Michelle Horwood could hardly believe her luck when she saw the programme coordinator position advertised for Te Ara Pourewa Graduate Diploma in Heritage and Museum Studies.
The position seemed perfect for her museum and heritage experience, and even before she officially started, she has been part of the process of creating the new programme.
“It directly applies to my professional skills.”
Horwood is in the last stages of her PhD in Museum and Heritage Studies at Victoria University, and has 25 years’ experience in the industry, principally at Whanganui Regional Museum.
While there, Horwood worked with communities to develop innovative ways to care for, access and interpret the region’s heritage collections, and the museum was leading New Zealand museums’ practice in initiating governance changes to embody biculturalism and embed the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi into its constitution.
But now she has switched her allegiance to the East Coast,.
“The conceptual framework is the point of difference here,” she says. “Other similar courses are not in the wāanga learning style, which is just so appropriate for this programme and location.”
She knows the first six months of her tenure will be “quite intense development and then bedding in the programme”.
“I am incredibly excited to be part of this,” says Horwood. “This has my complete attention.”