Mitcham Heritage Centre Practicum

Hello, my name is Emily and I’m a Master of CHM student. My practicum, which actually began way back in June 2009, was with the Mitcham Heritage Research Centre (MHRC), under the guidance of local history officer Maggy Ragless. The purpose of my placement was to experience ‘a day in the life’ of a local history officer, in order to assess the potential of this career choice as an option for me for the future.

The MHRC, when i began the placement in June, was located in the old school building on Belair Rd, opposite the Mitcham Council office. It was here, in just one and half rooms, that Maggy and her team of volunteers tirelessly worked to maintain and promote Mitcham’s unique heritage, until very recently when they moved to the more spacious old Police Station on Princes Rd.

The MHRC provides public access to the local history collection, and provides a variety of community services such as regular talks, guided walks, publications, conservation workshops and assistance with research. Items in the collection include newspapers, maps, plans, historical files, photographs, books, surveys and council reports. The MHRC does not collect artefacts.

Over the course of my placement, in addition to observing and assisting Maggy in her every-day work, I was to be given more specific tasks to undertake. Initial suggestions for these included creating brochures, helping with the move, setting up a library database, and planning ideas for History Week 2010. I also had the opportunity to participate in workshops, school group tours and other talks and walks given by volunteers of the centre.

Stay tuned for blog #2: making history brochures for the community

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