19. Southland Regional Heritage Committee: Jo Massey

Johanna Massey 8 resize 4

Since 2006 we have provided funding support for the Roving Museum Officer role in Southland.  In this unique role, Roving Museum Officer Jo Massey provides hands-on assistance to the many volunteer museums around Southland, connecting people to the stories hidden in history all over Southland. This role is the only one of its kind in New Zealand.

Jo Massey, Roving Museum Officer, connects people to the stories hidden in history all over Southland.

"You meet such a range of great people, great communities, passionate people, you know, who give a lot to their museums and of course they’re voluntary - that’s pretty amazing, doing some great things. There’s some great collections - it’s like Christmas every day.

 There are teachers within each one - the stories people have around their objects, once they tell you. You sort of think, “That’s ordinary looking,” then they tell you the story behind it and it’s the most amazing object. That’s one of the things we get to do.

It’s connecting with the people, with their pasts and with their current and with their future community, it’s really about that. And the objects are great - we’re there to look after the physical, because if that’s not there we can’t really share that story, but it’s connecting all those dots.

For me, one thing I’ve come to appreciate is our small museums. They’ve got collections and stories that are equitable to anywhere in the country and it’s been really great to be able to assist them."

Jo Massey

Roving Museum Officer