Meet the Team: Austin Ndala
Austin Ndala - Next Step Initiative Trainee
Hello there, I am Austin Ndala, a Next Step Initiative trainee with David Livingstone Birthplace. As a trainee, I get to work in all aspects of museum and heritage practice, from community engagement to conservation.
I joined the Birthplace team in April 2019. Joining the team at the time when the Birthplace is happening is an exciting opportunity for me to both make my contribution to the project as well as learning from it.
I am working on completing my SVQ in Museums and Galleries Practice through the Next Step Initiative’s Ethnic Minority Career Museum and Built Environment Heritage Project. This project is in response to the concerns of lack of diversity in the Museum and Galleries sector and it tries to eliminate some of the barriers preventing minorities in Scotland, especially people of African and Caribbean origin to practice in the sector. My project and my special focus are in research, project management and learning.
Being of African origin (Malawi), my research interest is to better understand and interpret African stories and objects behind David Livingstone and see that these African stories and objects are correctly and fairly presented and represented. It is also important for me to help make David Livingstone Birthplace Museum a place where the African community in Scotland are able to connect and associate with, as well as help in maintaining David Livingstone Birthplace a place where difficult pasts and histories are freely discussed, and lessons learnt from this.
My research also focuses on other areas within the David Livingstone story that require better and further understanding. Currently I am doing a medical research project in order to understand better some of the objects associated with David Livingstone and his time. These objects will be part of the new exhibition part of the Birthplace.