Reflections on an internship

Having just completed the last two days of my internship at OzArk in Dubbo, it’s now time to reflect.

Firstly, this placement was an enjoyable experience. The people at OzArk are dedicated, hard-working, quirky and it was a pleasure to go to work each day with them.

Secondly, Jodie Benton threw a variety of ‘archaeologies’ and a variety of tasks at me throughout the placement so that I would have a diverse experience and pick up as wide a range of skills as possible. This certainly worked, as I switched from working on scarred trees to bridges to stone tools to industrial archaeology and back again in survey, research and excavation contexts. And I was trained up in the office / admin / business facets of archaeological consulting as well. I’ve picked up new skills and improved on a heck of a lot of old ones; I put this down to the fact that Jodie basically threw the entire business at me and said “learn as much as you can”!

Thirdly, I was given increasing levels of responsibility – from drafting reports based on others’ field notes, to supervision of a survey team, to direction of a test excavation, and finally to submission of tender applications for contracts. This increasingly forced me to think about logistics, best practice methodology, legislative requirements and timely communication with stakeholders.

I will continue to work at OzArk now that the internship has finished. I’m currently employed by OzArk as the Project Officer on a contract involving Orange City Council, Cabonne Shire Council and Blayney Shire Council in Central Western NSW. The contract involves working with local museums and historical societies to assess collection management procedures, assist with documentation and significance assessment, and develop computerised approaches to collection management. At the conclusion of this contract, OzArk intends to continue to employ me on project work throughout NSW.

In summary, the internship taught me much about heritage consultancy and has been instrumental in securing ongoing work with OzArk. I could not have asked for a better industry placement!

Acknowledgements: Thanks go to Dr Jodie Benton and staff at OzArk for support and guidance throughout, to Dr Alice Gorman and Dr Lynley Wallace for advice and support, and to Orange, Bathurst and Peak Hill LALCs along with all clients for permission to be involved in their heritage projects.

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