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Nelson Provincial Museum – telling our story

It is quite a heart-warming experience walking in the front doors and being welcomed by a friendly person at the reception desk. I look around and see a selection of different animals and know that I am about to learn a lot about my beloved region and beyond. There’s an exhibition called ‘Rarely Seen’ – Photographs of the Extraordinary’ showcasing breath-taking images from National Geographic that are beautifully displayed with soft, enchanting, soulful music playing in the background.
The lighting is perfectly dimmed, which gives me a sense of awe – something spiritual of which I’d liken to walking through a large cathedral. There are school kids happily talking about what they see and asking their minders a million questions. This place is all about telling stories.
Passing on the knowledge to the next generation and visitors from abroad. The set-up is designed to maximise the experience so it will be enjoyed, appreciated, and remembered by all. Of course, none of this happens by chance.
I meet with Lucinda Blackley-Jimson, who is the Chief Executive. I can tell by the way she talks about her work that she is genuinely passionate. Lucinda brings with her a wealth of experience. Her work at the Auckland Museum, MOTAT, and Te Papa span 25 years. She leads the team at the Nelson Provincial Museum, which consists of 14 FTE’s and 10 volunteers. The staff have a clear passion for what they do and love working with school groups. Laughter can be heard in the offices as I wander by. I love the vibe in this place!

Lucinda started her career in the world of Broadcasting and worked at TVNZ for One Network News. Quite different from managing a museum, however the love for sharing stories is a common thread which Lucinda reflects on with a smile. “I love being part of this wonderful Museum and team. I feel honoured and motivated to be entrusted with the treasures of our region and to present the stories accurately and appropriately. We work closely with local Iwi to ensure Māori perspectives are represented and included in everything we do”.

We help bring Nelson to the world… and the world to Nelson, and it feels like home.” says Lucinda Her forebears were early Pākehā arrivals in Nelson, so there’s always been a strong connection to this region and community. The Museum is a Council Controlled Organisation, which means it is funded by the Nelson City Council and the Tasman District Council. There is a second venue in Stoke which is currently getting renovations. This building is like a vault of special photos and objects that relate to the history of our region. In addition to the National Geographic exhibition, other temporary displays include ‘Our Science Our Future – 100 Years of Cawthron’, a fascinating and hands-on look at cutting edge marine science, and ‘Let Me Be Myself – The Life Story of Anne Frank’ which will be showing from July 2. Lucinda lives in the Tasman area on a small rural property and has 5 dogs which are all Maltese Shitzu. When asked why she has 5 of them, the reply was… “We had one and thought it might get lonely, so we got another, then they just multiplied! We love them to bits.” Make sure you drop in for a visit. There is always something new to learn and if you have guests staying, send them along – they will be glad they went!

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