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The Curator for a Day Project

In 2007, as part of the Water Smart Home project, Museum Victoria worked with staff and a select group of students from the Williamstown Environmental Neighbourhood Cluster on the Curator for a Day Project. The Curator for a Day project was specifically created for the Williamstown Cluster with three clear aims in mind:

1. To respond to the acknowledged need to engage with this age group about issues relating to the environment, specifically water usage, in a different and dynamic way.
2. To give students further insight into museums, the roles of a curator with regard to the acquisition process.
3. To prompt students to think about the roles and functions of a museum in society and introduce the concept of contemporary collecting.

Over three half-day sessions the selected group of students were given a behind-the-scenes experience of Museum Victoria and an insight into the object acquisition process. Students were divided into acquisition groups. Each group was required to nominate at least one water related household or garden object for acquisition. The groups were then required to complete an acquisition proposal for each nominated object and present the proposals at a 'mock' acquisitions meeting held at Melbourne Museum. The students comprised the acquisitions committee, which was chaired by Museum Victoria Senior Curator David Demant, and were required to assess each of the objects according to a specially devised assessment matrix/rubric. The items were ranked by the students for the purpose of acquiring the highest ranked objects. However, at the conclusion of the 'mock' acquisition meeting David Demant recommended that all of the nominated objects be acquired by Museum Victoria.

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