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Christine curates the perfect career with TAFE NSW

TAFE NSW Meadowbank

Christine curates the perfect career with TAFE NSW

Christine Smalley with artwork by Janangoo Butcher Cherel (private collection)

TAFE NSW graduate Christine Smalley is exhibiting her world-class curatorial skills in her new position as Coordinator Collection and Exhibitions at Penrith Regional Gallery.

She’s at the forefront of the trend towards a future-proof career in the arts. Research led by the Bureau of Communications and Arts Research in early 2019 showed the importance of creative skills in driving employment and economic growth in Australia. Jobs that require creative skills like art and museum curation resist automation and can offer long-term employment opportunities.1

Christine completed short courses in Gallery and Museum Skills and Gallery and Museum Skills: Working with Collections in 2018. In 2019 she went on to further study with the Certificate IV in Library and Information Services (Gallery and Museum Skills). 

After completing her studies, Christine first secured a job as Curatorial Assistant at Muswellbrook Art Gallery and has now nabbed an incredible leadership position as Coordinator Collection and Exhibitions at Penrith Regional Gallery. Christine said she was inspired by the idea of activating a static creative space and watching the reaction of passers-by who could witness the creative process.

“Initially I was interested in expanding my creative practice within the gallery and museum sector. As a jewellery designer and educator, I had experience both teaching and supplying Regional Galleries in NSW with my designs,” Christine said.

“I was intrigued when I heard about the courses at TAFE NSW and how I could leverage my skills to become more connected or even employed in public programming at a gallery. On investigation, both the time commitment and accessibility made the course an attractive option for me.”

Head Teacher of Visual Arts, Tony McDonald said students in the Gallery and Museum Skills courses can enrol in industry relevant units that lead to careers in collections management, museum installation and gallery coordination.

“Students in the course are involved in the dynamic collaborative experience of running a contemporary gallery, the See Street Gallery, at TAFE NSW Meadowbank. The training covers a wide range of skills, from communication and customer service to event coordination and curation” Tony said.

“Students learn hands-on skills involving exhibition installation and collection management and our graduates have gone on to secure positions at Lane Cove Art Gallery, the Powerhouse Museum, International Conservation Services in Sydney, and even the Busan Museum of Contemporary Art in South Korea.”

Christine says her study has led to a rewarding career in art and gallery curation and encourages anyone with creative ambitions to give TAFE NSW a try.

“My TAFE NSW teachers were actively involved in helping me with securing my internship and always kept me informed of industry volunteer and employment opportunities.

“My classes were an intimate size, and both my teachers were passionate, supportive, and shared their knowledge and time generously. When visiting galleries and art institutions my teachers were well known and respected in their industry. They really want every student to succeed.”

TAFE NSW Meadowbank is offering the Statement of Attainment in Gallery and Museum Skills and the Statement of Attainment in Gallery and Museum Skills: Working with Collections from the start of Term 3, 2021.

To find out more about the range of courses in museum and gallery skills at TAFE NSW call 131 601 or visit   

Media contact: Alice Dalley, TAFE NSW Communications Specialist,, mobile 0402 528 210.