Museums & Galleries Qld

Artspace Mackay’s Anna Thurgood gains valuable insights during her Mentorship with the National Gallery of Australia

Posted on: 20 March 2012

Anna Thurgood, Exhibitions Curator (currently Acting Director), Artspace Mackay

Anna Thurgood had a valuable opportunity to observe gallery practice at a national level during her Mentorship with the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra, as a result of her successful application to M&GSQ’s pilot 2011 Mentorship, Exchange and Fellowship Program. Anna is Exhibitions Curator (currently Acting Director) at Artspace Mackay.

Anna talks about what she gained from the Mentorship:

My Mentorship was of great benefit to me. It allowed me the rare opportunity to gain an insight into the workings of a large institution such as the National Gallery of Australia (NGA). It made me realise the importance of the works of art in any collection – how they must be preserved for future generations to enjoy, through preventive conservation and expert handling at all times. I also learnt about the value of planning and communication across different sections within the gallery.


I feel that this experience has given me the capacity to see a ‘bigger picture’.  To understand that even in a regional gallery, with all our commitment to our local community, we are still a part of something larger, and that in order to provide our community with the best possible cultural experience, we need to maintain our standing on a state-wide and national level. This will ensure that we are able to secure the most interesting and exciting exhibitions for our community. We also need to keep our collection moving forward – to make it accessible to the local community through exhibitions, but to also have a commitment to making it accessible online, for the benefit of all.


A major benefit of the Mentorship was being able to talk to people who look after all the different areas I oversee in my job (conservation, registration, mount cutting and framing, imaging, collection management systems).  These are people who, aside from being some of the best in their field, were very generous with their time and who I know I can call on in the future to ask for advice and guidance. I was also able to gauge the standards applied at Artspace Mackay against those employed by the NGA.


I believe my Mentorship will benefit Artspace Mackay through my increased knowledge and awareness of best-practice industry standards. I was able to glean some key observations about how I should instigate some new initiatives here at Artspace Mackay.


The experience was wonderful. My mentor, David Turnbull, was a wealth of knowledge. He went out of his way to find out what I was interested in and spent quite some time setting up appointments and sessions with relevant people throughout his organisation.


M&GSQ’s pilot 2011 Mentorship, Exchange and Fellowship Program is funded by Arts Queensland through the Regional Arts Development Fund (RADF). RADF is a joint Queensland Government and Local Government partnership to support local arts and culture.

Stay tuned to this blog and to the M&GSQ website, for an announcement about the recipients of the 2012 Mentorship, Exchange and Fellowship Program.


Tell us what you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Museums & Galleries Queensland

122 Gerler Rd, Hendra QLD 4011

Phone: 07 3059 9740

Museums & Galleries Queensland is the peak professional body for the public museum and gallery sector in Queensland.

Museums & Galleries Queensland promotes, supports and provides services to foster excellence in museums, galleries and keeping places. We strive to ensure a future where museums, galleries and keeping places are relevant, accessible and valued by their communities.

M&G QLD Staff

Rebekah Butler, Executive Director
Debra Beattie, General Manager
Melissa Fletcher, Information Officer
Deannah Vieth, Training and Professional Development Manager
Leisha Walker, Training and Professional Development Program Officer
Donna Davis, Exhibition Program Officer
Bonnie Melrose, Exhibition Program Officer
Andrea Higgins, Exhibition Program Officer

M&G QLD’s User Online Comments Policy

%d bloggers like this: