What is your speciality area?
My academic background is in Ancient History and Egyptology so my main specialty area is actually Old Kingdom and First Intermediate Period history. But, at the Museum I work mostly with our Australian and International arts and design collection – which spans everything from furniture, fashion, textiles and graphic design to archaeology, glass, ceramics and jewellery. I also dabble in the work of the aviation pioneer Lawrence Hargrave.
What is your favourite object in the collection?
Well, there are a few. I love haute couture and the Museum’s fashion collection, especially the Balenciaga evening dress and Christian Lacroix shoes. For obvious reasons, I’m also attached to our small and select archaeology collection including our Egyptian ushabtis figures, Greek amphora vase and collection of daily life objects from Medieval and Roman Britain. I must also add the Thomas Hope Egyptian Revival suite and Tejo Remy’s chest of drawers made by Droog. Actually, you better watch this space – my list seems to grow daily!
What piece of research or exhibition are you most proud of in your career at the Museum?
In 2007 I researched and documented the Museum’s Lawrence Hargrave collection and was able to expose the many thought patterns and processes involved behind his work for the first time. This man was not just ingenious for his contributions towards the first powered, controlled flight with his box kites (you can see the replicas of these hanging above Locomotive No 1 in the Museum), but he experimented with pretty much everything – engines, animal movement and propulsion, steam turbines, curved and flat surfaces and solar heating! I also loved my involvement with the development of the Powerhouse Discovery Centre: Collection Stores at Castle Hill.