Thursday, December 10, 2009

Job No. 82 - Director of the National Museum of Australia

Today's job hunting presented me with a particularly difficult dilemma; representing that age-old battle between the material and the immaterial, between physical prowess and intellect; as I wrestled with the difficult decision of either applying to be a Russian Audience Champion with the BBC, or the Director of the National Museum of Australia...

I must admit, the idea of being a Russian Audience Champion stirred within me images of Spartacus and Gladiator, and I could easily envisage myself (likely clad in some sort of strange and ornate body armour) striding forth in packed arenas to defend the honour of Russian Audiences worldwide in a series of life or death battles.

And I suppose, it was at that point, that my imagination rang a little alarm bell somewhere. Life or death? I mean, I have a sincere and deep love for the honour and happiness of the Russian audience - but did I really want to be lying on the floor, giant spear sticking out my side, drifting slowly out of consciousness as the Luxembourg Audience Champion did some kind of strange Luxemborgian victory jig?

Which, turned me immediately to a far easier position, in the shape of Director of the National Museum of Australia...

Why easier, you might ask? Well, I did some checking on Australia and I found out that, apparently, it wasn't discovered until 1606 and it wasn't actually claimed until 1770. Which means, Australia has only 229 years of history - surely making it one of the easiest museums in the world to run! In fact, if anything, I suppose the most difficult thing about being Director of the National Museum of Australia is finding stuff to put in there...

The museum obviously already knows this is a problem as, in the advert, they were quite clear that the new Director would need to "enhance knowledge of Australia's cultural identity."

So, I had a quick trawl through my limited knowledge of Australian cultural identity and immediately thought of Neighbours, Vegemite, Mel Gibson, Kangeroos, Ugg Boots and Elle Macpherson. The trouble was, once my mind got to Elle Macpherson it kind of stuck there and - as hard as I tried to shift in onto other potential Australasian museum fillers - it didn't want to move on.

Nevertheless, armed with the conviction that I possessed enough antipodean knowledge to at least scrape through to the interview stage, I wrote out an application letter that would hopefully let them see my potential:

Dear Sir/Madam

I am writing in order to apply for the position of Director of the National Museum of Australia, as advertised within the Guardian newspaper.

While not possessing a background in the museum industry, as such, I do possess considerable expertise in providing entertainment to a specified target demographic and feel that my skillset would translate extremely well.

I have many ideas on how I would act to enhance knowledge of Australian cultural identity; through dissemination of Australian entertainment, Australian cuisine, Australian exports, Australian wildlife, Australian fashion and Elle Macpherson.

I am keen to enter the museum industry, and I see the National Museum of Australia as being a perfect fit where I can hone my skills in a challenging, yet relatively historically exiguous, environment.

I look forward to hearing from you soon.



I was very proud of the, almost subliminal, way in which I had broached the topic of Ms. Macpherson and was feeling confidently smug about my chances until I suddenly realised that I had made no mention, whatsoever, in my application of one of the principal aspects of Australian cultural identity; Dame Edna Everage. I am now a little concerned that they will not take my application seriously...

No comments: