Blog

What does Lifelong Learning mean?

By: Ms Fara Pelarek, Category: Lifelong Learning, Date: 27 Jun 2014

There is nothing more satisfying than seeing the look on a child's face that has just discovered something new.

Students with Aboriginal women's artefacts

Stuart Humphreys © Australian Museum

Working at the Australian Museum I get to see that 'look' everyday.

Every year over 35,000 students walk through the door with expectation of discovering something new and with over 1 million objects on display there are lots of opportunities for discovery.

In September last year I took on the role as the Head of Lifelong Learning. I had been working at the Museum prior to this position. In the visitor services section of the Museum I managing the more informal learning programs including holiday events, the Search & Discover information centre, the Volunteer programs and our very popular under 5's programs. After 12 years it this area I was very comfortable in running these units and when one becomes too comfortable, well... it is time for a change. For me that change was moving to a new area within the Museum - Lifelong Learning!

I am often asked 'What does that Job title mean?' and I always answer 'from the day you are born to the day you die'. Actually, it really means that I manage the onsite and offsite school education programs, which include our 3 teaching spaces and gallery resources, the Australian Museum Science Festival, (this kicks off in August) Videoconferencing and our Museum in the Box programs which celebrates is 50th anniversary next year.

Another component of my role is coordinating and developing the Australian Museums Citizen Science projects. The one of these is the Streamwatch program which monitors water across Sydney. The Australian Museum has been running this program for the last 2 years with volunteers testing over 150 sites across Sydney. Another projects I am just embarking upon is based out in the Tanami desert in Central Australia, where I am currently sitting. More to come on this soon...

So, lifelong learning can take you many places and offer many opportunities.