National Volunteer Week
13 May 2015
Judith has just completed a project with NLA Publishing researching images from the National Library’s collection from the 1960s and each Wednesday takes people on tours through our Treasures Gallery. She is a volunteer here at the Library—and because it is National Volunteer Week, we decided to find out more about her.
Since the Library's very first intake of volunteers in 1998, Judith has worked alongside other long-time volunteers, Shirley and Jenny, and her husband Patrick joined her too.
Before we snagged her through a rigorous interview process in 1998, she travelled the world as the wife of a diplomat, living in Geneva, Washington, Port Moresby and Budapest.
As a high school teacher of history and geography, when Judith found herself in Washington, her interest in Native Americans and anthropology led her to become a docent at the Smithsonian Institution. This experience was so valuable that when she returned to Canberra, she actively hunted down an opportunity to continue volunteering.
Judith is exceptionally generous with her time, and this extends well beyond volunteering at the Library. As she has worked with different people across the Library, Judith has taught people to knit and while speaking with me, helped me understand what I was doing wrong with my sponge cakes—she won First Prize for her sponge cake at the Canberra Show. Since retirement, Judith and Patrick have mastered the kitchen, with Patrick perfecting curries and making championship-winning mustard pickles and Judith producing remarkable cakes. She also sews quilts.
Since volunteering here, Judith's favourite exhibition was the touring exhibition from 2003, Creating a Gothic Paradise: Pugin at the Antipodes. Currently she is preparing for the exhibition, Revealing the Rothschild Prayer Book c. 1505–1510 from the Kerry Stokes Collection.