Meet Rachael – Photo Archivist
What attracted you to working at the Navy Museum?
I wanted to work for a smaller museum and when the role came up I jumped at the chance. I’ve found working for a smaller museum gives you a greater range of opportunities which keeps work very rewarding.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
Digitising a negative which hasn’t been seen or printed from in several decades.
What do you enjoy least?
Telling someone that we don’t have the photograph that they’re looking for.
Name your favourite object in the Museum and explain why you chose it.
I don’t have a favourite, but a photograph that sticks in my mind is one of AB Jack True who died in HMS Neptune. The album was posthumously compiled of photographs Jack True sent to an unidentified relative. The photos are of his crew mates, shore visits, class photos and life on board an RN minesweeper – a number of the people and places are identified and the inscriptions are casual and cheerful. The album concludes with casualty lists and newspaper cuttings describing his and his crew mates’ fate. It’s a touching album, knowing that it was compiled by a loved one after his tragic death, and you can see how much love was put into it.
What’s the most memorable thing you’ve done since you’ve been working at the Museum?
Completion of the Tudor Collins project. I’ve been working on this project since I started as the Photo Archivist two years ago. All those who worked on it prior did the hard yards – it was a real collective effort that spanned over ten staff and seven years.
Name the funniest moment since you joined the Museum?
For our staff Christmas party, we organised a scavenger hunt and sent the rest of the Museum staff around Devonport completing puzzles and silly tasks. Our best idea was to find Vernon (our collection store mannequin) who was hidden in the North Head tunnels. Sorry to the members of the public who unwittingly became part of the hunt and were scared out of their wits.
How do you enjoy spending your time outside work?
You’ll find me in the garden. I’ve grown my own vegetables for a long time but I’ve just fallen in love with growing flowers, especially roses. Who needs a lawn anyway?!