COVID-19’s cruel impact on the local Arts sector prompted External Engagement Coordinator Erin Ruff to cherish the great value of the Flinders University Museum of Art – so much that she has made an ongoing commitment to support FUMA through the University’s staff workplace giving program.
“Despite its size, FUMA really packs a punch with what its team achieves,” says Erin.
“The collection and exhibitions are an invaluable resource to the wider community and school groups, and the Object-based Learning opportunities are a great addition to the learning experience for Flinders University students.”
Erin’s work in External Engagement at Flinders has provided her with the perspective to appreciate how widely the University impacts people across a range of levels. This became clear as COVID-19 restrictions took hold and Erin decided the appropriate response was to take direct action and pledge financial support.
“Soon after the first COVID-19 lockdown in March 2020, I found myself overwhelmed by requests for donations from people struggling with job loss and social isolation. It prompted me to look at how I could contribute and make a lasting impact – and I decided to help the Arts community.
“Art has always been used by humans to record our experiences and responses to historical events, and I want artists to continue producing works that reflect our experiences of the world. I want to support spaces where people can engage with these works. FUMA was the obvious choice.”
Erin points to the exhibition In the hold: Decolonising Cook in contemporary Australian art as a highlight of FUMA’s 2020 program.
“I was lucky enough to be part of a guided tour with FUMA Director Fiona Salmon, which provided a lot of additional insight and context to the works on display,” explains Erin.
“The exhibition shared stories that challenged the 250 years of colonial narrative since Cook’s first voyage to Australia, which is important for us to engage with and compare with what we were taught at school.”
Erin is passionate about education and making learning accessible to everyone who wants it. She sees that her donation is an important building block to help ensure this outcome.
“Initially I didn’t think that my donations would have much of an impact, but I’ve been amazed to see how quickly a small but regular donation can add up,” she says.
“By signing up through the staff giving program, I feel like I’m able to make more of an impact by allowing FUMA to direct the resources to where they’re most needed.”
- To learn more about Staff Workplace Giving, visit the online link.