Philanthropy highlights / Student opportunities / UQ Community

Life-changing opportunities for Kinnane interns


Kinnane Bequest interns with their mentors. L-R Kathryn Kerswell (Senior Registrar), Rebecca Johnson (Registration Intern), Emma McLean (Curatorial Intern) and Samantha Littley (Curator)



Paula Kinnane’s incredibly generous bequest of $8 million to establish two endowment funds at the UQ Art Museum and the UQ School of Music has allowed the UQ Art Museum, in partnership with the UQ Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, to establish internships and scholarships with a focus in museum theory and practice.

In 2017, students Emma McLean (Bachelor of Law and Arts) and Rebecca Johnson (Masters in Museum Studies) have been awarded 12 months of paid work through the newly established Kinnane Endowment Curatorial Internship and the Kinnane Endowment Registration Internship respectively which are providing them with the opportunity to work under the guidance of Curator Samantha Littley and Senior Registrar Kathryn Kerswsell.

These internships are mutually beneficial for the students and the UQ Art Museum. 2017 recipients, Rebecca and Emma, are gaining the professional experience required to advance their careers to new heights whilst contributing to the UQ Art Museum’s programs by assisting staff and taking the lead on independent projects.

Emma McLean is undertaking research for exhibitions, writing rationales for the acquisition of artworks, and drafting a range of interpretive texts to promote and elucidate the Collection.

I’m honoured to be the selected candidate for the Kinnane Endowment Fund Curatorial Internship. Thanks to the extraordinary generosity of the late Paula and Tony Kinnane, I will be fortunate enough to learn the fundamental skills of curating from the creative and experienced UQ Art Museum staff. I’m grateful for the commitment of the UQ Art Museum to supporting young arts professionals like myself and am looking forward to the learning opportunities and challenges that the next year will bring. — Emma McLean

Rebecca Johnson is working ‘behind the scenes’ to prepare artworks for exhibitions, manage copyright agreements and oversee the care of the UQ Art Collection.

The UQ Art Museum has been a driving influence for me during my studies and has helped develop my passion into the foundations of a career. I feel so fortunate and excited to broaden and challenge my professional skills on the job in Registration in the name of Paula Kinnane – she wanted to make a difference in students’ lives, and I believe this experience will truly change mine. — Rebecca Johnson

The UQ Art Museum is forever grateful to Paula and Tony Kinnane for their dedication to the arts, to students and to the value of education. Every gift, whether given during your lifetime or after, will help the UQ Art Museum deliver dynamic exhibitions and public programs that enrich the education of students and our community, as well as build, research and conserve a significant collection of Australian art for future generations. Find out more or donate now.

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