Aboriginal student’s internship ensures Art History will be part of career future

5 February 2021

Aboriginal student Adam Ford says a year-long internship with The University of Queensland Art Museum combined with a Bachelor of Art History will be a great foundation to build a career in the arts.

The proud descendant of the Nyoongar people, from the south-west of Western Australia, says he has always been a creative person, with a love of art, history and culture.

“It made sense for me to follow something like collection management or curation or some kind of gallery or art museum pursuit,” Adam says.

“I grew up in Brisbane and, since leaving school eight years ago, have done a range of things like retail work, magazine customer assistance and travel, along with my hobby producing films using 35mm and 120mm film.

“Taking on studies at UQ has helped me focus on my career goals, particularly in the field of Indigenous Art History.

“I really like contemporary Aboriginal artists like Tony Albert, Richard Bell and Gordon Bennett plus Australian desert artists like Emily Kame Kngwarreye.”

Adam is looking forward to experiencing a wide range of areas at the Art Museum including curating, registration and collection management, acquisition funds management and community outreach.

Art Museum Engagement and Training Officer Danielle Harvey said Adam’s internship was made possible by funds from the Kinnane UQ Art Endowment Fund, which provides UQ students with professional museum experience to boost their career prospects.

“Working with outstanding students is the most exciting part of my job, and I’m so thrilled that Adam has joined our team,” she said.

“Gaining a breadth of experience in professional museum work will help Adam prepare for employment in an industry that often requires broad skills and knowledge of multiple facets of museum practice. It’s also a great way to help him decide which speciality he wants to focus on after he graduates.” 

Based at UQ’s St Lucia campus, UQ Art Museum aims to connect each of its visitors with new ideas in contemporary art. It places student learning at the core of its activities, recognising that ‘creativity’ is in-demand by future employers.