Museum of Brisbane

Meet MoB: Phoebe Connor

In our new series, Meet MoB, we go behind the scenes to introduce you to the passionate people who keep Museum of Brisbane ticking. From curators, arts marketers and educators to gallery hosts and installers, meet the diverse team-members who help bring our city’s stories to life at the Museum.


What does a day in the life of a Learning Coordinator look like?
Depending on the time of year my role varies greatly- at the moment we’re in the midst of term 2  and are very busy with students visiting the Museum. I can be found mostly on the Museum floor, delivering MoB Learn programs — from history programs for primary students and art exhibition tours for secondary students to working with tertiary students to focus on items from our collection. Another major part of my role is booking in the various MoB Learn groups to visit the Museum, and making sure I can facilitate everyone who visits the spaces so they enjoy their visit. I also develop new Learn programs, school holiday workshops, and teachers professional development events.


How did you develop an interest in art and education?
I was surrounded by art from quite a young age, as my grandfather is a practicing artist, and this majorly impacted my decision to work within the arts. I knew I wanted something hands-on and creative so I studied to become a secondary art teacher. Towards the end of my degree after some research and visiting local cultural institutions I decided I wanted to focus on providing educational experiences in museums and galleries where I could work alongside artists, curators and collections teams to connect with students. Working in the Museum has been particularly interesting as with each exhibition I get to focus on different themes and subject areas (not just visual art) and work alongside many inspiring people to create engaging educational experiences. I now have such an appreciation for Museums and the stories they can tell and communities they build.


What is a secret talent we wouldn’t know about you?
I like to collect and refurb furniture. Most things I own are second hand or vintage, and I like to fix them up and hopefully improve them!


What is your favourite artwork currently exhibited at the Museum?
It’s so hard to choose a favourite at the moment, with BAD being on display and there are certain works that are my favourites, because all the students who visit particularly enjoy interacting with them, like Isabel and Alfredo Aquilizan’s work. It’s particularly cute to see a group of Early Learning Centre children wearing their high-vis vests and constructing their houses. But also, the lamp collaboration by Marc Harrison (Husque) and Jason Bird (Luxxbox Design)  was particularly interesting for me.  The materials used, and process involved in creating the macadamia-shell lamps provide an interesting discussion on materials and sustainability. I like to highlight these works with school groups to get them thinking about alternative natural materials that could replace plastics in the future.


What are you most looking forward to at the Museum?
I’m particularly excited for High Rotation to open on 30 August, because I get to relive some of those classic songs from my childhood. Also to hear the stories from the Brisbane community about how music has impacted their life. I think it will also provide a great opportunity for our local schools to see a snapshot of Brisbane’s music history.


– Phoebe Connor, Learning Coordinator