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Way back in 1986 I joined the museum as the first of the curatorial staff – and 26 years later I’m still here and enjoying it as much as ever! Why? That’s easy – there’s something new to learn everyday and maritime matters cover such a wide sphere that there’s just never any time to be bored. My first big job was the curation and installation of the Commerce gallery – one of the opening exhibitions of the museum in 1991.

The museum site in Darling Harbour in 1986. The photo was taken from our temporary offices in Kent Street. How much has King Street changed?? And no casino or Harbourside!

The gallery has hosted some wonderful stories and objects over the decades but it’s now time for revitalisation, rejuvenation and reinvigoration. So, when it came time to demount the objects I thought I should pop down for one last look. Of course, I couldn’t help myself – I’d put most of the objects in myself as part of the installation team in 1991 so I decided it would be nice to help take them out – just a few of them, that is.

I carefully take out some Australian shipping ceramics

What do I do now? I’m senior curator and look after Australian Naval History. I’m currently working on plans for our contribution to the ANZAC centenary, helping out with a mobile App for HMAS Vampire, researching and writing up training notes for our fantastic volunteer guides for when we open HMAS Advance to the public later this year and acquiring more material for the museum’s naval collection. See, I told you there’s never any time to be bored!

– Lindsey Shaw, senior curator