating to me that the building had undergone many, many expansions during its history. I also learnt that the collection areas also extended underground, further reinforcing the fact that the Museum was much larger than it seemed.

My time spent at the Australian Museum gave me an insight in to the life of a Museum, and I was fortunate enough to experience it with five other work experience students. The week I spent was quite positive and I hope other work experience students in the future will be able to see this side of the Museum.

Cheryl, Work Experience Student, November 2016

In 2017, the Australian Museum (AM) will offer work experience opportunities to students in Years 10, 11 and 12. Opportunities will be offered across a variety of AM departments, including areas of the AM focussed on scientific exploration and discovery, as well as ‘behind-the-scenes’ departments such as education, public programming and exhibitions whose work relates to the general running of the AM.

The work experience program opens for applications on 13 March 2017 and closes on 7 April 2017.

For more information visit our website