Otago Museum visitor programme officer Katie Topham looks
forward to her trip to China. Photo by Peter McIntosh.
An Otago Museum staff member is heading to China to
explore new horizons for Dunedin.
Museum visitor programme officer Katie Topham leaves Dunedin
this afternoon on a two-week secondment to the Guangdong
Science Centre, in Guangzhou.
"They're the largest museum in China and they're superstars
in science programmes. I'll be a member of their team for two
weeks. I'll learn how they do things there and then bring
things back home that we could use," Miss Topham said.
"I'm very excited about it. I've never been to China before
and only speak a little bit of Chinese. I've been doing a bit
of study and learning a few new phrases every day," she said.
"Fortunately, I love Chinese food."
The exchange was established after Guangdong Science Centre
president Wang Kewei visited Dunedin for the 2010 Asia
Pacific Network of Science and Technology Centres conference.
"The Otago Museum has a fantastic reputation internationally
and we bonded with them after that conference. We're
eventually going to do exhibition exchanges with them."
Collections, research and experience director Clare Wilson
said strategic alliances helped develop museums.
"It keeps us aspirational and inspired; individually and
collectively. Offering international experiences, as well as
hosting exchangees from other places, is an excellent way to
add variety into our knowledge base," she said.
"All of the organisations the museum has exchange programmes
with are bigger than us - bigger budgets and operating in
bigger populations. But each has determined that there is
mutual benefit in partnering with us. It is an honour for our
team that they rate our museum, and us, so highly."
Otago Museum research and interpretation co-ordinator Emma
Burns returned from a three-week exchange at Shanghai Science
and Technology Museum, in China, last month and marketing
co-ordinator Juliet Pierce will visit the National Science
Museum in Bangkok, Thailand, for two weeks from November 17.
The museum also has an exchange programme with Science Centre