Museum of Brisbane

Meet MoB: Annabelle Tonkin


Go behind the scenes to meet the passionate and diverse people who help bring our city’s stories to life at Museum of Brisbane. In this edition of Meet MoB, we introduce you to Annabelle Tonkin, our team’s Engagement Assistant. Annabelle helps to deliver a range of events and workshops at Museum of Brisbane. You can catch her over the holidays up in the Museum delivering our fun MoB Kids activities including Custom Band Patches, Screen Print Wall Banners, Summer Silent Disco and more. When she’s not at the Museum, she’s perfecting her baking skills at home or busy studying to complete her Masters Degree in Museum Studies. Read on to learn more about Annabelle.


What does a day in the life of an Engagement Assistant look like?

I have a really versatile role, where a day in the life is always different and can involve me working on a variety of projects. I can start my morning with some reporting on our suite of workshops and public programs, before working on some potential ideas for our MoB Kids workshops. In the afternoon I can be setting up for an evening panel discussion, organising materials for an artist-led workshop on the weekend or planning an event for our donors. No matter what I have on in my day it involves working with people across all teams and for that I feel really lucky!


Can you tell us a bit about your personal background? What led you to your current role at MoB?

I completed my undergrad at The University of Queensland (UQ) with a Bachelors Degree and an extended major in Art History and a minor in History. Currently I am still studying at UQ, pursuing a Masters Degree in Museum Studies. I started at MoB as an intern, before making my way into the Visitor Experience Team and becoming a Museum Educator. After working in this role for a year I moved into the role of Engagement Assistant, where I have been using my Art History and Museology background to develop and deliver engagement programs.


Everyone has a secret talent! What is a fun fact or talent we would not necessarily know about you?

I love to bake! I have a pink kitchen-aid that is probably my most prized possession, I am always using it to whip up cakes, slices, muffins, biscuits or desserts. My specialties are a lemon tart or chocolate mud cake.


What is your favourite artwork or item currently on display at MoB? And why?

I change my answer every time I get asked this question, but for now it’s Rachael Haynes’ work Threads of Resistance. My favourite part about this work being on display is that there is an opportunity for viewers to respond, by making their own ‘pocket placard’ and adding it to our space to become part of a wider conversation. My latest accessory is a tote-bag from the MoB Shop with one of these works printed as the design, a must have!


– Annabelle Tonkin, Engagement Assistant