Rebecca Richards looks forward to taking her skills into the region where she grew up. Supplied: SA Museum.
Chris McLoughlin, Rhodes Scholar Rebecca Richards aims to improve SA Museum Aboriginal collection, ABC News, 25 October 2016
Australia’s first Aboriginal Rhodes Scholar says being selected for the South Australian Museum Pathways cadet program has taken her full circle in life.
Rebecca Richards, 29, grew up among the Adnyamathanha and Barngarla people of South Australia’s Flinders Ranges.
She has returned to Australia from Oxford and is working on her anthropology PhD.
Ms Richards said watching SA Museum staff at work in the past in her region stirred her academic interest.
“Coming back to Adelaide and becoming one of those anthropologists who go back into the community, it’s a big circle and I feel so privileged to be able to begin to realise that circle,” she said
“I’ll be really passionate about working with regional, remote and urban Aboriginal communities, but particularly regional because there’s such untapped potential and cultural richness that we can draw upon and celebrate within the museum.”
SA Museum director Brian Oldman said the training program was established in a shared vision with the SA Government and Australian Executor Trustees.
“We have the best Aboriginal collection in the world so what we’ve done as a real priority — some of the earlier cadetships are going to be focusing in on young people who can actually work on our Aboriginal material cultures collection,” he said.
“We want to be training the next generation of museum professionals for the future.”
Also selected as cadets in the Pathways program are Jacinta Koolmatrie, who has been completing a Masters degree in archaeology at Flinders University, and Jade Turner, who has a Bachelor of Arts in archaeology.