Student opportunities / UQ Community

Introducing our Student Engagement Council

UQ Art Museum Student Engagement Council. Photo: Simon Woods

Earlier this year, we put the call out to all UQ students to express interest in joining the UQ Art Museum Student Engagement Council (SEC). They didn’t have to be experts in art – but they needed to be passionate about embracing a leadership opportunity that would see them working with our team to make the Art Museum an even better place for the UQ community. We’re pleased to introduce you to this year’s Council and to share a little more about them and their interests.

MEHERSHAD XERXES WADIA, MASTER OF MOLECULAR BIOLOGY
What motivated you to apply to the SEC?: Throughout my childhood, I was always interested in sketching and painting. As I grew up, I started developing a similar passion for poetry, writing, theatre and film-making – crafts that let you explore expression and exploit your imagination. As an international student pursuing a Science degree, I hope the SEC and the UQ Art museum will help me maintain a balance between both my passion for the arts and my love for science.

How do you feel about your appointment to the SEC and the role you can play?: I feel enthusiastic and excited, as well as motivated to contribute creatively to the various tasks. I’m grateful for this unique and amazing opportunity, and one that lets me have a say in a narrative that I have never previously had a voice in. Given my diverse background, I hope to bring to the table a different and a newer, unconventional perspective, as well as relatively fresh ideas and approaches.

What do you love most about UQ Art Museum?: One of the most frightening days was a mere few months back when I walked onto this campus for the first time and was perpetually lost. It was Orientation Week, and while the University was swarming with people – I had never felt more alone, knowing no one in this city. Not knowing what to do, I stared nervously at a map for minutes before I noticed a little text that said UQ Art Museum. And that was it, it was the first place I went to, and all I did was look around and engross myself till I finally felt alright. I could say to you that it’s the architecture, or the art, or the exhibitions, or the lovely people that I love the most – but it wouldn’t be accurate. I feel art can be seen as anything that provides comfort during times of discomfort, and that is exactly what UQ Art Museum was and will always be for me.

MIRANDA HINE, MASTER OF MUSEUM STUDIES
What motivated you to apply to the SEC?: As an emerging museums and galleries professional, I’m excited by the idea of engaging new audiences with art, and UQ Art Museum has so much to give in terms of its collection, resources and staff experience and knowledge.

How do you feel about your appointment to the SEC and the role you can play?: I feel privileged to be part of a student voice that will help guide the Museum’s approach.

What do you love most about UQ Art Museum?: I love the incredible collection, and the potential for the experienced staff to pass practical knowledge and skills on to UQ students in a hands-on learning environment.

SOPHIE KELLEY, BACHELOR OF ARTS, MAJORING IN HISTORY AND ENGLISH
What motivated you to apply to the SEC?: I dream of working in an art museum or in a similar environment, so I figured applying for the SEC would be an excellent opportunity to begin my journey in the art world.

How do you feel about your appointment to the SEC and the role you can play?: I was so excited when I found out about my appointment. Having now had our first meeting, I know our group will work well together to encourage students to visit and get more involved with the UQ Art Museum. I feel I will offer the team creative ideas that will promote an interactive relationship between the Museum and students.

What do you love most about UQ Art Museum?: I love the UQ Art Museum because it’s a place I can go between my classes to think – not about my assignments, but about who I am and who I am meant to be.

QIUSHI LI (FRANCIS), MASTER OF BUSINESS
What motivated you to apply to the SEC?: I’ve been interested in painting and other forms of art since I was a child, and had experience learning traditional Chinese painting back in China. Every time I visit a new place, that city’s museum and art gallery are two places that I always tour. I believe art is one of the best ways to understand and learn about the culture of a civilisation.

How do you feel about your appointment to the SEC and the role you can play?: I was very impressed by the first meeting of the SEC. The UQ Art Museum staff are friendly and open-minded to students’ suggestions. As a Council member, I’d very much like to contribute my knowledge, networks, experience, and passion to the UQ Art Museum.

What do you love most about UQ Art Museum?: The most impressive thing about UQ Art Museum is the staff. They are welcoming and professional and are ready to create change. The abundant collection, fabulous environment, and internal atmosphere is also very impressive.

JULIA BUTLER, BACHELOR OF INTERNATIONAL STUDIES
What motivated you to apply to the SEC?: I’m an amateur artist and love everything creative and artistic and was really intrigued about what happens behind the scenes in an art museum. Having visited the Art Museum at UQ a few times and seen the beautiful space, I was shocked when talking to other students that some had never heard of it before. I think the SEC is a great way to get involved with the Art Museum and to help fellow students have their voices heard.

How do you feel about your appointment to the SEC and the role you can play?: I was really excited to be accepted and I’m looking forward to working with the students and staff involved. Having already discussed several ideas with the other members, I’m eager to start working on some potential new projects. I believe I play a particular role coming from one of the university colleges, as well as having a passion and love for art. I believe all of the SEC members are attracted to different areas of art, so I think this will make for some really interesting conversations.

What do you love most about UQ Art Museum?: I love the beautiful and inviting space – it’s a perfect spot to unwind and just contemplate and relate to the artworks. It’s also a nice, quiet space to study or take a break from study.

REBECCA KILPATRICK, MASTER OF MUSEUM STUDIES
What motivated you to apply to the SEC: The opportunity to enrich the existing community of the Museum with fresh ideas generated directly from the student community.

How do you feel about your appointment to the SEC and the role you can play?: I’m excited for the opportunity to share my experiences and knowledge in the arts, but also to learn from my fellow SEC members.

What do you love most about UQ Art Museum?: The staff who passionately run the Museum – it flows through their hard work.

COLLEEN GAO, BACHELOR OF COMMUNICATIONS, MAJOR IN DIGITAL MEDIA
What motivated you to apply to the SEC?: I’ve always had a love for art and the creative field, and so when there was an opportunity to help the UQ Art Museum become more popular in the student community, I wanted to help and creative positive change.

How do you feel about your appointment to the SEC and the role you can play?: As a Communications student, I’m excited to use the academic skills I’ve learnt in the classroom and apply them in the workplace. I believe my knowledge in social media and network of contacts can contribute to the UQ Art Museum in great ways.

What do you love most about UQ Art Museum?: I love how the UQ Art Museum provides free exhibitions and events not only for UQ, but also the wider community.

UQ Art Museum is open daily from 10 am until 4 pm. The Art Museum offers a range of public programs and opportunities for students. Register to receive our e-news and invitations and follow UQ Art Museum on Facebook to keep up to date

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