On 14/8 (Mon), I had my second visit to the storerooms of the Maritime Museum. I was impressed when I could see and touch the objects/artefacts for the first time, and know about the history and background of some of them. The collections’ origin began in the 1870s, having a total of about 20,000 pieces and the objects/artefacts are the historical materials of maritime industry in Australia. Only 10% is usually displayed in museum halls for exhibition, and the majority is kept in storage. It was very memorable to me that I could have some hands-on/practical experience to record the movement of objects, and put them in other storage places within the storeroom.
I was told to fill in the movement record sheet. Each object has a number for record, which is like the books kept in catalogue or archive, very systematic. I filled in more than two sheets, which speeded up the work of the curators and volunteers on that day. Every Monday the curators and volunteers help with the related work. I got to see and learn about the history of steamships (many objects), maritime industry, animal species (like shark jaws), and models of ocean-going vessels.
Museum visits were one of my favourite activities in the internship, and I was offered the precious chances to visit all three branches of History Trust museums. The Migration Museum was the first one I visited early on, about the local history of Australian inhabitants.
On 18/8 (Fri), I went to Port Adelaide to visit the Maritime Museum. It is about the maritime industry of South Australia, sea travel and maritime trade is important for every part of the world including Hong Kong. I haven’t been to the Maritime Museum in Hong Kong, but had a thorough viewing in South Australian Maritime Museum. I learnt about the Lighthouse, the development from sail to steam, the navy, dolphins as sea mammals performing crucial roles in sea trade, explorers, whalers and sealers, shipwrecks, Port Adelaide's ship traffic, life in the Port, maritime trade, and the early stage of sea traffic. It is my first lesson in this discipline from the museum visit, going through the whole museum with four storeys. In addition, I was invited to join a group travel activity with school children, travelling on board the Archie on the Port River.
On 21/8 (Mon), my supervisor Britt took me to visit the Motor Museum. It is located in Birdwood, countryside, 1-hour car drive from the city centre, about the motor history of Australia. Transportation is vital for humans to live every day, which has been developing to be more and more enhanced throughout history around the world. Australians make cars, so motor history plays an important role in national history. I hadn’t been to a museum about motorcycles, automobiles and private cars, and the other kinds of public transport. The curation of the museum permanent exhibitions is comprehensive in national level, talking about the Birdsville Track in between Queensland and South Australia as a mail route in the past and the story of mailman Tom Kruse driving a mail truck to perform his duties. I also learn about Ford coupe utility, Holden, Lincoln Six, motorcycle, and a garage in 1920s. The motor history of Australia is entirely new to me, in which the museum visit gave a brief lesson on the development in several major stages and the types of classical automobile and motorcycle popular in Australian history.
In the Vehicle Gallery in the Motor Museum, there is a full collection of the types of classical automobile and motorcycle, which is the part I like in the museum collections, and I think it is great to have such a collection. Man is fond of motors compared to woman, and I think that cars can be regarded as a symbol/sign of male image, having masculine qualities. Masculinity is the gender quality shared and constructed by society, in contrast to the femininity of woman. Yet, it is a gender stereotype, and every person can have both the qualities of male and female.
On 23/8 (Wed), I had the last museum visit to Mannum Dock Museum of River History, specially arranged by my supervisor Britt, because I mentioned about the River Torrens in our conversation. It is located in Mannum, a countryside region in Adelaide. I have learnt about the Murray River being one of the longest rivers in Australia with historical significance, the PS Marion as an important ship, the technical operation of paddle steamers, and the history of rivers and docks. In Hong Kong, the docks were all moved to Mainland China having the related industry for development. I knew about the stories from oral history in Mei Ho House, by having interviews with the local residents of Hong Kong.
Adelaide Arcade, a historical shopping arcade having 120 years of history, is an example reflecting the development of shopping malls, in which arcades emerged in Paris, and I learnt about it in my associate degree of cultural studies. Moreover, I have travelled to the Zoo, convention centre, the small gallery of the State Library (showing a temporary exhibition about contemporary art in the theme of Kangaroo Island), and South Australian Museum during weekends to make the most of my stay in Adelaide.
In conclusion, it is my pleasure to bring the ideas of Hong Kong festivals to Australia, and shared with my supervisors and colleagues in History Trust of South Australia, exchanging the ideas within the same sector in a global context as an intern from Hong Kong myself. I have begun to know more details of the development of cultural industry in South Australia and Hong Kong, and make comparisons. Living is a learning process for me, because I had my first time learning to be independent in Adelaide. Although I faced many small and big real-life challenges during my stay, I did not give up and learnt them with mental strength, and I know that I must keep going with motivation and incentive. I will remember the work in History Trust of South Australia, the life with my host family, and the travels in Adelaide, happening in six weeks in 2017.