School holiday programs

by Adrienne Leith
Publish date
13 July 2011
Comments (3)

Adrienne is a Senior Programs Officer at Melbourne Museum. Adrienne, David, Bernard, Tim, Beth, Alexandra, Lisa and Sonia can be found in the Mysteries of the Nile room these winter school holidays. Come visit!

Where do you find six kilometres of antique gold thread? 9,000 fake jewels? A printing company that embosses gold onto paper and is affordable? Egyptian palm trees? How do you make ancient Egyptian costumes when they really wore very little?

Being a materials expert and quantity surveyor should be on the job description for Programs Officers who develop and deliver the school holiday programs at Melbourne Museum. Once the team has done the fun bit of thinking up what will be educational and fun, it’s a nail biting time searching for materials, doing lots of calculations, working with designers, talking to suppliers, writing requisitions, praying for timely arrivals of the orders, training our wonderful volunteers and communicating to everyone else what’s coming up. And that’s before the holidays begin.

D-day arrives. Or is that H-day? From the start of the holiday period, there are day-by-day questions – will we run out of anything? Should we reorder and when? Can we afford it? Why are so many people turning up? Why is that little girl back again – wasn’t she in just yesterday? (How many pendants has she actually made so far?)

Sonia's pendants Beautifully coloured and bejewelled pharaoh pectoral pendants made by holiday program participants.
Image: David Perkins
Source: Museum Victoria

Last holidays our visitors made 7,000 postcards. In summer, 11,650 earth capsules. We’re planning on 9,000 pharaoh pectoral pendants being made these holidays. And for every 3 – 12 year old that makes a pendant, there will also be grandparents, prams and babies, mums and dads, big sisters and brothers, all  in the school holiday program space. The Mysteries of the Nile room is packed, with kids busy writing hieroglyphs and creating their pendants, donning costumes and posing Egyptian style, reading books and playing games, watching a mummification show and even wrestling Nile crocodiles.

Kids in holiday program Kids enjoying the school holiday program.
Source: Museum Victoria

Is it worth it? Do we love it? More importantly, do they love it? We’ve been asking people what they think. “We come here every school holidays at least once because the kids love doing these activities. They are just great”.  They can reel off all of the things they’ve made in the past few years and it’s satisfying to hear. “What you’ve done is provide people with something to do, somewhere to sit if you need to be quiet, a fun corner for costumes and an educational show”. The parents 'get it’ and the kids love it.


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Comments (3)

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Alice 13 July, 2011 12:38
Great work museum Program Officers!
Robyn B 13 July, 2011 14:17
It is great to see the children wearing their pectorals so proudly around the Museum. They look terrific! Well done!
Nikki G 22 July, 2011 12:38
love your work! Fantastic to read of the variety and challenge in the things you all do.
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Updates on what's happening at Melbourne Museum, the Immigration Museum, Scienceworks, the Royal Exhibition Building, and beyond.