Thursday, December 29, 2011

This time last year....

This time last year, if I'd imagined where I'd be in 12 months, I daresay it would have caused a little flutter of disappointment and the thought 'more of the same'.

If someone had told me this time last year that in 12 months I'd be living in Fremantle, have a permanent job at a World Heritage Site, and have bought a house, I probably would have laughed (but inwardly cheered, and gone 'yippee!'). I could never have imagined the last 12 months, but by god I'm glad they happened!

I can't help myself - I love variety and I love change. Those two years at the NMA working on Landmarks, while good years, were indistinguishable one from the other. How horrifying! 2010 was, in fact, the first time I started the year doing the same job I ended it on. Ever.

I like to think that I am treading a path where variety and suprise and an ever-changing journey are being balanced by moving forwards, and still achieving something worthwhile and concrete. The idea of 'settling down' in one place terrifies me. I can't imagine it. But I'm happy to spend enough time somewhere to get to know it, to love it, but then also to leave it. I don't know where my final home will be. I suspect I might never have one. It's enough to settle down for a while, to experience something new, to learn about myself and my surroundings, and then to move on.

Home is important, don't get me wrong, but there is nowhere I've come across that feels like a forever home. Not yet, anyway. Instead it's a place in my heart with my husband, and wherever we go, together, it feels like home. I do need the solid home base - there's no way I could couch-surf while trying to hold down a full-time job, or live out of a suitcase while trying to live 9-5. I need the stability of a good home, but I know I'll always end up leaving.

Such an inability to commit to settling down seems odd from someone who grew up in the one house until moving out at 18; went to the same primary school, and only 2 high schools (and that's coz they kicked me out of the first one!). I'm like some weird hybrid of a nomad and a settler. But it helps to keep life interesting. And in that spirit, I wish you all a wonderful new year, and many blessings for 2012. Who knows where we'll all be in 12 months time hey!

Saturday, December 10, 2011


Wow, the landscape changed dramatically last week, when my boss announced on Monday that she was resigning, effective Friday. Phwoar!

This was good news to me for several reasons, but the one that I am going to focus on from now is about the future. I hope the past will stay put behind me, and not rear its ugly head. Perth is a small town, apparently too small to go around making enemies, but I think my boss and I pretty much burned all our bridges this last week of our working relationship. Never mind, like I said, from now on it's all about the future!

I get to act in the position of Curator until they recruit for it, and as they need to sort some other stuff out first that will more than likely be between 4-6 months. I'm banking on 4, and going to direct my energies to achieving at least one major goal in that time, as well as hopefully kicking several small ones as well. If I get extra time then it's a bonus.

I'm under no illusion that the job will be handed to me in recruitment, but nor will I shy away from applying for it. I hope to be a strong contender for the role, but whatever happens, these next few months are a fabulous opportunity to sink my teeth into some really satisfying work. The chance to punch above my weight would never have been forthcoming had I stayed in Canberra - there you work above your level but never get a chance to do it officially, not unless you've jumped some serious hoops or somebody dies to make room up the top. This is an amazing opportunity.

Things seem to be falling into place for me right now with almost miraculous synchronicity. I'm intrigued by how it will play out in the new year!

PS I also passed Level 4 with PRD, which seemed to be the equivalent of CRDL's Orange Star testing, and that means I can bout with the league in the new year. Huzzah!

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Power to the (derby) people

Team Australia is currently in Toronto, Canada, kicking arse at the Roller Derby World Cup. Every time my husband rings me I excitedly tell him what team those amazing ladies have trounced now - and anyone who knows me, knows that I'm the last person to be giving score updates, for any sport (ok, except derby!). So far they have beaten Germany, Finland, and Scotland, and are seeded 4th. I think they will finish up in the Top 3 for sure.

The team features not one but FOUR skaters from Canberra Roller Derby League (CRDL), which was my home league until I moved over here. Makes me realise what a great group of women I learned to skate under. They are hard-working, dedicated, and most of all FUN to skate with. I have realised that not all leagues are like this.

In WA there are two Leagues based in Perth, and they both struggle for numbers. It makes it hard to field competitive players if you struggle just to put together a home team. Being so far away makes a huge difference too. These girls are taught to skate by non-derby people, particularly men. I have skated with both PRD and WARD, and been in sessions taken by boys that have no idea what they're talking about - a speed skater advising us all to kick up our legs (low block, anyone?), or the artistic skater who stands straight-legged and yells at us all to "Get in derby stance, NOW!". I don't get it. The only boy who ever took a session when I skated with CRDL was Ref Fink, and let's face it he's amazing! He also skates derby (or merby, as it's known!) and knows his shit.

I feel resentful that I have to take orders from people who don't know derby, and feel that surely we're not THAT desperate over here? Maybe these people have something to offer, sure, but for one session max - not continuously. What about skills within the League? Are there any jam skaters or speed skaters or bladers in there? Who knows. All I can say after seeing the standard of PRD, which formed around the same time as CRDL, is that isolation does make a huge difference in skill level.

Also the ethos is different, but that's to be expected. People over here don't want to train more than twice a week - fair enough, I'm pretty sure that there were some girls at CRDL who didn't want to train 3 times a week. But if you want that spot on the team when they roll out onto the track you do whatever it takes to get there. You strive to improve.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not slagging off the WA skaters, I'm just saying that it is different. I'm sure joining any league would have been different. But CRDL fielding 4 skaters in a team of 20, playing at international level, gives you some indication of the skill level I have been used to (please don't mistake me - there's no way I'm saying that I'M at that skill level - ha ha! No way!). I certainly feel very lucky to have learned from these skaters, who can now honestly claim to be some of the best in the world. And I feel a little sad about what I have lost coming over here.

But you know what, today it was 36 degrees and I went to the beach and had a swim in that gorgeous blue-green Indian Ocean, and I remembered why I wanted to move here all those months ago!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Conference Papers

This evening I was on the train heading home with a former colleague from the NMA, and we were talking about the conference we'd spent all week at. It was the Museums Australia 2011 conference, and there had been a whole variety of papers given. I was telling my friend about how I found the papers that were all about "This is what I did, this is what worked for me, this is what didn't" rather boring, and irrelevant. My preference was for papers that either made me think philosophically, or that linked back to something I found useful - like, "This is what I did, this is what worked, this is how YOU Can do something similar".

There was a guy sitting across from us on the train who decided to butt into our conversation, and told me that I was being selfish and intellectually lazy by expecting that from other papers. I couldn't really get much of the gist of his argument, because the train noise overrode most of what he was saying, but I found him to be a bit rude and arrogant, not least of all for butting into our conversation in the first place! I actually was quite reasonable towards him, explained my thoughts, he argued with me, and then I said that we were all entitled to our own opinion, at which point he seemed to take offense and chose to withdraw from the dialogue. Fine. I continued my conversation and the rest of the train journey was uneventful.

Mind you now I'm fuming. He has left me with a bad taste in my head, so rather than stewing about it I am going to try and articulate what it is that, for me, makes a good conference paper.

First and foremost, it has to be thought-provoking. I go to conferences and choose the sessions I go to based on the subject matter. I want to expose myself to material that I can engage with, and apply to my own practise. Now, that doesn't mean I'm looking for a "How-to", what I want is something that makes me think. It could be philosophical, it could be practical, but either way I think a good conference paper can be applicable even if it's because it gets your brain muscle working, or it makes you question previoulsy held assumptions, or it seems like a really great idea and you'd like to apply some part of it to your own situation.

Secondly, the presentation has to be good. Just reading off a piece of paper in a rapid-fire manner is awful, as is the sleep-inducing monotone. Equally bad are those who are completely unaware of time, and at the 5-minute warning attempt to cram in the remaining three-quarters of their paper.

A good presenter is familiar with their material, has a strong argument, makes eye contact, and speaks in a clear voice. A great presenter can do all that, and without the need of notes - those are rare but wonderful, allowing you a full engagement with the content.

Even papers that might simply be a recounting of a project can be worthwhile, if they make you think about the bigger picture. For example, one of the papers I saw was about establishing a tourist trail for the Tin Horse Highway in the rural town of Kulin, WA. Though it was largely the Interpretation Officer recounting the history of the sculptures and the Shire's plans for the project, it was interesting because of the story it told about community, the challenges of inetrpreting something in order to attract tourists, and also the issues of conserving the objects. Though not directly relevant to my own work, it still made me think. In that respect, to me it was a successful paper.

A less successful paper was one I saw yesterday, and you know what, I can't even remember what it was about! I could go to my Program and look it up, but I figure if I can't remember the content the next day it's probably not worth remembering! It's quite possible that the main problem was the monotone adopted by the speaker, a droning hum that made me want to go to sleep. Snore! Another less successful paper was one that talked about a now-non-existant display at the NMA from 10 yeasr ago - yes, the one that excited all the controversy at opening. But it's been 10 years - can we not get over it? That was the general gist of feeling among the NMA curators present, and I agreed with them.

As for my paper, well, it was a bit controversial really. At least, I thought it was - I was comparing Phar Lap's remains to saint relics. The session was chaired by a Benedictine monk - awkward! Unfortunately, rather than generating debate in the question time, all I got was testimonies - about how popular his heart and hide were, about how someone had been on holidays and gone out of their way to see him and what a wonderful experience that had been. So they just kind of proved my point. And maybe my paper wasn't successful either, because it didn't make people think - though I had some more interesting one-on-one feedback from audience members throughout the day, which makes me think maybe it wasn't unsuccessful after all.

But yes, as for my friend on the train - I wish I had been able to articulate to him that going to a conference is not about being an intellectually lazy receptacle, but about being stimulated, whether it's by pure ideas or useful application, or a combination of both. It's about engaging in the content of your industry, and coming away inspired and ready to take up arms again with a renewed enthusiasm. Either that or I wish I'd just told him to butt out and mind his own business!

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Really real estate!

Above: The photo of the south-facing front from the listing on

Wow, it looks like Clinton and I have entered the property market at last!

Our offer on a property has been accepted, and we are now under contract - conditional financial approval has been given, and now it's just the fiddly stuff. I'm trying not to think on it too much, as I know things can still go wrong and it's not a done deal yet - though obviously I'm comfortable enough to put it on the internet for everyone to see, ahem!

The house needs quite a bit of cosmetic work, but it's structurally sound. It's ex-Dept of Housing, and the previous tenants look like they left in a huff - there are some holes kicked and punched into walls, and in one area it looks kind of like someone brought a wet muddy dog into the house and it shook itself all over the walls! But this can all be easily fixed. I am looking forward to it. And yes, everyone who sees the photos thinks it looks just like out Ainslie house!

Above: Lovely original 1950s kitchen, with an east-facing window. Under all that linoleum are jarrah floorboards!

I woke up yesterday having a minor freak-out, thinking that perhaps entering into a massive mortgage when my husband doesn't even have a job in this state yet might be a crazy and ridiculous thing to do. My flatmate pointed out that she's said that to me a couple of times. I was like, "Really?" Clearly I only listen to what I want to hear!

But after speaking with Clinton I realised that it would be ok, and this was probably just a last-minute flutter of nerves. I mean, it's not like I didn't recognise the situation beforehand, I just never recognised it as an ISSUE, if you know what I mean.

Above: the overgrown north-facing backyard (though this photo is taken facing south, towards the house). It is a 749m2 block, with plenty of room for the dog and chickens. Also, the Local Govt have the most relaxed chicken laws of any LGA in the Fremantle area - I checked before I came over! This may well be the world's most expensive chicken house!

Overall I feel super-pumped about this new chapter in our lives. I think C is feeling positive too, though it will all only come together properly when he gets a job and moves over here.

Last time we moved house (into the Ainslie place) he said to me, "Let's never move house again." Well, we may never be able to realistically say that, but at least this time we'll be moving into our very own HOME!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Maiden Aunt

So, here I am, the third adult in a family household. It's an interesting dynamic, but it seems to be working for all of us. I can be an extra pair of hands when needed to mind the baby so mum can have a shower or run his bath, I contribute financially to a single-income family by paying rent, and I also help out by cooking and doing housework. Every family should have this 'Maiden Aunt' figure.

Of course the situation also works to my advantage. I'm living with a dear friend and getting to know her son, her partner, and his children. All this has made my transition to WA so much more bearable than it would otherwise have been. But that's not the point of this post. The point of this post is to rail against the ridiculous social construct that is the nuclear family.

How much more sensible to adhere to the old adage that 'it takes a village to raise a child', rather than putting the responsibility onto two people alone. Within this two-person dynamic the roles are generally quite clearly delineated, between bread-winner and carer. The bread-winner is usually the man - let's face it, their greater earning potential means that it just makes sense. The responsibilities for financially supporting an entire family falls to one person. The other person, meantime, is left with the care and responsibility for a growing child or children. This is hard work, and is generally not recognised as such. A greater share of domestic responsibility then falls on that person - as well as looking after the child/ren they are also often tasked with cooking, cleaning, the constant loads of laundry, and otherwise running a household.

It's here too that the finer dynamics between couples might come into play - if the woman is being financially supported by the man she may feel that her only contribution is in taking on those additional domestic responsibilities. But while the bread-winner can come home and put work behind them for the day, the carer's work is almost never-ending.

I know that this is just one way of doing things, and maybe describing this as the 'typical' situation means it doesn't really reflect the uniqueness of any situation. Obviously people switch things up and come to arangements that suit them as individuals, but geez it looks like hard work from the outside.

I like my small involvement in this family's life. I like sharing the day-to-day with them, and I love being able to help out my friend, and feel that overall I am helping to make life easier for everyone, rather than being an imposition or an unwelcome guest in their home. I'm not saying that I have suddenly swooped in and made everything so much easier all of a sudden - I'm no Mary Poppins. I am, after all, imposing on a family dynamic, and that comes with its own complexities. But all things considered, I think having more than two adults taking responsibility for a household and a family does make things easier.

It seems that polygamy does actually make sense in this context, and in a way it's the shared blood ties that would provide the family lubricant and allow it to all come together. Similarly with the maiden aunt example. As they say, 'blood is thicker than water'. But I would question this. After all, my friend and I are not bonded by blood, but I don't need that to motivate me to help her out. And I in turn have another friend, a woman who has been in my life for many years, with no kids of her own, and she helps me out - as a friend, a mentor, maybe like a spiritual aunt, though there are no blood ties between us.

I think what our society needs is to look at broader ways of being. The sharing of responsibilities among many not only makes life easier but just makes sense. And really, the idea that you can only rely on family is redundant in this day and age of global communities. As for me, if I ever do breed, I hope I can have a maiden aunt of my own!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Blog Makeover

Would that be a blogover? Anyway, have changed the template to reflect this new, sandy WA phase of my life - it just looked too lush and green and like Tonga before. Hope you like the new look!


I realised today that I actually really like roller derby. I enjoy watching it, I enjoy training for it and playing it. Moving to Perth might have been a convenient time to give it up, especially after I didn't really gel with the first group of skaters I trained with. But due to my rather spontaneous decision to buy myself a car in my second week here I can now training with the amazing ladies of Perth Roller Derby!

I felt immediately welcomed by the group of skaters (especially since we'd already gone for beers my first weekend here!), and appreciate their ethos of 'sport over spectacle.' I feel like this is a League I'd be proud to join. Have only trained with them twice so far, but I've got a good feeling about it!

In other news, there seems to be a lot of moving happening in my life right now. In 3 weeks my housemates are moving into their new home - their very OWN home - and I will in all likelihood be moving with them. The week following that I'll be moving offices. Might not seem like such a big deal, but jesus CHRIST there is a buttload of paperwork in my office! I have been ignoring it on the grounds that it's not MY paperwork per se, but it seems I'll have to sort through it prior to the move. Dammit. If there's one thing I hate more than my own paperwork, it's the paperwork that falls to me by default!

Saturday, October 08, 2011


It's all fun and games, until you find yourself face to face with a plughole full of your housemate's hair, or you are woken up at 5:30 am every morning by their kids. It's then that I begin to think that I am really too old for sharehousing, even in the short term.

See, I'm old, I'm set in my ways. I like my kitchens clean and my drains unblocked. I like the option of sleeping in on weekends. I'm tired of picking up coughs and colds that the little kids bring home. In many respects what it comes down to is that I just want to do things MY way. On the other hand it's a really nice companionable relationship when it works, and it is meant to be just for the short term. I guess all these early mornings have impacted on my sang froid, and I'm feeling a bit tired and crabby.

This will be the second time I have broken my vow never to live in a sharehouse again. First there was Tonga (and wasn't moving house 5 times over there so much fun!), now there's WA. Once I am settled out of the current situation (however that eventuates) I won't be making any more hasty promises about whether or not I attempt sharehousing in the future. I know better now!

Friday, September 09, 2011

Eeep! - OMG! - Hmmm, nice - OMG!

Friday 2nd September: "Not even the perfumed blossoms of a Canberra spring could induce me to stay in this place! Ho for Freo!"

Saturday 3rd September: "Oh my God, what have I done?!"

Sunday 4th September: "Ah, sunny Fremantle, God's own country - Yep, I think I'll like it here."

Monday 5th September: "Oh dear GOD what have I DONE???"

And thus the roller-coaster continues...

Friday, July 29, 2011


This time next week I'll be in London - woohoo! I'm really looking forward to this trip - I just have to remember not to overplan. Ok, so I've booked and paid for ALL our accommodation, as well as our train tickets to and from Oxford and Salisbury. And I have a list of stuff I want to see, along with -ahem- suggested days for each activity. But in my defense - there's so much I want to see, no point deciding to go to the Ashmolean Museum on a Monday when it turns out it's not open on Mondays, right? Oh whatever, so I like to plan - big deal! The key is not to OVERPLAN. And despite what it sounds like, I don't think I have overplanned this trip (yet!).

Of course, after the big trip comes the big change - moving to WA. Eeep! Last weekend I went to Derby Camp in Melbourne (which was freakin' awesome!), and I was fortunate to meet ladies from both WARD and PRD, so I am not stressing out so much about which League I end up joining now. It also re-inspired the derby love, so now I'm planning on taking my skates with me OS, and have already organised a skate with the Yukon Roller Girls (Whitehorse, Canada), and am hoping to skate with the London Rockinrollers as well. We're also going to a bout while in London to see the London rep team (London Brawling) take on reigning WFTDA champions, Rocky Mountain Fight Club (see how good planning can be? ;-p), which should be awesome.

But back to the big move. I have to be honest and say I'm really not looking forward to being apart from my husband for such a long time. His work have asked him to stay on here until at least January next year, which, though flattering for him, is a bit disappointing. I was kind of hoping that we could take this next step in our lives together. But realistically, he hasn't yet seen any jobs out west that interest him, so he would probably have been staying on in Canberra for several months anyway. And on the plus side, it really takes the pressure off finding a place over there, as there's no hurry to get out of this house. Plus I can stay with a really good friend while I look around, so I have kind of landed on my feet with this one and I shouldn't complain!

You know what's weird, is that when I landed my job in Canberra back in late 2005, my then-partner of 5 1/2 years planned to get a job in Canberra and come join me, but 3 weeks after I got here he dumped me. Seems like an eerily similar situation - I go on ahead while my partner (of 5 1/2 years!) stays behind until he can find a job in the new town. Not that I'm in any way worried it will end the same way, but still, it's a strange coincidence!

It felt good saying goodbye to the Museum. This is the 3rd time I'm leaving that place, and it really is on my own terms this time. I'll miss the CRDL girls, a few in particular, but at least I get to do derby in WA. Plus I get to be WARM!

Hey, what do you know - I'm feeling positive about it all again. So here's to change!

Friday, July 01, 2011

The Derby Dabbler

I've spent all day reading Bonnie D. Stroir's blog and it has a common theme with other derby blogs I've come across, and that is a complete and unadulterated love for derby. And I just don't feel that. I mean yeah, it's great fun, and I really enjoy it - but it hasn't changed my life the way it seems to have changed the lives of others.

Maybe I'm just a derby dabbler, or maybe I'll never put all my eggs into one basket like that. In fact, sometimes I resent having to spend so much of my life at training, or being involved in the work of making derby happen, but I keep doing it because ultimately it's fun. But it's not the Most.Fun.Thing.I've.Eva.Done. Is that bad? Should I love derby more?

My team captain has a pretty good attitude. Derby is just one thing in her life, certainly not The Only Thing That Matters. She's mentioned that she has a lower threshold than others seem to about putting derby ahead of other things in their lives. I mean, she loves it, and she's on our rep team as well as being our Captain. It just seems her attitude is a bit - healthier? Less obsessed? Less sucked into The Cult of Roller Derby ? Not sure.

When I went to Tonga with all the young idealistic volunteers I heard a lot of people saying they'd been waiting their whole lives for this, that it was gonna be life-changing and they just needed it at that point in their life so much. I couldn't really identify with that, either. Maybe it's the cynic in me.

I just found out that the Perth Derby league is located a whopping 2 hours by public transport away from where I'll be living and working (sans car) in Freo. I'm really not sure that my committment level is that great, to be honest. I mean, that means getting home after 11pm from a training session, and that's IF all the connections are spot-on. At the moment that just seems too much of a commute for me to contemplate. I'm wondering if moving west might be the end of my derby journey. I know I'm a fickle mistress, and my enthusiasm has waxed and waned on this blog. I always thought of roller derby as being for a good time not a long time, so we'll see...

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Pics from last bout

The Brindabelters

We focused heavily on swarming the opposition, so working really strongly as a pack to shut down the other team

One of my proudest moments - getting the opposition jammer out of bounds all by myself!

Some Surly Griffin elevator doors closing, with me in the middle - ouch!

Super happy FeMaelstrom!

(A big thank you to HeMaelstrom for taking the photos! xx)

Thursday, June 02, 2011

A big week

This has been a pretty huge week for me.

On Saturday night my derby team, the Brindabelters, won our bout. It was the first win ever for the Belters, and it was an amazing feeling to be part of that victory. I was really pleased with the way I played. I think we have a very strong blocking team, as well as three pretty outstanding jammers, and ultimately it was our team work that helped to get us over the line. We worked as a very effective pack, swarming the opposition jammer together to shut them down. It’s a lesson I think VRDL taught us very well!

And, as it turns out, that was my last bout with the Brindabelters – because I got a job! I have been offered a permanent job in Fremantle, WA, as the Assistant Curator at Fremantle Prison, a convict-era jail.

This is pretty huge news. It means I’ll be packing up my life in Canberra and moving to WA for the foreseeable future. Luckily not only do they have two derby leagues in the area, but I have a very good friend living there, so at least I will know someone when I get there. C will take a little longer to head over, as he needs to find a decent job first.

And tonight our exhibition opens. I can’t believe how quickly the two years I’ve been working on it has passed, the last 12 months in particular. It feels like such an achievement, and in a way is reminiscent of our victory on Saturday night. Working together, as a team, we have made this happen. It’s not everyone who has the opportunity to work on a multi-million dollar permanent gallery in their career, and I feel very lucky to have had this opportunity.

Leaving Canberra will be sad, but I do feel ready to go. I’m excited about this next stage in my life and career, and feel very positive about how things are at the moment. So tonight, I’ll don a nice frock and stand in the crowds while the VIPs make their speeches and the higher-ups get the praise, but I’ll be holding a glass of champagne, and celebrating every one of my recent victories!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Much better now!

Ok, now I'm over the initial disappointment I am feeling much more positive about everything! This is the perfect excuse to get out of Canberra, which is an exciting prospect in itself. I actually quite like life-changing shifts (as long as nobody dies), though I do struggle to avoid knee-jerk reactions to changes in already established patterns - like C changing jobs, or me having to move desks or something. But I am quite an adaptable person, and I always manage to cope!

I have seen a few curatorial jobs advertised in the last month or so (all outside Canberra, too!), which definitely gives me a sense of hope about staying in the industry. I think the thing that made me feel the most sorry for myself was the idea that I'd invested all this time and energy in a career as a curator and it looked like I might need to quit the industry altogether due to a lack of jobs, but fingers crossed I manage to land something somewhere.

Obviously wherever I end up will have to have a roller derby league, though!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Well, this is fucked

It looks like after five years of on-again off-again romance, my relationaship with the National Museum of Australia is coming to a final and conclusive end.

Due to the wonderful Efficiency Dividend many of the contract staff are not being renewed. This includes me, and, as I learned yesterday, I was also spectacularly unsuccessful in the recent recruitment round, where a lot of us fought over the two jobs they now have available. Not only did I not land one of those two jobs, but my final ranking pretty much puts me out of the running of any additional jobs that might come up.

I feel kind of like I've been dumped. That might sound melodramatic, but let me tell you that for the past five years, ever since starting at the NMA, I have been beating myself against the curatorial door trying to get an in, and I have had absolutely no luck. It's like I only get hired when there's no alternative. Yes, I have worked there for the past 2 years as a curator, but that was a back door position, because they were desperate. But I have not ever actually won a position in Curatorial via recruitment channels.

It feels like perhaps the Universe is trying to send me a message, that I should just give up on this field. Five years is a long time to bust a gut and not be any further along than when you started. There are now people in higher positions than me who have less qualifications and less time in the industry under their belts. I think that, despite being qualified and relatively experienced, it's the luck that I'm lacking.

Anyway the whole situation is fucked. I'm stuck in Canberra, there's no jobs going in this field because the Efficiency Dividend is biting everyone's arses, and there's nothing I can do. This is a town where you're either a Public Servant or you work to serve the Public Servants. I don't think my pride could take stacking shelves at Woollies.

I was thinking I might start a phd, which you need to get anywhere further than entry level in this industry (or at least at the NMA), but if I can't even win an entry level position, it makes me wonder why I'd bother investing in a phd. I already have the Masters, and that doesn't seem to have done me much good. Do I really want to devote 3-4 years to another piece of paper?

But if I let go of the idea of working in this industry, I have no idea where else I'd go, or what other field I'd try to get into. I seem to have the misfortune of actually enjoying what I do, but finding myself unable to do it.

Monday, May 02, 2011

Another derby milestone

Okay, so it's been a while. A lot of shit has gone down since my last post. I'm losing my job in mid-July and frantically trying to find something to replace it with that will make use of my Masters in Museum Studies (rather than packing shelves at Woollies), but the cultural heritage sector in Canberra is looking pretty bleak at the moment, with all other museums and galleries in the same position as the NMA, so it's not looking good.

Plus I've been training my butt off for derby, with 3 training sessions a week. I do enjoy it, but jeez it eats up your life! Still, my attitude is that if this is what's required to be a good derby skater then it's what I'll do. There's a bit of whingeing about it out there, but I feel that if people don't like it they should either quit or switch to casual skater status, and not expect to skip training sessions but still be allowed to bout. Ok, here endeth the rant!

Speaking of derby - I had my first 'big girl' bout on Saturday night, playing to a packed out audience of 1,000 people at Tuggeranong Stadium. My team, the Brindabelters, lost by 3 points, but not before we had to go into overtime because the scores were tied at 98 apiece at full time! It was a nail-bitingly close finish. I thought I'd be gutted and downcast if we lost, but once I got over the initial disappointment I was just so stoked about having played a proper bout and how well we'd actually done as a team!

Can't wait for the next bout - May 28 here we come!

Sunday, February 27, 2011


It's over - I have made my derby debut! And not only did I not puke on the track as I feared, but I actually performed quite well. In the spirit of Carnival of Carnage, where you give everything a go, I jammed twice, and got lead jammer BOTH times - not to mention nailing a 15-point power jam the first time!

The Chiko Rollers played really well as a team. We were beaten by the Hot Jammer Donuts in our first bout (57-36), but beat the Candy Caners in the second bout 115-33, so were pretty pleased with our performance. I really liked my team, not only on the track but as individuals. I am sad that from now we pretty much all go our separate ways into the League Teams, and won't get to play together again. Boo!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Carnival of Carnage!

Holy crap it's roller derby debut time! On 26 February, after 50 weeks of skating, Fresh Meat 2010 will be making their debuts at the Carnival of Carnage!

This is a low-key, family and friends only event, not open to the general public. It's designed to give us a less intimidating introduction to public bouting.

Because there's so many of us, they've divided us into not the usual two teams (the Hot Jammer Donuts and the Candy Caners), but THREE teams! And I'm a Mexican Chola - I mean, a Chiko Roller! Stoked!

We'll be playing in a round robin-type tournament, so we'll effectively be playing two 30 minute bouts on the night. The winning team will be based on points. I am terrified, and the thought of doing this - especially jamming, whcih we're all going to have a crack at - scares the HELL outta me! But I'm also pumped because I've got a really great team, and hopefully we'll keep it in perspective and just go out there and have fun with it.

I've also been drafted to a proper CRDL league team - I'm a Brindabelter! Admittedly it wasn't my first choice of team, but the girls on the team are all a pretty good bunch, and I have the opportunity to learn from some pretty kick-ass skaters, so I'm actually quite happy about it. Our first public bout will be on April 30th. Not sure if I'll be on the player roster, as we have 16 on the team and you can only field a team of 14 on bout day, but we'll see. Benching would be a pretty good experience too.

Bring on the 2011 tournament!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Pelicans are cool

I saw this fella grooming himself on a pylon on Rottnest Island the other day, during an early morning walk. He let me get very close to take these shots, and didn't in the slightest object. I could have reached out and touched him, I was so close. But I didn't because, being so close, I realised what big birds pelicans actually are!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


OK, turns out I was just overthinking things. I'm back at training, and it's great! Yay!

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Happy new year...

So, New Year's resolution for 2011 - to prioritise printing and physically albumising photographs over just making a Facebook album and letting my digital images just sit on my hard drive. Nerdy, huh? But very me.

I go back to work tomorrow. Not dreading it, so that's a good thing. What I am dreading though is returning to roller derby. Having had these 3 weeks off has been really nice. I've kind of soured on derby lately, and wonder if I really want to go back to it. Most of it comes down to the nasty world of personality politics. I don't mind the skating, but I feel quite disillusioned about the way people are relating to each other these days.

A new Executive Committee was voted in last October, and there has been the sense of a very definite regime change. Which is unfortunate, because I quite identified with the old regime, and am not sure I see myself reflected in the New World Order. Plus the last training session of last year ended with me in tears, which is something that has NEVER happened before, and it really left a bad taste in my mouth. But, I've just shelled out $60 for my annual membership to Skate Australia, so I guess I'll be going along once training resumes next Sunday and seeing how it all goes.

I wish I could just embrace it and love it the way so many other people seem to - but I'm so bloody wary and cautious, and as soon as I get the slightest whiff of emotional discomfort I just want to run away. Yet something else I blame on being an only child (lack of experience in dealing with contemporaries) - or maybe I should blame my star sign (Cancerians are famous for retreating into their crab shells when things get uncomfortable!). Anyway, I'll definitely go back, and have my debut bout, and hopefully get drafted to a team - then we'll see how things go!

Happy new year, everyone!