Lending a hand at National Services Te Paerangi

By Emma Philpott, Content and Resource Adviser | Kaitohutohu Rauemi, National Services Te Paerangi

Like many cultural sector organisations across New Zealand, National Services Te Paerangi (NSTP) is able to stretch our limited resources further with the assistance of some fantastic volunteers, and additionally we encourage placements and internship opportunities to involve those coming into the sector an opportunity to learn about and contribute to our mahi.

The annual National Volunteer Week (17 – 23 June 2018) is an opportunity to acknowledge those who support our organisations and the communities we work with. It seemed timely to elevate the voices of the people occupying the hot seats in our corner of Te Papa – window seats with views to Wellington city no less!

Our current cohort comprises of Catherine Keating, NSTP Kaituao | Volunteer, Maddi Mctavish, Girl Museum Junior Girl, Laureen Sadlier, VUW Heritage Studies student on placement and Miranda Clement, NSTP Kaituao | Volunteer.

I’ll let them explain how they fit in:

 (l – r) Catherine Keating, Maddi Mctavish, Laureen Sadlier, Miranda Clement

Catherine Keating, Kaituao | Volunteer, National Services Te Paerangi

I have been volunteering one day a week for NSTP for about four years.

What are your responsibilities?

My role includes secretarial duties for the team meeting each week, preparing resources and workshop material to send out to sector, and other administration support for the team.

Explore the He Rauemi Resource Guides

What have you learnt from working with NSTP?

I now understand the wide scope of the work NSTP does, developing and providing resources, delivering a variety of workshops, providing grants and building strong relationships to support iwi, galleries and museums throughout New Zealand.

Why is it important to you to volunteer?

I want to participate in growing the sense of community in New Zealand.  NSTP supports iwi, smaller museums and collections around the country to provide opportunities for people to explore New Zealand culture, natural history and contemporary issues. Volunteering in NSTP lets me do some practical things that helps these organisations to provide their communities with inclusive and safe opportunities to learn, share their ideas and tell their stories.

Maddi Mctavish, Junior Girl, Girl Museum

I joined Girl Museum in February 2018 and joined the tight-knit team that is working the revival of online exhibition Kiwi Chicks in collaboration with NSTP.

The exhibition works hand in hand with museum and archival institutions to showcase and encourage the digitisation of collections related to the history of girls in New Zealand. With the 125th anniversary of New Zealand’s ground-breaking suffrage movement, Girl Museum and NSTP are celebrating by reviving Kiwi Chicks with a new exhibition, Girls of Significance | Kōhine tāpua which celebrates those who have created positive social change for women and New Zealand with a girl-hood lens.

Women’s history is gaining traction for what we are able to see compared to what we were able to view years ago. The history of girls still needs its’ own spotlight and that’s what we’re accomplishing.

Find out more about the Girls of Significance | Kōhine tāpua exhibition

What are your responsibilities?

I work at Te Papa on Wednesdays and Thursdays, handling the administration side of the exhibition between Girl Museum, NTSP and contributing institutions, while researching Te Papa’s own collection for hidden gems related to girlhood in New Zealand.

What is one thing you’ve learnt during your time with NSTP?

Good things come to those who wait, but they can take longer to find. I thoroughly enjoy combing through Te Papa’s collections to find cool, unblemished articles from someone’s life.

Why did you decide to intern with Girl Museum?

I first heard about Girl Museum though a previous Junior Girl at a time where I was unsure of where I wanted to pivot myself, or what I wanted to do with my life. I had to make the decision whether I wanted to pursue a Master’s degree in Museum Studies, or to turn down the offer of study, and reach out to Girl Museum to ask for an internship, not knowing whether I would be accepted.

My dilemma seems so small now, but at the time taking a step into the unknown to try and improve my future career the way I wanted to was daunting. But taking that first step was the best decision I ever made.

What do you hope to gain out of it?

I’m almost halfway through my time at NTSP and I’ve already gained so much perspective on the intricacies behind museum doors and I’ve come to respect the work of Girl Museum and National Services. I want to gain as much experience as I can, and take what I’m learning and applying to whatever comes next in my life. I can’t recommend the experience enough.

Laureen Sadlier, student placement, Victoria University Wellington Museum and Heritage Studies Post Graduate programme

Ko Hikurangi te maunga
Ko Waiapu to awa
Ko Tinatoka te marae
Ko Te Whanau a Uruahi te hapu
Ko Ngati Porou, Ngati Manu, Kai Tahu nga iwi
Ko Laureen Sadlier toku ingoa

My name is Laureen Sadlier, I am the Registrar at Pataka Art + Museum where I have worked for the last six years. I am here at NSTP for a mere four weeks and I am very lucky to currently occupy a window desk on the second floor of Te Papa with NSTP.

 What are you working on?

My project is to research and write a draft discussion paper on the strategic alignment of the Tūhonohono ī nga Taonga ā Iwi conference to the function and aims of the Nga Manu Atarau directorate to enable informed discussion about ongoing investment in the conference.

What will you take away from your time with NSTP?

What I will take away as a learning from this experience is the important work NSTP provides to iwi through the bi-annual conference Tūhonohono i ngā Taonga ā Iwi, a conference that brings iwi together to discuss iwi aspirations, celebrate and inform others about their successes in building whare taonga and enabling iwi to meet with cultural services personnel.

Find out more about the 2017 Tūhonohono conference

Why did you decide to take up this opportunity?

I took this placement so I could observe and engage with other areas of the museum sector outside of the museum and gallery space.

Miranda Clement, Kaituao | Volunteer, National Services Te Paerangi

 I have been volunteering with NSTP for about a month and a half.

What do you do at NSTP?

I work in the office every Tuesday afternoon, with my primary responsibility being managing the NSTP email inbox. I also have begun the task of sending out evaluation surveys for various workshops NSTP runs and creating reports with the resulting data.

What is one thing you’ve learnt during your time at NSTP?

Even within my short time here I’ve learned the importance of working together and sharing knowledge. Not only does it build relationships between people and organisations, but when you can share knowledge between museums, galleries and iwis, everyone can benefit. The Expert Knowledge Exchange programme I think really demonstrates this idea, but even within the office there are lots of opportunities to learn and grow. I hope to be able to take advantage of the opportunities and to give back!

Find out more about the Expert Knowledge Exchange programme

Why is it important to you to volunteer?

I’ve always enjoyed volunteering and being able to learn new things that I wouldn’t necessarily have had the opportunity to do. From helping out at arts events by sewing a tent in the shape of a wave, to puppy socialization classes, and even wrapping presents for charity at Christmas time. I think it’s important to branch out and learn new things.

Find out more about National Volunteer Week