Volunteer stories Our volunteers range from 18 to their 80s and come from a wide range of backgrounds. The one thing they all have in common is a deep love for the Museum and a willingness to contribute their time, skills and enthusiasm. Read their stories. Terry – Flying Squad volunteer Over the last four years I have volunteered at the Auckland Museum, as a member of the Flying Squad. A quick email, and we are called in to help with another job. From data inputting, filing, sending out letters, assembling training resources… the tasks are never dull or the same. But it isn’t just a job for two or three hours, because the mix of interesting and dedicated people of a similar mind frame helps make the time fly by. Pleasant surroundings, good conversation with people who have similar interests, the opportunity to listen to lectures on a variety of topics by world class curators, all serve to make a pleasant day outing for a lucky retiree who still has energy left for the better things in life. Sayali – Ethnology volunteer I have been volunteering in the Ethnology section for a few months now. This has given me the opportunity to work with some brilliant and lovely people behind-the-scenes. Volunteering here has made me aware of the huge collection this museum holds and the immense organisation that goes into running this place daily. This has been an amazing experience for future opportunities, both at the Museum and in my chosen field of Archaeology. The flexible nature of the role in terms of the projects and hours of work have made it easy for me to fit it around my busy postgraduate schedule. I am grateful for this opportunity to help out in a small way and I have loved every minute of it. Shelly – Armoury volunteer Retirement gave me a chance to have a new interest, something not aligned to my old career, and being a volunteer at Auckland Museum has done that in a most rewarding way. Assisting with the Cenotaph database entries in the Armoury has provided lessons in history – family, social, national and international. I have been privileged to work alongside, and to be helped by, learned and passionate Museum staff, as well as dedicated ex-servicemen and women. The contribution made by volunteers at the Museum is appreciated and recognised, but for me, I am just as grateful for what it is giving me back." Audrey – Information Desk volunteer I enjoy volunteering at the Museum because I enjoy meeting and talking to people from different backgrounds (local and overseas), as well as the museum staff who are very pleasant to work with. I am also able to learn about various aspects of the Museum while I am here. I truly enjoy volunteering and the time passes by quickly as I am doing something of interest and that I really enjoy! I like my role at the Information Desk at the museum, as it gives me a sense of pride and identity. I find volunteering interesting and fulfilling. It can be relaxing and energizing, even though I am also working full time. Volunteering at the museum is great way to meet new people. I'd recommend anyone to get involved. Just go for it! Eugene – Botany volunteer After retirement I looked into the possibility of further involvement at the Museum, and was lucky enough to be accepted as a botany volunteer, assigned to photographing historical botany specimens. This suited me to a "T", as it combined my two great interests. Managing modern IT processes on the computer was quite challenging to my "mature" brain at first, but Ewen, with much patience and understanding kept me progressing to the point where I can (mostly!) navigate pathways around sophisticated scanners and cameras. The other support staff and volunteers are such a happy and welcoming group, that I do look forward to spending my Wednesdays in the Herbarium. Furthermore, the notion that my time is useful and helpful to the community is a good stimulus. Gordon – Information Desk volunteer When I retired some four years ago, I wasn’t quite sure what I was going to do with all that spare time ahead of me. So one day a friend of mine asked me if I would like to volunteer at the Museum. A quick think, and I followed up, and some three and a half years later we are still together and enjoying every moment. I must be a people person, as I do enjoy meeting people, no matter where they come from. I think it’s great when you can share knowledge of what we can offer our visitors at the Museum, and around the city. For anyone thinking of taking up volunteering, it’s a great way of putting something back into the community we live in, and as we age, it’s good to keep the mind active. Casey – Guide Guiding at the Auckland War Memorial Museum, has been, and still is, such a rewarding experience. Not only is the guiding body one of warmth, knowledge and support, but the visitors are full of excitement and are genuinely interested in what I, the Museum, Auckland and New Zealand have to offer. On every tour I take, I feel like I have been given the special opportunity of becoming a part of someone's holiday. Visitors leave, having not just looked at static artifacts in the Museum, but rather, experienced a part of me. And that's just a little bit special really. Angela – Admin Support volunteer Being an admin support volunteer at Auckland Museum in the past year has been a really fulfilling experience. Every week, I get to step away from my hectic student life to work at one of the greatest places that Auckland has to offer. The best part is the privilege of speaking to people from all over the world who have come to appreciate New Zealand's uniqueness. Sitting at the reception area, we are often the first to receive feedback on our many exhibitions, or the first to hear of a new discovery that someone has found that they would like to learn more about. The variety of phone calls, visitors, events and tasks we get makes every shift exciting.