Meet Erni – living the dream at Poole Museum!

Erni Pelham is our new Community Curator at Poole Museum. Here she explains about her role, her past experience – and why working in a museum is living the dream!

“As Community Curator, a large part of my job is to develop and deliver sustainable community engagement, targeted at hard-to-reach audience. While I also support the Programme and Learning team with their annual heritage and creative programmes, my focus for 2021 is co-curating Climate Emergency projects with youths from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds, as well as underprivileged families living in the Bournemouth Christchurch and Poole area.

My jobs in the past – be it fundraising with a non-governmental organization (NGO) or as a librarian – have always involved reaching out to the underserved communities and helping them to bridge the gap in terms of learning and wellbeing opportunities. And this, is a result of lived experience of being from a minority ethnic community myself and experiencing the difficulties of social mobility. It is why I am very passionate about my job as a Community Curator and why it is important to me that such a position exists to draw out the hidden voices in our society.

Although this is my first stint in the museum sector (I spent the last decade in library and archives), I’ve always joked that I live in a museum as my home is filled with antiques and artefacts from Southeast Asia; pieces I collected over the years having lived, travelled and researched extensively about the region. I am always excited to talk about my favourite pieces and the histories behind them. You can probably find me doing so on Instagram (@the_sea_chronicler)!”

Erni is pictured with a favourite object from her home collection – a keris (a type of Southeast Asian dagger which had spiritual significance).  


Wild Life in the Red

What do you think about our exhibition?

Sawfish are also called carpenter sharks...but they are rays, not sharks!

There’s also a species called a sawshark, but that’s, well, a shark!

What the heck is a lek?

Males great bustards perform spectacular courtship displays, gathering at a ‘lek’ or small display ground to try to impress the females.

Road Runner!

The great bustard has a dignified slow walk but tends to run when disturbed, rather than fly.

Belly Buster!

The hen-bird on display at The Salisbury Museum was one of the last great bustards to be eaten in the town!

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