She wants to find a way to attract more locals to visit and value the museum’s collection.
“The museum has an incredible store of items and information from and about the local area,” she says. “It’s so important to look after our local heritage especially for our children.”
Victoria attributes her love of history to her childhood in England.
“I grew up in Buckinghamshire but my grandparents lived in the north-east of England, near Hadrian’s Wall where there were old castles and forts. My parents used to take us to museums a lot and I think that’s what sparked my interest.
“About 10 years ago I started tracing my family history and I’m still a volunteer for the Northumberland and Durham Family History Society where I’ve been involved in transcribing baptism and marriage certificates, and indexing wills dating back to the 1700s.”
Victoria worked in IT project management in the United Kingdom and it was through work that she met her future husband Rhys, of Ruakaka. The couple married in Christchurch in 2000 and returned permanently to New Zealand four years ago. They now have two young children and live on a small property at Ahuroa.
Victoria says the museum is fortunate to have a talented and committed team of volunteers.
“Part of my job will be to try to increase our volunteer base and to look at ways of fundraising to supplement door takings, which are basically our only sources of revenue.”
Victoria replaces Richard Simmons, who retired recently after about 16 years with the museum.