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Kintore kids visit the Museum

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Kintore kids visit the Museum

11 Dec 2014

Seven children in school uniform stand in a warehouse with a woman.
The Museum's head registrar Sara Kelly with students (from left) Shania Pollard, Daisy Abbott (kneeling), Francina Conway, Mavis Gallagher, Cindy Giles, Lawrence Brown and Ernest Maxwell. Photo: George Serras.

By Peter Thorley

Twelve Pintupi students, their principal Nick Richardson, teacher Lauren Baird and Aboriginal assistant teacher Mimila Napangarti, from Walungurru School in the Northern Territory, visited the National Museum in Canberra on October 31 2014. Walungurru is a Pintupi community around 500 kilometres west of Alice Springs. Because the children had travelled so far to get here, it was a special visit. For most of the kids, it was their first trip to a capital city.

Their day at the Museum started with a tour through the storage facility at Mitchell where they met the head registrar Sara Kelly and access and archives registrar Anne Kelly (no relation!). They saw how the Museum's collection of cars and large vehicles are stored and cared for in their plastic bubbles. They toured the Museum's sealed internal storage unit, known as the 'esky', where Pintupi collections are held alongside Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander collections from across Australia.

After lunch, the kids were treated to a variety of educational programs provided by the Museum's Learning Services and Community Outreach program. Staff at the Museum were able to meet with the principal and the Aboriginal assistant teacher, who has been working at the school for nearly 30 years.

Walungurru community is very remote and children do not have the same educational opportunities as kids living in urban areas. For example, there is no high school in their community. Next year many of the children will be attending schools interstate.

Visiting the Museum was a rare opportunity for the kids to learn how their family's collections are stored and cared for. It was also a memorable day for staff at the Museum who had so much fun meeting the kids.

A woman and three students inspect artworks.
Assistant teacher Mimila Wheeler with students (from left) Lawrence Brown, Lydia Willy and Selma Sampson. Photo: George Serras.
Peter Thorley, Cindy Giles, Ernest Maxwell, Nikasha Jackson, Mavis Gallagher.
Museum curator Peter Thorley with (from left) Cindy Giles, Ernest Maxwell, Nikasha Jackson and Mavis Gallagher. Photo: George Serras.
A man and woman with three school students, standing between two rows of artworks.
Peter Thorley talks with (from left) Selma Sampson, Mimila Wheeler, Lydia Willy and Lawrence Brown. Photo: George Serras.

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