On the Couch with Carolyn Laffan

Carolyn Laffan - photo by Mark GambinoWho is Carolyn Laffan?
I am the Senior Curator of the new Australian Music Vault at Arts Centre Melbourne – a new dynamic visitor experience developed in collaboration with the Australian music industry, to tell the story of Australian contemporary music. Since 1990, I have worked in a variety of roles at the Australian Performing Arts Collection – the country’s largest and most important collection of performing arts history and tradition now home to over 660,000 items relating to circus, dance, music, opera and theatre. As a researcher and exhibition curator, I’m interested in using technology to broaden and deepen community engagement with collections especially within communities not seen as traditional museum-goers.

What would you do differently to what you do now?

Who inspires you and why?
People who follow their heart, their convictions and their gut to push through boundaries to find solutions to the world’s greatest problems – energy generation, food security, health, intolerance.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
Radically upskill everyone’s ability to discern fact from opinion.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
I’m more of armchair traveller these days but in my dreams I’m sipping vermouth in Florence at dusk.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
Obviously, my first stop will soon be the Australian Music Vault where they can see just how rich our musical heritage is and how much it has influenced the way we see ourselves as Australians. Until then I’ll continue to share the delights of Carlton and St. Kilda with them.

What are you currently reading?
Detours by Tim Rogers.

What are you currently listening to?
A huge variety of Australian music from the 1960s to today on vinyl, CD and online. Making playlists in my head has become something of an addiction.

Happiness is?

What does the future hold for you?
Exciting times I hope, sharing the Australian Music Vault experience with the general public and working with the music industry to help tell their stories and preserve their material culture.

The Australian Music Vault opens at Arts Centre Melbourne on Tuesday 19 December 2017. For more information, visit: www.australianmusicvault.com.au for details.

Image: Carolyn Laffan – photo by Mark Gambino