How I ended here?: a tale of good luck and great mentors

My brief blog post for this months Aus GLAM Blog Club theme of how I ended up here

How did a high school dropout from public housing become the first member of his immediate family to get a Uni degree, get fully entrenched in GLAM, and get occasionally asked to speak at things? Lucky opportunities and great mentors and because of this, I’m going to write a thank you to the people and orgs that helped me get here.

Great mentors

  • Laura McBride: Laura is a proud Wailwan woman and one of the smartest people I know. Laura’s passion for Aboriginal agency in GLAM is an inspiration to me and every conversation I have with her, I leave smarter. She is a great supporter and advocate of me offering me great advice. She is also paving the way for the future generation of Aboriginal people in the museum space by battling the way she does. She might not admit it, but she’s changing the game. While many people have different agendas, Laura’s number one agenda is to do right by our community, the Aboriginal community. I’m lucky to work with her and call her my friend
  • Kirsten Thorpe: Kirsten is a proud Worimi woman. No one has guided me more than Kirsten. She has introduced me to archival concepts that now form the basis of my thinking. She pushed me to get my ideas out of my brain and transmit them to other people. She has motivated me to think outside the box. And like Laura, the battles Kirsten has fought, is fighting and will fight, make it easier for the next generation of Aboriginal librarians and archivists to do right by our communities, make it easier for Aboriginal people to access their cultural heritage and make it easier for Aboriginal people to control their own narrative 
  • My dad, Roger Sentance: like me, my dad is a proud Wiradjuri man who inspired my love of learning. Like me he is also a high school dropout, but it didn’t stop him from being a great thinker. My dad was the one who got involved in community (even though I didn’t want to, I’m super shy). He’s the one who taught me to read and he’s the one I turned to, to proof read my assignments. He’s loving, he’s caring and he’s the bomb

Great opportunities

  • Elsa Dixon cadetship: if it wasn’t for this cadetship, I may of never entered GLAM, it gave funding to the SLNSW so they could hire two Aboriginal cadets in entry level positions. Because of this opportunity, I got taste of libraries and loved it.
  • Australian Society of Archivists Loris Williams memorial scholarship: this scholarship helped my studies so much. It also gave me a boost in my confidence and made me feel like I was going in the right direction. Thanks ASA
  • The library technician course at Ultimo TAFE: this course was a great stepping stone to my uni degree. It eased my nerves about tertiary education. Whenever I hear about TAFE defunding I get sad because of it wasn’t for my TAFE course, I wouldn’t be doing any of the cool things I’m doing.
  • Darkinjung Aboriginal Land Council & Suzanne Naden: by letting assist her with the Darkinjung records project, she and Darkinjung gave me the experience I needed to be a more appealing applicant to SLNSW and Darkinjung CEO at the time, Bob Morgan gave me a great recommendation that he really didn’t need to give. Thanks Susan, Bob and Darkinjung.

1 thought on “How I ended here?: a tale of good luck and great mentors”

  1. Congrats on getting so far with your career and also it’s very nice of you to acknowledge who has helped you along the way. No one every does it alone even if society and the media try to make it look that way. It’s the people you connect to and who help you and who you in turn acknowledge and try to do something for in return that really matter.

    Liked by 1 person

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